POLICE Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga yesterday said investigations had proved that the explosion that rocked a Zanu PF campaign rally in Bulawayo nearly two weeks ago was targeted at President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his deputies Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi, among other dignitaries.
By NQOBANI NDLOVU
Addressing top police officers yesterday at Ross Camp in Bulawayo, Matanga said the incident had dampened the spirits of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) but warned the State security organ was closing in on the suspects.
“Sadly our spirits have been dampened by the nefarious and horrendous act that took place barely a fortnight ago which from the look of things, apparently is an attempted assassination of His Excellency the President Emmerson Mnangagwa and other dignitaries.
“As the ZRP, we will never rest until those behind this heinous act have been accounted for and have had their day in court,” Matanga said.
“To this end, I would like to applaud the level of co-operation and support that the joint investigation team has so far received, culminating in the two suspects being accounted for.
“We really appreciate these collaborative efforts and continue to appeal for more information which can enable us to bring to book whoever had a hand in this nefarious act beyond the two suspects we have now.”
Douglas Musekiwa and John Zulu from Bulawayo have been arrested in connection with the attack. They face terrorism and banditry charges over the explosion that claimed the lives of two security aides but there are reports they have since been released without charge, a claim that could not be independently verified yesterday.
Mnangagwa escaped unhurt following the explosion which occured on June 23.
Mohadi and Environment minister Oppah Muchinguri were last week airlifted to South Africa after sustaining injuries during the explosion. Former War Veterans minister Tshinga Dube blamed the attack on Mnangagwa’s lax security.
Police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi yesterday declined to comment on the whereabouts of Musekiwa and Zulu, referring questions to Matanga.
“He is the one who addressed the Press conference in Bulawayo. He is in a better position to give you the information.
I am not in Harare at the moment,” Nyathi said.
Dube, who is former Zimbabwe Defence Industries (ZDI) boss, said his knowledge of weapons show that the explosion was caused by a landmine, not a grenade, being lobbed on Mnangagwa.
“So all I have been saying is that from my knowledge of weapons, as you know I have been working with weapons for a long time, I would not have thought it was a grenade. I would have thought it was a landmine by the way it shattered the limbs of people,” he told the NewsDay over the weekend.
“Normally, a grenade is a small weapon, it uses shrapnel to injure people and unless shrapnel hits your head, you cannot die. In most cases it just injures the body… He (Mnangagwa) must be well protected to make sure that the surroundings are cleaned, to make sure there is nothing that will harm the President, and I certainly think on the day, the security was lax.”