One person dies after blast at Zimbabwe president's rally; state radio

Explosion rocks stadium where Zimbabwe's president was speaking

Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa uninjured in 'assassination attempt' explosion

A blast that rocked a rally in which Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa narrowly escaped unscathed injured at least 41 people, including his two deputies, the health minister told a state Sunday paper.

Mnangagwa suggested he was the target of the attack, which he said also injured Vice-Presidents Kembo Mohadi and Constantino Chiwenga. 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.

"This incident doesn't stand in the way of (the) electoral program", he said.

"The safety and security of our players and support staff is paramount and, as always, we will take advice from the relevant Australian authorities", a Cricket Australia spokesperson said.

The President further warned against the use premeditated violence as a tool for political canvasing.

A "complex investigation" is underway, he said. President Emmerson Mnangagwa, although he has been dismissed by his critics for not having a democratic bone in his body, deserves kudos for exhibiting a high level of statesmanship by calling for peace and love in the midst of adversity. Chiwenga was lightly bruised in the blast.

Chiwenga's wife was also hospitalized, but she has been treated and released, Charamba said.

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

Nelson Chamisa, an opposition leader in Zimbabwe, denounced the stadium explosion. "In the past 38 years political violence has been a permanent feature and an anticipated ritual ... which we must expunge", Chamisa said. Any delays in bringing this matter to finality, as has been the case with other related attacks on the private media and opposition politicians, would cast aspersions on the State's commitment to breaking the cycle of violence. "May God bless and protect the country we all love".

Zimbabweans will go the polls June 30 in their first election since long-serving President Robert Mugabe was forced from office in a military coup.

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