Zimbabwe president escapes rally blast

BREAKING: Reports of attempt on Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s life

Zimbabwe's main opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa, said: 'Our prayers go out to the injured and we hope no lives have been lost.

Weeks of political chaos led former President Robert Mugabe to resign after 37 years in office.

Mnangagwa is in the city to campaign for votes ahead of nationwide elections due on July 30. "Investigations are underway, and the nation will be kept abreast of relevant developments", presidential spokesman George Charamba told the Sunday Mail.

"Vice President Kembo Mohadi is nursing some leg injuries but he is in good spirit", Charamba added in another statement to The Herald.

So far the number of people injured is 49 and they are now receiving treatment at Mater Dei Hospital, Mpilo Hospital and United Bulawayo Hospital (UBH).

Chiwenga's wife was among those injured and police said the toll could rise as more people came forward.

"There have been multiple attempts on the President's life over the past five years", he said.

"I am used to these attempts", Mnangagwa said in his first comments on the explosion in the country's second city of Bulawayo.

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At least 49 people, including both of Zimbabwe's vice presidents, were injured in the explosion that Mnangagwa said occurred just "inches" from him.

Mnangagwa says he has visited the injured in hospital.

"Let me make it very clear that nothing will stop the elections in Zimbabwe, nothing at all", Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, who was lightly bruised in Saturday's blast, told a rally outside the capital, Harare. The strongest response to hate is love.

He said the violence was senseless and appealed for unity.

Mnangagwa blames his usual enemies for the explosion, which has been described as a possible "assassination attempt" by state media but he has vowed under his leadership, the ruling Zanu-PF is assured of victory in the scheduled July poll.

In neighbouring South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa condemned the "barbaric and cowardly" attack.

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

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