Patrick Chitumba Midlands Bureau Chief
ACTING President Dr Constantino Chiwenga yesterday urged Zimbabweans to remain vigilant in the face of the terror attack at White City Stadium in Bulawayo on Saturday, and reiterated that the country was not going back on the July 30 harmonised elections.
A total of 49 people were injured when an explosive that was targeted at President Mnangagwa went off at the stadium.
Two of the injured, who are security officers, later died in hospital after sustaining serious injuries.
Addressing hundreds of people gathered at Chireya High School under Chief Chireya in Gokwe North for a Zanu-PF campaign rally, Acting President Chiwenga said progressive Zimbabweans should be alert so that such terrorist attacks don’t happen again.
A minute of silence was observed at the rally in honour of the officers killed in the attack.
“The enemies of the country wanted to do the unthinkable and end the leadership of the party, the leadership of the Government with a bomb that was thrown as President Mnangagwa was leaving the stage at White City Stadium in Bulawayo,” said Acting President Chiwenga.
“Forty-nine people were injured and two security officers lost their lives. The officers who lost their lives are (Nelson) Dube and (Stanley) Mugunzva. This terrorism won’t stop elections. Elections will go ahead as planned. Even if some people don’t want elections they must not resort to terrorist acts.”
Acting President Chiwenga said such attacks were not characteristic of Zimbabweans, adding that the law enforcement agents were working on the matter.
He assured the nation that perpetrators of the banditry act would be brought to book.
“Such acts are unZimbabwean, they are unAfrican and the police and other security agents are working on the matter and perpetrators will be caught,” said Acting President Chiwenga. “The law will take its course.
“It is painful, but as Zimbabweans we must now be vigilant so that such acts won’t happen again.”
Acting President Chiwenga said apart from the unfortunate White City Stadium banditry act, campaigns were generally being conducted in a peaceful manner.
“We want to hold peaceful and transparent elections and now we have violence-free campaigns which is commendable,” he said. “We don’t want violence. Anyone should be free to (vote for) a candidate of his or her choice.
“We want free, fair and credible elections. We have invited the EU, AU, SADC and other individual countries are here to observe the elections which we want to be held in a peaceful and transparent manner.”
Acting President Chiwenga said President Mnangagwa was the right candidate for the ruling party to take Zimbabwe to prosperity.
He said the ruling party’s aspiring MPs and councillors were tried and tested and should be able to bring forth development in their respective areas and country at large.
“Last year we celebrated a new dispensation under President Mnangagwa,” said Acting President Chiwenga. “That political development saw us standing on one leg with the other hanging in the air. Now, July 30 elections should see us standing on both legs and we should go in numbers and vote for President Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF.”
Acting President Chiwenga said President Mnangagwa had so far brought investment worth over $16 billion, adding that more socio-economic development opportunities were in the pipeline.
He said the ground breaking ceremony on Wednesday of the $1,5 billion Hwange Thermal Power Station expansion project for Unit 7 and 8 signalled a brighter future for the country, as power will be available for the mining and manufacturing industries.
“However, we must end corruption which is an evil that is derailing progress,” said Acting President Chiwenga. “The one who gives or receives a kickback for whatever favour is guilty of corruption and must be brought to book.
“For you cotton farmers, we want to bring cotton auction floors to your provinces so that you get higher rewards from your efforts. At the same time, Command Cotton will see us supporting you with inputs and chemicals.
“We are investing in a new cotton seed that will give you high returns even if you plant it on a smaller piece of land.”