The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) strongly condemns the explosion on Saturday 23 June 2018, at the White City Stadium in Bulawayo during a rally that was being addressed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, the ZANU PF candidate for the harmonised elections set for 30 July this year.
According to reports, 49 people were injured during the explosion among them Vice President Kembo Mohadi, Minister of Environment, Climate and Water Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri among other ZANU PF officials.
This incident which comes at a time when the country was enjoying relative peace ahead of the elections is regrettable and barbaric. The Network calls upon the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and other state agencies to ensure the safety of all political parties and candidates during this campaign period.
As investigations into what transpired at the White City are underway, ZESN calls for political contestants to refrain from inflammatory statements that could lead to violence and carry out their campaigns and rallies in a peaceful manner. The perpetrators of this hideous act must be punished. It is imperative to ensure that the 2018 elections are held in an environment that guarantees the enjoyment of fundamental political rights and freedoms.
The Network restates its calls for the creation of a conducive political environment devoid of violence, coercion and intimidation guaranteeing the full enjoyment of fundamental human rights.
With 35 days to go before the election, ZESN calls for calm and peace amongst the citizens and political contestants. ZESN reiterates its calls for the protection and guarantee of safety of candidates and supporters hence the need to institute strong mechanisms to deter and mitigate against incidents of electoral related violence.
Source: Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN)