Zimbabwe: UN Condemns Byo Rally Bombing

Photo: The Herald
First aiders attend to the injured following an explosion that rocked White City Stadium where President Emmerson Mnangagwa was addressing thousands of Zanu-PF supporters on Saturday.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has condemned the bomb attack targeting President Mnangagwa on Saturday after he had addressed a rally at White City Stadium in Bulawayo. Two people from the 49 that were injured in the attack died at Mpilo Hospital yesterday.

In a statement released by his spokesperson on Sunday, Mr Guterres said he was "disturbed" by news of the attack.

"The Secretary-General condemns such acts of violence and calls for the perpetrators to be brought to justice. He wishes the injured a quick recovery," said the statement.

The Muslim community in Zimbabwe yesterday condemned Saturday's act of terror.

"The Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs in Zimbabwe, on behalf of all Muslims in the country, condemns in the strongest possible terms the assassination attempt on Zimbabwe's President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces on Saturday the 23rd of June, 2018, at a rally in Bulawayo.

"Zimbabwe has for the first time in 38 years embarked on a path towards peaceful, free and fair elections under the new dispensation led by President Mnangagwa. We join all peace-loving people here and abroad in condemning this act that left 49 people injured. Our prayers go to the injured whom we wish a speedy recovery," said Sheikh Ismail Duwa, the president of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs in Zimbabwe.

He added: "We stand guided by the words of His Excellency, President Mnangagwa, in the aftermath of the attack that, 'The strongest response to violence is peace. The strongest response to hate is love'. The enemies of peace who carried out this terror attack sought to see our beloved country deteriorate to chaos and possible violence, but as all can see, they have been proven wrong.

"The message of peace continues to be preached in the country. Those who committed this act clearly seek to destabilise our nation which is headed for peace and prosperity. The law must take its full course in pursuing those who wanted to bring confusion among our people."

The council applauded the mature stance taken by President Mnangagwa.

"We also applaud the mature stance taken by the President in declaring that this act will not in any way detail the pending elections. His message that all people in the country must remain united, and they should address their differences peacefully resonates with us Muslims. God bless Zimbabwe and its leader, Comrade Emmerson Mnangagwa," said Sheikh Duwa.

On Sunday, Zanu-PF also condemned the attempt on President Mnangagwa and the ruling party hierachy at White City Stadium.

In a statement to The Herald, Secretary for Information and Publicity and ZANU-PF party spokesperson Cde Simon Khaya Moyo said: "The Zanu-PF party is deeply perturbed and condemns in the strongest possible terms, the atrocious attack which occurred at the White City Stadium in Bulawayo on the 23rd of June 2018.

"The attack which appeared to have been targeted at His Excellency, the President, Cde E.D. Mnangagwa, and other senior party leadership resulted in scores of innocent revolutionaries sustaining serious injuries."

Cde Khaya Moyo said it was sad the attack occurred at a time when the country was enjoying peace.

"It is sad that this development occurs at a time when the country has achieved most peaceful moments in its history which have been ushered in by the new dispensation under the stewardship of His Excellency Cde E.D. Mnangagwa," he said.

Cde Khaya Moyo described the act as primitive.

"Whilst these primitive, satanic and heinous acts of terror are being subjected to the highest measure of the law, the revolutionary Zanu-PF party remains unflinching and resolute towards achieving the goal of peace and, above all else, the goal of uplifting the people's livelihoods.

"Notwithstanding the disturbances, the party will continue with its campaign programmes as scheduled," he said.

Cde Khaya Moyo also echoed the President's call for peace.

"The party further calls upon all its membership, and Zimbabweans in general, to confront evil with peace, remain calm and allow the law to take its delicate course.

"As we head towards the harmonised elections set for 30 July 2018, we should all be bound as a nation, by the President's clarion call towards achieving peaceful, free, fair and credible elections," he said.

"Our prayers go out to the injured and we wish them a speedy recovery. Glory be to God."

The party's youth wing also condemned the barbaric incident and urged all Zimbabweans to remain peaceful.

"Following an unfortunate suspected bomb explosion during a Zanu-PF rally in Bulawayo over the weekend, the Zanu-PF Youth League makes a clarion call to peace-loving youths of Zimbabwe and the generality of the citizenry to remain peaceful and calm in the wake of barbaric and satanic attacks that are meant to disturb the existing peaceful environment," said the wing wing's secretary, Cde Pupurai Togarepi.

"The Youth League calls upon all youths across the political divide to remain guided by His Excellency President Emmerson Mnangagwa's continuous call for peace before, during and after the 2018 elections.

"Relating to the impending elections scheduled for July 30, 2018 the people of Zimbabwe should be allowed to elect leaders of their choice without intimidation or harm. We urge all young people to shun and shame at the plebiscite all those who still believe in the politics of hate and violence. We are confident that our security forces who are investigating the matter will get to the bottom of this matter and culprits will face the full wrath of the law."

The MDC-T also castigated the act of violence yesterday.

"The MDC unreservedly condemns the dastardly act of violence that occurred at the Zanu-PF rally at White City Stadium in Bulawayo over the weekend. Such primitive and heinous actions have no place in the new Zimbabwe, which we envisage.

"The MDC respects the sanctity of life irrespective of one's political affiliation, creed or colour. The terrible events at White City Stadium should be thoroughly investigated and the perpetrators brought to book.

Our prayers go out to the injured and we hope no lives have been lost. Violence must have no place in our politics," said the MDC in a statement.

Among those injured are Vice-President Kembo Mohadi, Cabinet minister and Zanu-PF national chairperson Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, VP Constantino Chiwenga's wife Mrs Marry Chiwenga, and ruling party National Political Commissar Lieutenant-General Engelbert Rugeje (Retired).

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