An explosion has been heard at a stadium in the city of Bulawayo where Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa was addressing an election campaign rally, according to state media.
The Zimbabwe Herald reported on Saturday that the president is not hurt and has been evacuated from White City Stadium, where he had been speaking to supporters ahead of next month’s vote.
“President Mnangagwa has not been injured and is at Bulawayo State House,” presidential spokesman George Charamba was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
“Investigations are underway and more details will be given to the public.”
Witnesses told The Associated Press news agency that the blast occurred as Mnangagwa had just finished addressing the crowd and was leaving the podium.
President Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe narrowly escapes assassination attempt pic.twitter.com/vYdjs6bLEh
— Nasir (@nasirkenya) June 23, 2018
The explosion was close to the VIP tent, they said. Several people appeared to be injured, and footage showed medical staff rushing to the scene.
State TV immediately cut its broadcast.
The incident came hours after a blast struck a large rally by supporters of Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in the capital, Addis Ababa, killing at least one person and wounding dozens of others.
Mnangagwa took power in November 2017 after longtime leader Robert Mugabe stepped down following a military intervention.
The July 30 vote is the first without Mugabe since independence in 1980.
More to follow…