First fatality after Zimbabwe presidential rally blast

First fatality after Zimbabwe presidential rally blast

First fatality after Zimbabwe presidential rally blast

One of Zimbabwe's vice presidents is calling Saturday's explosion at a presidential campaign rally "terrorism" and says any candidate who feels "afraid and scared" will receive security.

"My fellow Zimbabweans, in November we all came together motivated by a dream of a democratic and prosperous Zimbabwe, a peaceful Zimbabwe though it has not been easy over the past seven months we have marched together step by step towards this dream", he said.

Mnangagwa said the injured included Vice President Kembo Mohadi, the wife of Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, the environment minister and the deputy speaker of parliament.

Mnangagwa, who was rushed away from the scene of the explosion, later visited the injured in hospital.

The health minister said some of those wounded had lost limbs and some would require "serious surgery", suggesting the number of injured could rise as the government was still consolidating numbers from the various hospitals. An AFP correspondent reported multiple injuries but could not immediately give a precise toll after a blast at a ruling ZANU-PF party rally today. Any delays in bringing this matter to finality, as has been the case with other related attacks on the private media and opposition politicians, would cast aspersions on the State's commitment to breaking the cycle of violence. "In the past 38 years political violence has been a permanent feature and an anticipated ritual ... which we must expunge", Chamisa said.

George Charamba tells the state-run Sunday Mail newspaper that the historic July 30 election will go ahead as planned despite the blast that occurred shortly after President Emmerson Mnangagwa addressed a stadium crowd in Bulawayo.

He spent weeks receiving medical treatment in neighbouring South Africa.

Zimbabwe's polls will be held in the presence of Western observers for the first time since 2002.

Those policies were cornerstones of Mugabe's near four-decade rule, but the ruling ZANU-PF says Zimbabwe is at a critical stage of its transition and needs an experienced hand like Mnangagwa at the tiller.

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