Blast at Zimbabwe president’s rally ahead of July 30 election; many injured
Not all is well with post-Robert Mugabe Zimbabwe. Ahead of the country's next elections on July 30 that are expected to make a mark on the country's politics which has seen stagnation in three decades of Mugabe's dictatorship, an explosion at a rally of President Emmerson Mnangagwa in Bulawayo in south-central Zimbabwe on Saturday, June 23, left worrying signs.
The crude bomb went off just after Mnangagwa finished his speech at the White City Stadium in Zimbabwe's second-largest city, though the president escaped unhurt. Videos circulated on the social media showed people getting thrown around by a small explosion which created smoke.
First Vice President Constantino Chiwenga and his wife, who were present on the stage, sustained minor injuries, the Associated Press reported.
George Charamba, spokesperson of the president, informed about Mnangagwa's well-being in a statement and added that a probe had started into the incident.
Southern Africa Director of Human Rights Watch Dewa Mavhinga condemned the act as "awful and appalling" and lauded Mnangagwa's immediate condemnation of the explosion and called for the presidential and parliamentary polls next month.
Charamba said there have been "multiple attempts" on Mnangagwa's life over the past five years. In November 2017, Mnangagwa, 75, came to power to replace 93-year-old Mugabe, who has been Zimbabwe's only president in its post-independence era since 1980.
Mugabe was toppled by a bloodless military coup in which China was also suspected to have played a part, but not before he left the country which was once seen with lot of economic and political potential in the ruins.
Ethiopian PM's rally also saw an explosion
On Saturday, another African nation Ethiopia also saw an explosion at a rally of its reformist prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, in Addis Ababa which killed two persons dead and many injured.