United Nations chief disturbed by blast targetting Zimbabwean president

Zimbabwe's president Mnangagwa survives assassination attempt at rally in Harare

Zimbabwe's president Mnangagwa survives assassination attempt at rally in Harare

Images broadcast on Zimbabwean TV showed scenes of chaos and medics fighting to save those wounded by the blast at the White City stadium in the country's second city Bulawayo.

Mohadi suffered leg injuries, while Chiwenga had slight bruises to his face, according to the presidential spokesman George Charamba.

"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.

The blast, which caused a thick grey smoke, injured VP Mohadi, Deputy Speaker of Parliament Mabel Chinomona, Zanu PF National Commissar Engelbert Rugeje and Zanu PF national chairperson Oppah Muchinguri.

"Several people were affected by the blast, and I have already been to visit them in the hospital", Mnangagwa wrote on his verified Facebook account describing the attack as a "senseless act of violence".

The country's two vice presidents were among the injured, the state-run newspaper The Herald reported.

He blames the incident on forces bent on derailing progress being made by his administration since he assumed power following the resignation of former president Robert Mugabe last November.

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But over the years, as tensions rose over who would succeed the 94-year-old, the system broke into factions.

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

Mnangagwa has pledged "peaceful, free, fair and credible elections" and called for peace and unity after the attack.

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.

The US Embassy in Harare condemned the attack.

"Political violence of any nature from any quarter is totally unacceptable".

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