Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa has told the BBC he believes that dissident factions from within Zanu-PF are behind the recent explosion at a rally that killed two people, Reuters has reported.
These factions are linked to Robert Mugabe’s controversial wife, Grace, according to the first Zimbabwean president since Robert Mugabe was forced to step down in November 2017.
The blast, which is believed to have been an attempt on Mnangagwa’s life, rocked a stadium in Bulawayo on Saturday as 75-year-old Mnangagwa left the podium, killing two people and injuring many more.
Mnangagwa replaced Robert Mugabe in a bloodless coup. He told the BBC he believed the attack had been carried out by the G40 group – the name given to a faction in the ruling Zanu-PF party, which wanted Grace Mugabe to succeed her husband.
The Zimbabwean president did not accuse Grace Mugabe herself of being involved in the plan, but said he expected arrests to be made soon.
“I don’t know whether it was one individual; I would think it is broader than one person. I would think this is a political action by some aggrieved persons,” Mnangagwa said.
During Mugabe’s final months in office, the G40 faction accused Mnangagwa, who was then vice-president, of plotting with the military to grab power.
Mugabe fired Mnangagwa as his deputy in November last year, but top army generals intervened days later, sent tanks into the streets, took over government buildings and eventually forced Mugabe to resign.
Mugabe later accused Mnangagwa of betrayal, and said his presidency was illegal.
The former president, along with the G40 faction, are thought to have been attempting to ensure that Grace Mugabe was made her husband’s presidential successor.