President Emmerson Mnangagwa who survived what is now regarded as an assassination attempt said he had survived because it was not his time yet and those trying to kill him are likely to go before him.
Mnangagwa survived an explosion at White City Stadium in Bulawayo yesterday soon after addressing a mass rally but some of his top lieutenants were injured in the blast.
Police said the count of those injured so far stood at 49 but more victims were likely to come up.
Mnangagwa told South Africa’s Sunday Times: “It exploded a few inches away from me, but it is not my time. Those who are trying are likely to go before me. It’s my usual enemies…people outside Bulawayo. They tried poisoning me in August last year, sending cyanide to my office….a ll these things I have survived.”
Mnangagwa appealed for peace and said there would be no witch-hunting for the culprits. He will allow the investigation to take its course.
Police have offered a “substantial” reward for information on the explosion.
The President said, the elections would go ahead as scheduled.
His deputy Constantino Chiwenga who was slightly injured during the blast also confirmed today that the elections would go ahead as scheduled.
“Let me be very clear, nothing will stop the election in Zimbabwe, nothing at all,” he told a rally in Chitungwiza today.
Mnangagwa has promised free and fair elections to be held on 30 July but the opposition has been complaining about the availability of the voters’ roll saying the one they had been given by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission was fake.
The ZEC, however refuted these claims saying: “The Commission is saddened by such allegations which in its opinion are meant to cause alarm and despondency among the generality of the Zimbabwean populace.”
The names of candidates contesting next month’s elections will be published tomorrow and will show how many candidates defied their political leaders and stood as independents as well as cases where candidates from the same party registered for the same constituency.
International observers, last in Zimbabwe 16 years ago, are already in the country to observe the election process.
The ZEC says the winner of the presidential vote will be announced on 4 August, but if there is no clear winner, a run-off will be held on 8 September.
Former President Robert Mugabe’s nephew, Patrick Zhuwao, says Zimbabweans must avoid a run-off because the violence of 2008 would seem like a picnic.
“We will die like flies this time,” he said.
Yesterday’s blast seems to testify to this.