The Zimbabwe Peace Project condemns the explosion which rocked a Zanu PF rally at the White City Stadium in Bulawayo on 23 June 2018. Zanu PF has reported that the explosion was targeting the life of President Emmerson Mnangagwa who was just leaving the stage. Such acts of political violence have the danger of putting lives of innocent civilians at risk and causing unnecessary suffering to those affected. More than 45 people including Vice President Kembo Mohadi, party chairperson Oppah Muchinguri Kashiri and Mary Chiwenga wife of Vice President Constantino Chiwenga were injured in the blast. As of end of today, it was reported that two of the people who were seriously injured had succumbed to injuries sustained after the incident. ZPP is saddened by such callous loss of life and wishes all those injured a speedy recovery.
Violence of this nature which is insensitive to the electorate entrenches the culture of violence. The targeting of political gatherings close to a national election, which is less than 35 days away, has the effect of intimidating citizens and violating their right to freedom of assembly and could lead to apathy compromising the credibility of the election. The explosion has raised serious concerns about whether political rallies in the run up to the elections are safe and secure for the electorate to interact with their leaders.
The ZPP urges the police to investigate the incident fully and quickly to ensure the continued participation of the electorate in activities related to the forthcoming elections. The ZPP appeals for peace in the aftermath of the unfortunate incident and hopes that peace and security will prevail in the run up to the elections to ensure the delivery of free, fair, peaceful and credible elections.
Source: Zimbabwe Peace Project