Zimbabwe's president survives bomb blast at rally

Zimbabwe's president survives bomb blast at rally

July's polls will be the first ballot box test for Mnangagwa, and the first since Mugabe resigned following a brief military takeover in November after 37 years in power.

The ministry expressed the UAE's solidarity with Zimbabwe against all forms of violence. "We must all continue to campaign peacefully because we want an election which is free from violence fair and credible".

Mugabe had been Zimbabwe's only president since it gained independence in 1980, and elections that are expected to be held July 30 will be the first in which he is not a contender.

"They must be utterly condemned and not be allowed to spread and to be assimilated anywhere", ANC spokesperson Mr Paul Mabe said. An attacker threw a grenade towards the stage where he was sitting - killing one person and injuring at least 83 others.

Mnangagwa was leaving the stage after addressing a campaign rally at White City Sports Stadium in Bulawayo, Zimabwe's second-largest city, when an explosion occurred, video footage from the rally shows, the Wall Street Journal reported.

"We have started investigations into the issue where so far a number of people have been injured. We want to express our sympathy and concern for all those who have been injured".

South Africa's opposition party the Economic Freedom Fighters slammed the assassination attempt on the President.

National police spokeswoman Charity Charamba said police were pursuing leads on Saturday's blast at a stadium in Bulawayo, the opposition heartland where Mnangagwa's ruling ZANU-PF party has lost all national elections since 2000.

Echoing concerns on the changing security environment, McDonald Lewanika, a political analyst, told Al Jazeera, the incident could change priorities in governance. Political violence of any sort is unacceptable and in no way helps Zimbabwe's democratic reform.

Mnangagwa escaped injury and said the explosion would not derail the election.

That dramatic transfer of power began when Mr Mnangagwa was sacked as Mr Mugabe's deputy and said he had to immediately flee the country for his life. "May God bless and protect the country we all love".

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