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Zimbabwe: Mnangagwa describes assassination attempt as “cowardly act”

Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa has described Saturday’s bomb blast at his election campaign rally in the second city Bulawayo as “cowardly act” that will not discourage him from contesting next month’s general elections.Several people were injured when a bomb went off as Mnangagwa and his entourage left the podium after the rally held at White City Stadium in Bulawayo.

State media reported on Sunday that Vice President Kembo Mohadi had leg injuries, while co-Vice President Constantino Chiwenga had bruises on his face.

Mnangagwa took to Twitter on Saturday night, calling for calm and unity among Zimbabweans.

“The campaign has been conducted in a free and peaceful environment, and we will not allow this cowardly act to get in our way as we move towards elections,” he said.

He appeared to accuse a group allegedly aligned to former First Lady Grace Mugabe for the bomb blast, saying this was the work of his “normal enemies”.

“It’s not the first attempt of my life. It does not scare me, I’m used to it. Six times my office has been broken into; cyanide was put in my offices so many times. I will continue.

“When they tried to poison me I survived. They tried poisoning me through my office, I survived. The same methods, I survived”

Mnangagwa accused Grace Mugabe and her colleagues of poisoning him with ice cream that was laced with poison during another ruling ZANU PF rally, also near Bulawayo. 

The bomb blast has been condemned by the opposition and Western governments.

“Our prayers go out to the injured and we hope no lives have been lost. Violence must have no place in our politics,” main opposition Movement for Democratic Change leader Nelson Chamisa said.

Similar condemnations came from the United States and British embassies.

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