Nduduzo Tshuma Bulawayo Bureau
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa yesterday said he was humbled by the outpouring of love and compassion from Zimbabweans following an attempt on his life at White City Stadium, here. Preliminary indications are that an as yet unidentified explosive device was lobbed towards President Mnangagwa in an attempt to kill him as he left the podium after addressing a Zanu-PF campaign rally. Forty-nine people were injured in the blast, including Vice President Kembo Mohadi, Cabinet minister and Zanu-PF national chairwoman Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, VP Constantino Chiwenga’s wife Mrs Marry Chiwenga, ruling party national political Commissar Lieutenant-General Engelbert Rugeje (Retired) and Zanu-PF Women’s League secretary Mabel Chinomona.
Posting on his Facebook page, the President urged all Zimbabweans to commit to peace and unity for the development of the country.
“I am touched and humbled by all the kind messages and comments I have received on Facebook following yesterday’s (Saturday) events. I am sorry I cannot reply to you all,” said the President.
“This Sunday (yesterday), let us all commit to maintaining the peace and unity that we need in order to develop our beloved country. As it is written in Psalm 29:11, “The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.”
Meanwhile, recalling his experience at White City in November last year at the ninth “Presidential Youth Interface Rally” by his former boss, Mr Robert Mugabe, President Mnangagwa said the events in Bulawayo culminated to events that led to the ushering of the new dispensation.
At the rally, party youths booed former First Lady Grace Mugabe, who was addressing the rally and attacking Cde Mnangagwa. After the rally, Mr Mugabe fired Cde Mnangagwa from the Government, igniting a chain of events that led to the coming in of the new administration. “I would like to relate the past history which began here on the fourth of November last year. I was seated where Mrs Chiwenga is sitting, but I don’t want her to experience my experience. You all remember what happened and I had no hand in you when you booed the former First Lady,” said President Mnangagwa.
“But I was accused that I was responsible. However, those events created subsequent events that brought about the new dispensation. After being insulted, I congratulated the former First Lady for insulting me then my former boss said tomorrow I will drop you and he did that.
“However, you are fully aware of the journey our history has unfolded for us leading to the 18th of November last year”
President Mnangagwa said when Zimbabweans took to the streets calling on Mr Mugabe to step down, the former President made desperate attempts to call him back home from South Africa where he had escaped to following threats to his life.
“I will like to mention one small little incident when I was in South Africa, I phoned the former President in the middle of citizens’ demonstrations which were happening in Harare. I could see that every political party participated, members of Christian organisations participated, all our citizens white and black participated in that demonstration and it touched my heart so I phoned the former President,” said President Mnangagwa.
“The former President said ‘Is this Emmerson and I said yes its Emmerson then he said where are you and I said I was in South Africa then he asked what I was doing there and I said old man you forget that you fired me a few days ago.
“He says no, no, no that’s not correct, just come back, come back now, we have problems here I need to solve these problems together with you. Then I said ‘Mr President I left the country because people surrounding you wanted to eliminate me and so I left. Then he says no no no come and stay with me in State House, no one will touch you’.”