Mnangagwa tells the BBC he suspects Grace Mugabe faction behind Saturday’s blast

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa suspects “aggrieved” supporters of Grace Mugabe were behind a blast that killed two people at a rally last weekend, according to a BBC interview on Wednesday.

Mnangagwa narrowly escaped the explosion, which occurred as he left the podium after addressing a crowd in Bulawayo, the country’s second largest city.

The blast killed two people and injured at least 49 others, including one of Mnangagwa’s deputies.

No one has claimed responsibility and no suspects have been arrested.

“I think this is a political action by some aggrieved persons by the current democratic dispensation of the country,” Mnangagwa said in the BBC interview.


“Without evidence, the people who are aggrieved about the new dispensation are the G40,” Mnangagwa told the BBC, referring to a pro-Mugabe faction known as Generation 40.

“That is the logical and reasonable conclusion one may make … but until evidence is put forward and until you pin down this to why has this happened when you get the person, he then tells us his history, the purpose of what happened and why did the person do what he did.”

Mnangagwa replaced Robert Mugabe, who had ruled Zimbabwe since independence from British colonial rule in 1980, after a bloodless military takeover last November.

Mugabe has bemoaned his removal from power as a military coup.

A few days before the army’s intervention, Mnangagwa was removed as vice president — a move that paved the way for the ambitious First Lady who was seen, with Mnangagwa, as Mugabe’s possible successor.

Grace Mugabe had the backing of a clique of younger party leaders, known as G40, while Mnangagwa, a favourite of the military, was supported by a rival faction named Lacoste.

Asked whether he trusted Grace Mugabe, Mnangagwa said: “On what basis would I trust somebody who was used by a cabal to say things which had no basis at all?

“I feel sympathy for her because she was in my view politically immature, but was easily used as a tool by those who wanted to get me.”

Mnangagwa faces main opposition leader Nelson Chamisa and 21 other minor candidates in presidential elections on July 30 — the first since Mugabe was toppled.

© Agence France-Presse

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Agency
External source

Related stories

Malawi elections provide a global lesson in democracy

COMMENT: Opposition candidates and party can increase their chances of success at the polls by putting aside minor differences and presenting a united front

The Trump era is over. But the fight for democracy is just getting started

A respected and robust United States — with all of our flaws, mistakes and missteps — can be good for the defence of democracy, not least in Africa

Women who defy Mnangagwa are jailed, raped, tortured

Many of them end up in Chikurubi prison where the cells are cold, the blankets are filthy and the toilets are in the crowded cells

Civilians need to oversee South Africa’s defence force

ANC officials’ ‘taxi’ ride in an SANDF jet to Zimbabwe is further evidence that more transparency is needed in the military

Inside Zim’s illicit gold mine trade

Desperate people mine the mineral, but it is ‘untouchable big people’, including top state officials, who reap the real benefits

The brutal abduction caught on camera in Zimbabwe

Tawanda Muchehiwa is one of dozens of Zimbabweans who have been kidnapped and tortured by unidentified armed men
Advertising

Subscribers only

Covid-19 surges in the Eastern Cape

With people queuing for services, no water, lax enforcement of mask rules and plenty of partying, the virus is flourishing once again, and a quarter of the growth is in the Eastern Cape

Ace prepares ANC branches for battle

ANC secretary general Ace Magashule is ignoring party policy on corruption-charged officials and taking his battle to branch level, where his ‘slate capture’ strategy is expected to leave Ramaphosa on the ropes

More top stories

Why no vaccine at all is better than a botched...

As Covid vaccines near the manufacturing stage, a look at two polio vaccines provides valuable historical insights

Under cover of Covid, Uganda targets LGBTQ+ shelter

Pandemic rules were used to justify a violent raid on a homeless shelter in Uganda, but a group of victims is pursuing a criminal case against the perpetrators

JJ Rawlings left an indelible mark on Ghana’s history

The air force pilot and former president used extreme measures, including a coup, enforced ‘discipline’ through executions, ‘disappearances’ and floggings, but reintroduced democracy

Sudan’s government gambles over fuel-subsidy cuts — and people pay...

Economists question the manner in which the transitional government partially cut fuel subsidies
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…