By Thandeka Moyo/ Nqobile Tshili/ Pamela Shumba
Two victims of the bomb attack at a Zanu-PF rally in Bulawayo on Saturday have died. The attack saw President Emmerson Mnangagwa escaping unharmed but 49 people who include Vice President Kembo Mohadi, Zanu-PF chairperson Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga’s wife Mrs Marry Chiwenga, the ruling party’s national political commissar, Lieutenant-General Engelbert Rugeje (Retired) and Zanu-PF Women’s League secretary Mabel Chinomona, being injured.
Mpilo Central Hospital clinical director Dr Solwayo Ngwenya said two people, both men, who sustained life threatening injuries in the attack had died.
‘’It is with sadness that despite our efforts to save lives, we have lost two of our patients whom we admitted after the Saturday incident. The first one died at night on Sunday and had suffered serious abdominal and leg injuries,” said Dr Ngwenya.
“The second man died today (yesterday) in the afternoon after surgery. I am not at liberty to give you their names as we are yet to communicate with the affected families.”
He said three patients were in the intensive care unit while three others had been transferred to Harare after their relatives made the request.
Dr Ngwenya said 29 people were brought to the hospital including a 14-year-old. Thirteen were treated and discharged on the same day, leaving 16 admitted.
“We are now left with nine patients of which three of them are critical in the intensive care unit. Some of them are currently undergoing surgery and blood transfusion and we hope they will survive,” said Dr Ngwenya.
Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa said relevant authorities were working on notifying the relatives of the deceased persons.
United Bulawayo Hospitals chief executive officer Mrs Nonhlanhla Ndlovu said they only have two patients who are in a stable condition. Others were taken to Mater Dei Hospital.
National police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba yesterday confirmed the death of the two people.
“The ZRP wishes to inform the nation that investigations into the White City Stadium bombing incident still continue.
“However it’s with great sadness and grief that two people succumbed to injuries sustained during the bombing. May their souls rest in eternal peace. The ZRP also extends sincere condolences to bereaved families,” said Snr Asst Comm Charamba.
She appealed for more information from the public that will aid in their investigations.
“On the same note we want to thank those patriotic Zimbabweans who have so far provided valuable information,” said Snr Asst Comm Charamba.
The attack at the Zanu-PF rally has been condemned by the United Nations, the African Union, SADC and several countries that include the United Kingdom, the United States and South Africa.
In a statement, UN secretary general Antonio Guterres said he was disturbed by reports of the attack and urged relevant authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice.
“I was disturbed when I received the reports about the attack. Such acts of violence are unacceptable and I call for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.
I wish the injured a quick recovery.
“The country’s two Vice Presidents were among the 49 people reportedly hurt by the blast, as well as some Zanu-PF senior officials, members of a television crew from the state broadcasting network and security personnel,” said the UN secretary general.
South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa said violence and criminality had no place in democratic processes in the region while the chairperson of the AU Commission, Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat said he strongly condemns the cowardly bomb attack.
President Ramaphosa said Zimbabwe was ready for elections and Sadc will provide all necessary support.
President Mnangagwa has since challenged the nation to remain united saying those with intentions to kill the “people’s dream” of a prosperous Zimbabwe will not succeed.
In an audio message posted on his Facebook page, President Mnangagwa said a united Zimbabwe will prevail against any destructive forces.
“My fellow Zimbabweans, in November we all came together motivated by a dream. A free, democratic and prosperous Zimbabwe. A peaceful Zimbabwe.
Though it has not been easy over the past seven months, we have marched together step by step, towards this dream,” he said.
“While the majority of the nation is united behind this dream, there are those who feel threatened by the steps we are taking, they do not want an open and progressive Zimbabwe we are striving for. Now some people are trying to kill our dream, while we have all chosen the path of peace.”
He said the enemies of the people who resort to using violence will not succeed.
“Others unfortunately still cling to the tools of violence. However, I can assure you, they will not succeed. We will not turn back. The forces of progress cannot be stopped. Now, we as a people must unite, with one destiny and one dream. Together we will prevail,” he said.
Police have said investigations are in progress and have since offered a “substantial reward” for information that may lead to the arrest of the suspects. The Chronicle