Sadc says to take appropriate steps as US, UK condemn Byo blast

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By Sechaba Lunkunku

AS Zimbabweans continued to ponder over the Saturday bomb blast which left a number of Zanu PF officials hospitalised the US, Britian and SADC led the condemnation of the act saying it should not derail Zimbabwe’s march towards meaningful change.

Over 40 people were injured after a blast which occurred at the White City stadium as President Emmerson Mnangagwa was leaving the podium.

Mnangagwa has claimed that he was the target adding that the people responsible were not from Bulawayo while the police have offered a reward for anybody who comes up with information leading to the arrest of the culprits.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who also chairs the Southern African Development Community (SADC), condemned the bomb blast, saying that the bloc will evaluate the incident and “take appropriate steps”. 

According to a statement issued by the SA Department of International relations and Co-operation, Ramaphosa said acts of violence and criminality had no place in the democratic process of any sovereign state within the SADC region.

He said that it was vital that the political and security situation in Zimbabwe remained stable in the run-up to the general elections to be held on 30 July 2018.

Ramaphosa said that SADC will evaluate the incident and take appropriate steps.

The United States also said it was condemning the attack with the Embassy saying on Twitter that “political violence in any form is unacceptable” and contrary to the progress needed to move the country forward and “take its place on the global stage”.

The British Embassy also tweeted a similar statement.

Dewa Mavhinga, Southern Africa Director of Human Rights Watch described the incident as “awful and appalling”.

 “The authorities must swiftly and thoroughly investigate the incident and hold accountable those responsible.

“The incident could trigger violence ahead of elections, but President Mnangagwa has done well to call for peace and calm,” he was quoted as saying by Al Jazeera.