Zimbabwe President, Mnangagwa survives explosion

Zimbabwe President, Mnangagwa survives explosion

A boy plays next to election posters at White City Stadium where Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa escaped unhurt after an explosion rocked the stadium, in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, June 23, 2018.

Vice President Kemo Mohadi, Zanu-PF chairwoman and cabinet minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri and party secretary Engelbert Rugeje were injured, state broadcaster ZBC said.

The country's two vice presidents were among at least eight people injured, The Herald reported.

The July 30 election will be the first in the country since veteran leader Robert Mugabe was ousted following a brief military takeover in November last year, after 37 years in power.

Zimbabwe's First Vice-President, Constantino Chiwenga, and his wife, suffered minor injuries, Reuters news agency reports.

Mr Mnangagwa has said the vote will be free and fair.

Mr Mnangagwa, who has joked about multiple attempts on his life, said he was used to them by now.

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Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second-largest city, is traditionally an opposition stronghold.

Footage posted online showed the president waving to the crowd, turning to step off the podium and walking into the open-sided VIP tent, where seconds later the explosion occurred.

It cites a presidential spokesman as saying Mnangagwa was not hurt and was safely evacuated.

He said we now await to hear from the police about the explosion and what could have caused it.

Zimbabwe's main opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa, said on Twitter: "Our prayers go out to the injured and we hope no lives have been lost".

"Political violence of any nature from any quarter is totally unacceptable", he said.

Although Mnangagwa pleaded for unity and peace after he survived the blast, Eldred Masunungure, a political analyst and academic, expressed scepticism about the possibility of a peaceful election next month.

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