Stop playing with fire: Shiri

AGRICULTURE minister, former Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ) commander Air Chief Marshal Perrance Shiri (pictured) yesterday warned those behind the “terrorist” explosion that rocked the Zanu PF campaign rally at White City Stadium in Bulawayo on Saturday injuring 49 that they were “playing with fire”.

BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA/ RICHARD CHIDZA/ NQOBANI NDLOVU/ KUDZAI MUCHENJEKWA

Shiri’s warning came a day after President Emmerson Mnangagwa escaped death by a whisker following an explosion that left scores of people seriously injured including senior government officials — Vice-President Kembo Mohadi, Zanu PF chair Oppah Muchinguri and party commissar Engelbert Rugeje.

Addressing a campaign rally at Nhakiwa business centre in Uzumba district of Mashonaland East province, Shiri described the attack as an act of terrorism targeted at Mnangagwa and his top allies.

“Do not revenge, as the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) and the police are investigating the issue. We are not there to seek revenge. Those who are doing that think that maybe we are fools, but this is what we call playing with fire. We do not want to point fingers at each other over this. Be careful and when you see someone suspicious at a rally, just alert the police,” he said, describing the attack as an act of extremism.

His utterances came as Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo issued a statement describing the attack as barbaric.

“While these primitive, satanic and heinous acts of terror are being subjected to the highest measure of the law, Zanu PF remains unflinching and resolute towards achieving the goal of peace and above all else the goal of uplifting the people’s livelihoods. Notwithstanding the disturbances, the party will continue its campaign programmes as scheduled,” he said.

The crime scene was teeming with security details yesterday as they scoured for leads in a bid to piece together the causes of the incident that has little precedence in Zimbabwe.

But it was Shiri’s comments that could likely stoke tensions.

Shiri commanded the 5th Brigade that reportedly wreaked havoc in the western parts of the country in what is now known as Gukurahundi.

Up to 20 000 civilians were reportedly killed in an orgy of violence targeting then opposition leader Joshua Nkomo’s supporters under the guise of hunting down a handful of dissidents in the Midlands and Matabeleland provinces.

“The President is preaching about peace but yesterday (Saturday) someone was possessed by the (Biblical) spirit of Legion (and) wanted to destroy the leader of the party. We are preaching peace and others are

8 Comments

  1. josphat mugadzaweta

    stupid gukurahundist

  2. surely people should know what is supposed to be played with and what is not,its high time zimbabweans must see that ED is better than everyone in the presidential candidate if not why attacking him? food for thought.Elections should free and fair as he is always saying

  3. Rwirayi Innocent

    The terrorism attack is a clear indication that those people are playing with state secutity. Though the security is not going to reverge, it is a clear epitomy of provocative and aggressive.A clear insult that can lead to disturbances in the near future, otherwise the terrorists should be dealt with accordingly. Cde Shiri you are right in making Zimbabweans to be aware that fire burns so they must shun that before it is too late.

  4. Rwirayi innocent

    It is so disheartens that the bomb hurted and killed many. One can not stood akimbo watching.This attracts attentions all over and Shiri is ever right to warn the people that fire is horrific and detrimental. Going back to war is not the best thing but if it is possible it is easy to do so. Provocative and aggressive demand a hot hit back. To be warned is to be armed but you will be disarmed. Unity, peace peace and peace is possible.

  5. Comment…Okay so who is he warning? Does he know who was responsible for the explosion? And when he says that people must not revenge who are the perpetrators?When the Army helped ED come back one person was killed in the process.Why was there no outrage? it is common cause that Kasukuwere’s house was shot at and he would have certainly died had he been there.So it is okay for people to die to implement Operation Restore Legacy but not okay for violence to be perpetrated on the Junta?
    If you live by the sword you will die by the sword.

  6. MukorekoreTavara

    What is stupid about a minister warning rally bombers not to play with fire?

  7. This was stage managed to create an impression that Mnangagwa is peace loving. That inspite of bomb attack he preached peace yet he is the one engineered it. We are not fools. Now they want to consider providing security to presidential candidates when their evil motive is to penetrate Chamisa’s security

  8. why killing someone’s parent. that’s why poverty doesn’t end

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