Zimbabwe To Hold July Elections Despite Rally Attack

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The health minister said some of those wounded had lost limbs and some would require "serious surgery", suggesting the number of injured could rise as the government was still consolidating numbers from the various hospitals. Chiwenga was lightly bruised in the blast.

ZANU-PF chairwoman and cabinet minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri and Mary Chiwenga, the wife of vice president Chiwenga, were also among those injured, he said, as was deputy parliament speaker Mabel Chinomona. For a person who has survived several alleged attempts on his life over the past few years and who is presumed to be the target of the Saturday attack, Mnangagwa could have easily thrown caution to the wind and declared war against his rivals, causing unnecessary bloodbath.

"The campaign so far has been conducted in a free and peaceful environment, and we will not allow this cowardly act to get in our way as we move towards elections".

The president "will not be driven by vengefulness or a spirit of retribution", his spokesman, George Charamba, told the state-run Sunday Mail newspaper.

The vote is being held after Robert Mugabe was forced to resign as president following a de facto coup in November.

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But over the years, as tensions rose over who would succeed the 94-year-old, the system broke into factions. Allegations of violence and fraud marked past votes.

This time around, Mnangagwa has pledged to hold free and fair elections as he seeks to mend global relations and have sanctions against Zimbabwe dropped.

"All vice chancellors of our universities and captains of industry have come together to say those captains of industry what type of skills do they want for the economy to go forward, what universities should do in terms of their curriculum to produce products who can fit in modern Zimbabwe the Zimbabwe we want, Zimbabwe of tomorrow".

"This is going to make everyone a little bit tense. this is the first time we have seen such a blatant attack", she said blaming divisions inside the ruling ZANU-PF for the attack. The country's main opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa of the Movement for Democratic Change, also condemned the attack, saying that any political violence was "totally unacceptable", according to media reports. "Violence must have no place in our politics".