Zimbabwe’s election campaign season took a worrying turn Saturday afternoon when a crude bombing at a speech delivered by president Emmerson Mnangagwa appeared to be an attempt on his life.
Mnangagwa had just finished giving a speech in a stadium in Zimbabwe’s second-largest city, Bulawayo, when the bomb went off near him and other government officials as they shuffled offstage. Widely circulated videos on social media show a small blast knocking over people standing in the vicinity.
The president’s spokesman, George Charamba, released a statement saying that Mnangagwa was unhurt and that an investigation was underway.
“There have been multiple attempts on the President’s life over the past five years,” he said.
It was unclear whether anyone was killed in the blast, but footage from ZBC, the state broadcaster, showed medics attending to wounded people.
Mnangagwa assumed the presidency last November after Zimbabwe’s longtime leader, Robert Mugabe, was deposed by the military in a bloodless coup. Mugabe had been Zimbabwe’s only president since it gained independence in 1980, and elections that are expected to be held July 30 will be the first in which he is not a contender.
Source: Washington Post
BDST: 2137 HRS, JUN 23, 2018