One of Zimbabwe’s vice presidents is calling Saturday’s explosion at a presidential campaign rally “terrorism” and says any candidate who feels “afraid and scared” will receive security.
Vice President Constantino Chiwenga is telling a rally outside the capital that the blast that went off in a VIP tent seconds after President Emmerson Mnangagwa stepped into it will not stop the historic July 30 election.
The president was unscathed. Chiwenga was lightly bruised in the blast.
Police say an investigation continues.
Zimbabwe’s presidential candidates are not normally provided with security by the government. The protection at Chiwenga’s rally appears no heavier than normal, with no security checks for those attending.
Zimbabwe’s presidential spokesman is ruling out a state of emergency after an explosion at the president’s campaign rally on Saturday that state media has called an assassination attempt.
George Charamba tells the state-run Sunday Mail newspaper that the historic July 30 election will go ahead as planned despite the blast that occurred shortly after President Emmerson Mnangagwa addressed a stadium crowd in Bulawayo.
At least 41 people were injured in the explosion that Mnangagwa said occurred just “inches” from him. He was unscathed and later pointed out he’d had numerous attempts on his life in the past.
No arrests have been reported.
Mnangagwa has vowed a credible election, the first since longtime leader Robert Mugabe stepped down in November under military pressure. Allegations of violence and fraud marked past votes.
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