PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday sent condolence messages to the families of his two security aides, who succumbed to injuries sustained during a bomb explosion that occurred at a Zanu-PF campaign rally at White City Stadium in Bulawayo on Saturday.
Mnangagwa, who escaped unhurt in the explosion widely believed to be targeted at him, described the attack as an act of terror.
“This cowardly terrorist attack at a public political meeting was indiscriminate and calculated to achieve a bloodbath which is hard to fathom. Above all, it sought to subvert the will of the people of Zimbabwe by attempting to destabilise the ongoing electoral programme, which our entire nation wishes to see unfold in an environment of perfect peace, all for a free, fair and credible electoral outcome, which we have pledged to ourselves and to the rest of the world,” Mnangagwa said in a statement.
“These merchants of terror must not be allowed to succeed or to stop the march of democracy, economic recovery and national progress which our people deserve.”
Mnangagwa disclosed that the government would meet all funeral and burial expenses, as well as medical costs for the more than 40 people who were also injured in the explosion.
This came as State security agencies yesterday said they had not yet established the source of the explosion, with the stadium still sealed off.
“The investigations are still ongoing, and no arrests have been made,” national police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said.
Sadc, the United Nations, Zanu-PF, the opposition, civic society groups and the clergy have roundly condemned the attack as an act of terror.
In a related development, Zanu-PF politburo member, Joshua Malinga yesterday dismissed reports that he was left stranded after his personal aide fled the scene of explosion.
Malinga, who is Mnangagwa’s adviser on disability, remained glued to his wheelchair as other top party and State security officials scurried for safety during the blast.
“My personal aide, Intelligence Masuku, dropped down, then woke up and came to my rescue. My security also was at my rescue. I was not injured on the day. I am well, I have no scratch,” he said.