Ex-army boss speaks on Bulawayo bombing

By Jeffrey Muvundusi

Former War Veterans minister and ex-army colonel Tshinga Dube said those behind the June 24 attack at White City Stadium in Bulawayo may have used a landmine to carry out their heinous act, instead of a grenade, as is being widely speculated.

Colonel (Retired) Tshinga Dube
Former War Veterans Minister Retired Colonel Tshinga Dube

Dube – a weapons expert once in charge of the Zimbabwe Defence Industries (ZDI) – was left nursing a slight knee injury following the shock bomb explosion which claimed two lives and injured several, including top government officials.

He told the Daily News on Sunday this week that from his experience in the military, the explosive could have been a landmine.

“…from my knowledge of weapons, as you know I have been working with weapons for a long time, I wouldn’t have thought it was a grenade,” Dube said.

“I could have thought it was a landmine by the way it shattered the limbs of people and left about 50 people injured. Normally, a grenade is a small weapon…it uses shrapnel to injure people,” he said.

“Unless shrapnel hits your head, that’s when you can die otherwise in most cases it just injures the body and various parts of the body,” Dube said, adding “we will wait until they give us a report on what happened”.

Dube used to be at the helm of the ZDI – a state-owned arms and procurement company.

ZDI used to manufacture mortar rounds, land mines, and light armoured fighting vehicles.

Many people recently interviewed by the Daily News on Sunday pointed to the fact that the  incident was an inside job, fuelled by unending factional wars within the ruling Zanu PF.

Just like his boss, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Dube pointed an accusing finger at the Generation 40 (G40) faction which fought hard to block Mnangagwa from ascending to power.

“Well, I cannot say who did it but when you are talking of Zanu PF you are probably talking of the G40s as well and they are still in Zanu PF. You know they are not happy and they are disgruntled. And the remarks here show that they are not sorry but they are happy about what happened,” Dube said.

“These are disgruntled people. I am sure they (police) will catch them…how can someone do such a thing…all our intelligence services failed to get hold of them,” he said.

Last Friday, police picked up two suspects – Douglas Musekiwa and John Zulu — whose ages were not given.

They were later released following an order from the High Court.

Meanwhile, the Makokoba Member of Parliament admits that the security system at White City on the fateful day was not up to scratch.

“There was indeed a security lapse, you don’t take easy security when there is a head of state. It has to be well protected and make sure that the environment and surrounding is much screened to make sure there is nothing,” Dube said.

Mnangagwa, who escaped unhurt, had just finished his address to thousands of party supporters who had packed White City Stadium – the venue of his penultimate humiliation last year by former president Robert Mugabe and his then influential wife, Grace –when the bomb detonated.

The explosive, suspected to be a hand grenade, went off moments after the 75-year-old Zanu PF strongman had just stepped off the stage, seriously injuring one of his deputies Kembo Mohadi and senior Cabinet minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, as well as a host of other people.

Both Mohadi and Muchinguri-Kashiri were later airlifted to South Africa for specialist treatment.

Two security aides died early last week from the injuries that they sustained from the attack, which Mnangagwa has since blamed on the vanquished G40 — which was involved in a war of attrition with him in the ruling party’s deadly succession and tribal wars.

“I don’t know whether it was one individual — I would think it is broader than one person. I would think this is a political action by some aggrieved persons,” Mnangagwa told the British Broadcasting Corporation last week.

Asked further whether he trusted Grace or not, he retorted: “On what basis would I trust someone who was used by a cabal to say things that had no basis?” Daily News