49 injured in Zimbabwe rally blast

Explosion rocks stadium where Zimbabwe's president was speaking

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

Mnangagwa, a former Mugabe loyalist installed after the army ousted his erstwhile patron, said the object had "exploded a few inches away from me, but it is not my time".

State media have called Saturday's blast in Bulawayo, an opposition stronghold, an assassination attempt. He was unscathed and later pointed out he'd had numerous attempts on his life in the past.

While Bulawayo has always been a bastion of opposition to the ZANU-PF and it was Mnangagwa's first rally in the city, commentators suggest the attack could have been instigated by internal ructions within the ruling party.

The explosion took place during a campaign rally of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front party at a stadium. "I assure you they will not succeed", he said.

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"All vice chancellors of our universities and captains of industry have come together to say those captains of industry what type of skills do they want for the economy to go forward, what universities should do in terms of their curriculum to produce products who can fit in modern Zimbabwe the Zimbabwe we want, Zimbabwe of tomorrow". Allegations of violence and fraud marked past votes.

He has pledged to hold free and fair elections as he seeks to mend worldwide relations and have sanctions against Zimbabwe dropped.

"But there is still a real worry among Zimbabweans about possible violent incidents and escalation".

"The end game in ZANU-PF succession politics will be long and it's ramifications dire". Dramatic footage showed him walking off the stage and into a crowded tent where the blast occurred seconds later, sending up smoke as people screamed and ran for cover.

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Charamba also said crime scene experts were now investigating the matter.

"This is going to make everyone a little bit tense. this is the first time we have seen such a blatant attack", she said blaming divisions inside the ruling ZANU-PF for the attack.

For ordinary voters like Harare-based Crispen Pfundirwa, their main concern was now security.

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