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2 die following explosion at Mnangagwa rally in Bulawayo

The incident has been described as an act of terror in the country and comes amid the national elections taking place next month.

Injured people are evacuated after an explosion at the stadium in Bulawayo where Zimbabwe President just addressed a rally on 23 June 2018.  Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The explosion that detonated during a campaign rally by Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa over the weekend has now claimed two lives.

State media is reporting that the two people succumbed to their injuries.

It’s not clear when they died but the state-run Chronicle says that they were at Mpilo Hospital.

At least 49 people were injured in the blast, which targeted President Mnangagwa as he was leaving a rally at the White City Stadium.

The incident has been described as an act of terror in the country and comes amid the national elections taking place next month.

Zanu PF spokesperson Kennedy Mandaza says that elections will go ahead.

“It’s important that we up our security to make sure that we do not have violence, to make sure that we do not have the recurrence of the same act and ensure free, fair and credible elections.”

Mpilo is one of three hospitals in Bulawayo that has been treating those who were wounded at Saturday’s blast.

Police are still investigating, but there is speculation the blast was caused by a hand grenade thrown at the VIP podium just as Mnangagwa and other top officials were leaving.

Mnangagwa reiterated on Monday that elections will still go ahead on 30 July.

His deputy Constantino Chiwenga says if any of Zimbabwe’s 23 presidential candidates are afraid they can request state security.

With the news of two deaths as a result of the bomb blast, former Zanu PF politician Acie Lumumba says there are people who are against the president and want to fight against what he stands for.

Lumumba says he believes someone is attacking a possible new dispensation before the general elections in that country next month.

Lumumba says preparations for the elections led by Mnangagwa's Presidency is democratic and this brings about attention.

“There are people who are against the idea of a new Zimbabwe. Emmerson Mnangagwa is not the target, the target is what the man stands for because if he wanted Mnangagwa, he could have found him at his house or at his office.”

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