Local civil society groups have strongly condemned the bomb explosion at the Zanu PF Bulawayo rally that left 49 people injured saying the incidents dents country efforts to restore political legitimacy and set the country on an economic recovery path.
In a statement released today, the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) said the bomb explosion is regrettable and barbaric calling on state agencies to ensure the safety of all political parties and candidates during the campaign period leading to the July 30 polls.
“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,” noted ZESN.
The elections lobby group further called on political contestants to refrain from inflammatory statements that could lead to violence adding that perpetrators of the Bulawayo bombing incidents must be punished.
“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,” added ZESN.
The Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) said the bomb explosion was regrettable as it comes at a time when the nation is preparing to hold elections are important in restoring the country’s political legitimacy.
“The explosive blast came at a time when the country is preparing for the 2018 harmonised elections scheduled for 30 July, whose credibility is important to restore the country on a path to political legitimacy,” noted ZimRights.
The human rights campaign group called on every citizen to ensure that sustainable peace and tranquility prevail during the electoral campaign season and after the 2018 harmonised elections as this is crucial for the country’s turnaround.
“For Zimbabwe not to sink into any deeper conflict – which would be detrimental to the country’s development prospects – everyone must exercise restraint and tolerance.
“ZimRights urges the international community and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to keenly and closely monitor the developments in the country to ensure it does not slide into any deeper conflict,” added ZimRights.
The White City explosion left 49 people injured including top Zanu PF officials, Oppah Muchinguri, Engelbert Rugeje and Kembo Mohadi among others.
Unconfirmed reports indicate that one of the 49 people injured during the explosion has died.