Zimbabwe's president unhurt after "cowardly" blast at rally

Explosion At Zimbabwe Stadium Where President Mnangagwa Addressed Rally

Forty-nine people were injured but there were no fatalities.

Twenty-three candidates - the highest number in the country's history - will contest the presidential race. Chiwenga was lightly bruised in the blast.

"As a long standing friend of Zimbabwe, Kenya sends its message of goodwill to President Emerson Mnangagwa and the people of the Republic of Zimbabwe, and urges restraint during the campaign and electioneering period because political competition should not fracture Zimbabweans but should be a measure to deepen their democratic credentials", the President notes. 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.

The presidential elections will be the first since the country's military forced Robert Mugabe out of office in an apparent coup in November.

Mnangagwa later pointed out he'd had numerous attempts on his life in the past, saying he was used to them by now.

Several security personnel were also hurt, the state-owned Herald newspaper said. The broadcaster also showed footage of a jovial Mnangagwa walking around the state house gardens in Bulawayo.

World Cup Group G match report Belgium v Tunisia 23 June 2018
It was the second-earliest goal scored by a Belgium player at a World Cup after Leopold Anoul scored in the fifth minute in 1954. That goal served to halt Belgium's early dominance, but they did grab a third with nearly the last kick of the half.


The vote will be a key test for Mnangagwa, 75, who succeeded the 94-year-old autocrat and remains untested at the ballot box.

Chipo Dendere, a Zimbabwean professor of political science at Amherst College in the USA, said the incident would change the tone of the election campaign.

Previous elections in Zimbabwe have been marred by electoral fraud, intimidation and violence, including the killing of scores of opposition supporters in 2008.

This time around, Mnangagwa has pledged to hold free and fair elections as he seeks to mend worldwide relations and have sanctions against Zimbabwe dropped.

The US Embassy in Harare condemned the attack. 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.

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