Zimbabwe President Mnangagwa says he was ‘inches’ from Bulawayo explosion

US & World
Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa (C) before addressing thousands of supporters who had gathered at White City Stadium in Bulawayo, ZimbabweImage copyright EPA
Image caption President Mnangagwa (centre) was campaigning ahead of elections next month

Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa has survived an apparent bomb attack at a rally in the city of Bulawayo.

Mr Mnangagwa said an object “exploded a few inches away from me – but it is not my time”.

Video footage from White City Stadium shows an explosion happening close to Mr Mnangagwa as he was leaving the stage having addressed supporters.

While the president was unhurt, state TV reports that Vice-President Kembo Mohadi has suffered a leg injury.

Mr Mnangagwa says he has visited the injured in hospital. He condemned the violence as senseless and pleaded for unity.

Mr Mnangagwa came to power last November, ousting his former mentor Robert Mugabe.

The president was in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second city and an opposition stronghold, to campaign for his Zanu-PF party ahead of nationwide elections taking place on 30 July.

“People started running in all directions and then immediately the president’s motorcade left at a very high speed,” an AFP correspondent at the scene reported.

The elections are the first in Zimbabwe since Mr Mugabe was ousted after 37 years in power.

Presidential spokesman George Charamba issued a statement confirming Mr Mnangagwa was safe and recalling: “There have been multiple attempts on the president’s life over the past five years.”

It is not clear how severe the injuries to Second Vice-President Kembo Mohadi are.

Zimbabwe’s First Vice-President, Constantino Chiwenga suffered minor injuries, Reuters news agency reports.

His wife, Marry, was also injured and pictures on social media showed the president visiting her in hospital.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Red Cross personnel evacuate an injured army member from the rally

The Zimbabwe Herald newspaper described the explosion as an assassination attempt on the president.

State broadcaster ZBC also reported that Zanu PF national chairman Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, political commissar Engelbert Rugeje and some ZBC crew members were also injured.

The US Embassy in Harare condemned the attack.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-44586218

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