By Farayi Machamire
Two of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s security aides who were injured last month when a bomb blast rocked an election campaign rally at White City Stadium in Bulawayo have been airlifted to South Africa for further treatment.
The Daily News can exclusively reveal that the two aide-de-camps, whose condition was said to be critical, were flown to the neighbouring country on Monday at the recommendation of specialist doctors who were attending to them locally.
George Charamba, the Press secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet, confirmed the development on Wednesday.
He said: “Two security officers were flown to South Africa on Monday. You can check with Cde Chikowore for more details”.
Regis Chikowore, the principal director in the ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services, could not be drawn into commenting on the issue when contacted by the Daily News yesterday.
The security aides were among a high-powered contingent of Zanu PF and government officials who were part of a 15 000-strong crowd that thronged the ruling party’s star rally held on June 23 at White City Stadium.
As the VVIPs were about to leave the podium after Mnangagwa had concluded his keynote address, a bomb exploded right in their tent, resulting in many people being injured.
Vice President Kembo Mohadi and Environment, Water and Climate minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri were among the VVIPs who sustained serious injuries in the blast and are still receiving treatment in South Africa.
Other VVIPs who were scathed in the White City Stadium blast include Marry Chiwenga, the wife of Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, together with Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly and Zanu PF women’s league boss Mabel Chinomona, who sustained “a lot of lacerations”.
Zanu PF national political commissar, retired lieutenant general Engelbert Rugeje had to also undergo a medical procedure.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police is still searching for answers to the blast, which narrowly missed Mnangagwa but killed two bodyguards.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the blast, reportedly caused by a hand grenade targeting Mnangagwa.
Mnangagwa told BBC recently that he has a hunch that a Zanu PF cabal purged in the soft military coup that dethroned former president Robert Mugabe could be behind the attack, although investigations are still underway.
On Monday, Mnangagwa told mourners at the funeral of Mohadi’s younger brother, Steven, in Greendale, Harare, that doctors were closely monitoring the vice president’s recovery.
He said he had to stop the former State Security minister from coming home to mourn his brother, a former Zimbabwe National Army officer, in a bid to allow him to recover.
“We had to stop him from coming. Since the late Steven is also our brother, we decided to assist him from this end while he recovers,” Mnangagwa said as he offered a State-assisted funeral to the deceased.
He said he learnt with sadness the death of Steven and felt the family’s pain.
“I know you are going through a difficult time where you lost a family member at a time when VP Mohadi is in hospital. Some members are looking after VP Mohadi in South Africa, while others are attending the funeral here. You have to be strong during these trying times. As comrades, we console each other. We assist each other in times of trouble. Therefore, we have offered to assist the family during the funeral and burial of Cde Mohadi,” he said.
While Mohadi is said to be in a stable condition, physicians were reportedly having problems managing his hard-to-control hypertension, colloquially called “blood pressure” or BP in Zimbabwe and to administer a treatment regimen that does not raise cardiovascular risks.
As for Muchinguri-Kashiri, a senior government official said the top Zanu PF official was expected back in the country at the end of this week after sustaining injuries to her chest. –DailyNews