Picture: @pmnangagwa/Twitter

Bulawayo - Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has survived a bomb explosion as he was leaving the stage at a rally in Bulawayo on Saturday.

As the governing Zanu-PF top hierarchy were leaving, there was an explosion at the corner of the stage, with unconfirmed reports suggesting that two of Mnangagwa’s close security members died in the blast.

Presidential spokesman George Charamba said Mnangagwa and his deputies Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi were not injured.

“President Mnangagwa has not been injured and is at Bulawayo State House,” he said, adding investigations were under way and more details would be made available later. “There have been multiple attempts on the president’s life over the past five years,” he said.

A video circulating on social media shows Mnangagwa, Chiwenga, Mohadi, Charamba and a few other VIPs had just got off the stage when the explosion happened. Pictures show several people lying on the ground, apparently injured, with others being carried on stretchers or being attended to.

The area around the stage was immediately cordoned off with explosives experts collecting evidence. 

Mnangagwa reportedly survived an attempt on his life last year when he ate poisoned food at a rally at Phelandaba Stadium in Gwanda, a small town about 550km southwest of the capital.

African News Agency/ANA