Presidency says Byo attack won’t stop elections; rules out State of emergency

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By UK Bureau

ELECTIONS will go ahead as scheduled and government will not declare a state of emergency in the wake of Saturday’s suspected bomb blast in Bulawayo, the government has indicated.

An as yet unidentified device apparently exploded as President Emmerson Mnangagwa finished addressing a campaign rally at White City Stadium leaving 41 people injured.

Mnangagwa escaped unhurt but his two deputies, Kembo Mohadi and Constintino Chiwenga, were injured.

Mnangagwa believes the attack was an attempt on his life.

Zimbabwe is due to hold crunch elections on July 30.

Presidential spokesman George Charamba told state media that the vote would go ahead as scheduled.

“As for the elections being postponed, a State of Emergency being declared, or a ‘transitional authority’ being formed, rest assured that the electoral programme proceeds as scheduled,” Charamba told the Sunday Mail.

“Let there be no mistake about this; inasmuch as ZEC (the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission) will proceed, so will the (Mnangagwa) administration proceed with its work programme and economic revival agenda.

“Government continues to function. If anything, the administration is even more emboldened to deliver on its pledges to the people of Zimbabwe in the face of such acts.

“Remember that when the explosion occurred, it came as the President finished addressing thousands and thousands of people in Bulawayo; people who showed they are in sync with his message to revive industry, not just in Bulawayo, but across Zimbabwe.

“Should that stop? Should everything grind to a halt because of retrogressive elements? The economic agenda is going ahead, and the elections are going ahead.”

Charamba insisted that normal police investigations into the incident to take their course.

“The President has stated his position on the matter of the explosion. He will not be driven by vengefulness or a spirit of retribution. Until the investigators pronounce themselves and present the evidence for arrest and prosecution, no one should ascribe motive or blame.”