A rally attended by the Zimbabwe’s president Emmerson Mnangagwa in Bulawayo, was rocked by an explosion as the president walked off the podium. His spokesman said the head of state was successfully evacuated.
“The president has been successfully evacuated. He is at the provincial headquarters in Bulawayo,” spokesman George Charamba told AFP by telephone.
“We think it was an explosion, which certainly happened very close to the podium where the personalities were,” Charamba continued, without further clarification.
A ZANU PF official tweeted a video clip that he says captured the explosion.
This clip captures the incident pic.twitter.com/DszQj3TJdN— Nick mangwana (@nickmangwana) June 23, 2018
Nick Mangwana, the chairman of ZANU-PF in the United Kingdom says some of the injured include Dr. Engelbert Rugeje, Mrs Mabel Chinomona and Mrs Marry Chiwenga among other dignitaries.
Dr O Mpofu the Minister of Home Affairs who is also the Zanu PF Sec4Admin is out the country but confirms there has been explosion President is safe. Among those injured are Dr Rugeje, Mai Chinomona, Mrs Chiwenga (leg) and other VIPs.— Nick mangwana (@nickmangwana) June 23, 2018
According to several witnesses, the explosion was felt when the head of state, candidate of the ruling party, Zanu-PF, in the presidential election scheduled for 30 July, had just finished his speech in front of several hundred of his supporters.
The meeting was held in a stadium in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second largest city, considered an opposition stronghold.
The presidential and legislative elections on 30 July are the first to be held since the November resignation of President Robert Mugabe, who has led Zimbabwe with an iron fist since independence in 1980.
Released by the army and the Zanu-PF, Mr. Mugabe was replaced by Mnangagwa, his former vice president.
Mnangagwa is largely expected to win the presidential election against a divided opposition.