Explosion rocks Zimbabwean President Mnangagwa's Rally in Alleged Assassination Attempt

BREAKING Assassination attempt at ED Chiwenga in Byo

Footage from Saturday's event showed a device exploding and plumes of smoke billowing around President Mnangagwa.

One of Zimbabwe's two vice presidents, Kembo Mohadi, suffered a leg injury in the blast, which happened in Bulawayo.

Last November, Chiwenga led a military operation that saw the end of President Robert Mugabe's 37-year strongman rule and the rise of Mnangagwa, his protege.

Zimbabwe holds its first post-Mugabe election on July 30, with Mnangagwa, 75, and Nelson Chamisa, 40, the leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, the main contenders.

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Mnangagwa says he has visited the injured in hospital and condemned the violence as senseless and pleaded for unity.

"We urge the generality of people to give heed to His Excellency the President of Zimbabwe's continuous calls for peace".

ZBC described the blast as "an assassination attempt".

Mthwakazi Republic Party spokesperson Mbonisi Gumbo said Zanu PF must stop dragging Bulawayo residents into its violence.

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Mnangagwa reportedly survived an attempt on his life a year ago when he ate poisoned food at a rally at Phelandaba Stadium in Gwanda, a small town about 550km southwest of the capital. "I have scars on account of political violence in the past, so it's something we have budgeted for", he said in an interview held on the lawns of a hotel in Kadoma now hosting opposition and ruling party members alike.

Also among the VIP injured list was Chiwenga's wife, Mary, cabinet minister Oppah Muchinguri- Kashiri and Zanu PF national commissar Englebert Rugeje.

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. Mnangagwa, a longtime ally 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 worldwide sanctions.

"Any form of violence in politics is unacceptable".

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