Vastavam web: Zimbabwe’s presidential spokesman is ruling out a state of emergency after an explosion at the president’s campaign rally that state media has called an assassination attempt. George Charamba told the state-run Sunday Mail newspaper that the historic July 30 election will go ahead as planned despite the blast that occurred shortly after President Emmerson Mnangagwa addressed a stadium crowd in Bulawayo, an opposition stronghold, yesterday.
At least 41 people, including both of Zimbabwe’s vice presidents, were injured in the explosion that Mnangagwa said occurred just “inches” from him. Mnangagwa was unscathed and later pointed out he’d had numerous attempts on his life in the past, saying he was used to them by now. The president “will not be driven by vengefulness or a spirit of retribution,” Charamba told The Sunday Mail. “Until the investigators pronounce themselves and present the evidence for arrest and prosecution, no one should ascribe motive or blame.” The president has vowed to hold a free and fair election, the first since longtime leader Robert Mugabe stepped down in November under military pressure. Allegations of violence and fraud marked past votes. Mnangagwa, a longtime rally whose firing as Mugabe’s deputy after a ruling party feud led to the transfer of power, is under pressure to deliver a credible election that western countries see as key to lifting international sanctions.