Zim blast: People suffered 'serious life-threatening injuries'

A blast that narrowly missed Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa at a pre-election rally has claimed two victims, a senior medical official said Monday.

"Unfortunately we have lost two people as a result of the incident on Saturday," Solwayo Ngwenya, clinical director of the city's Mpilo hospital, told AFP.

"People suffered serious life-threatening injuries. Some are undergoing surgery as we speak."

The second fatality was announced several hours after local media reported a first death from the attack.

Footage showed a device exploding and plumes of smoke billowing around Mnangagwa as he descended from the podium after addressing a rally at the White City stadium in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second largest city.

It is not known who carried out the attack, and there has been no claim of responsibility.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook

Mnangagwa, who took power after Robert Mugabe's ouster in November, said he was the target of the attack, which the state media is describing as an assassination attempt.

Zimbabwe's largest opposition party to Zanu-PF, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), "unreservedly" condemned the "dastardly act of violence".

The act was reminiscent of Zanu-PF's past 38 years culture of governance in Zimbabwe, characterised by "state-party conflation, fear, capture and coercion," it said.

The opposition party called for a new social contract with citizens which would be accountable to citizens through parliament, a free press, the Constitution and the holding of free and fair elections.

Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, who was among those injured in the attack, said the elections - the first parliamentary and presidential polls of the post-Mugabe era - would go ahead as scheduled on July 30.

Elections in Zimbabwe have been marred in the past by violence and charges of electoral fraud.

Mnangagwa has pledged "peaceful, free, fair and credible elections" and called for peace and unity after the attack.

He faces 22 other contenders for presidency although analysts say the real battle is between him and the MDC leader, Nelson Chamisa.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Are you going to keep wearing a mask following the announcement that it is no longer required under law?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
No ways, I'm done
41% - 2673 votes
Yes, I still want to be cautious
21% - 1368 votes
Only certain circumstances
38% - 2435 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
15.80
+1.1%
Rand - Pound
19.39
+0.0%
Rand - Euro
16.68
-0.1%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.97
+0.0%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-0.0%
Gold
1,827.37
0.0%
Silver
21.15
0.0%
Palladium
1,880.50
0.0%
Platinum
911.50
0.0%
Brent Crude
113.12
+2.7%
Top 40
59,993
+1.6%
All Share
66,349
+1.6%
Resource 10
64,422
-0.2%
Industrial 25
76,590
+2.6%
Financial 15
15,623
+1.9%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE