Though Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa narrowly escaped unscathed in explosion which rocked his first rally, however it has been gathered that Zimbabwe’s two vice presidents and dozens of others were injured.
41 people who were injured during the political rally, including the two senior politicians, were treated at three hospitals across the country, Health Minister David Parirenyatwa told a Sunday paper.
Footage circulating on social media showed an explosion and plumes of smoke around the president as he descended stairs from the podium at the city’s White City stadium on Saturday. Mr Mnangagwa said he was the target of the attack, which also injured Vice-Presidents Kembo Mohadi and Constantino Chiwenga.
The device “exploded a few inches away from me – but it is not my time”, the president told the state broadcaster on Saturday night.
“These are my mortal enemies and the attempts have been so many.
“It’s not the first attempt on my life. I’m used to it. Six times my office has been broken into. Cyanide was put in my offices so many times. I will continue.”
Speaking to newsmen, the health Minister however disclosed that some of those wounded had lost limbs and some would require “serious surgery”, and suggested that the number of injured could rise.
“We have no fatalities so far,” Mr Parirenyatwa said.
Mr Mnangagwa, who was quickly rushed away from the scene of the explosion, later visited the injured in hospital. The president appealed for calm after the blast saying peace was the best response to violence. He wrote on Twitter;
This afternoon, as we were leaving a wonderful rally in Bulawayo, there was an explosion on the stage. Several people were affected by the blast, and I have already been to visit them in the hospital.
Let us continue to be united and address our differences peacefully. The strongest response to violence is peace. The strongest response to hate is love. God Bless Zimbabwe
Police said an investigation into the rally blast is underway. The British and U.S embassies have since condemned the violence, which comes a few weeks before elections that are being held in the presence of Western observers for the first time since 2002.