WINDHOEK – President Hage Geingob, who is also the deputy chairperson of SADC, said the regional bloc would not entertain violent acts such as last weekend’s alleged assassination attempt on Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Geingob will take over as SADC chairman in August, but harmonised elections in Zimbabwe – slated for July 30 – would have taken place by the time the Namibian head of state takes over.
The failed attempt on the life of Mnangagwa occurred on Saturday during a ZANU-PF rally in Bulawayo, the second largest city of that country.
President Mnangagwa was quoted saying an object “exploded a few inches away from me – but it is not my time.”
Video footage from White City Stadium showed a device exploding close to Mnangagwa as he left the VIP area, after he had addressed supporters. Zimbabwe police said on Sunday, 49 people were injured in the explosion at Mnangagwa’s political rally on Saturday, with the number expected to rise. President Geingob called for calm, saying political violence would not be tolerated in the SADC region and that the perpetrators should be brought to justice.
“The only legitimate path towards forming a government in the African Union is by winning peaceful, free and fair elections, and such a process should be respected in Zimbabwe where elections are due on July 30 this year,” Geingob reacted.
Further, Geingob also condemned the deadly attack where an unconfirmed number of people lost their lives at a public rally addressed by Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed on Saturday in Addis Ababa.
An explosion has struck a large rally by supporters of Ethiopia’s new, reformist Ahmed in Addis Ababa, killing at least two people and wounding scores, including 10 who are said to be in critical condition.
Ahmed had just wrapped up his speech at the capital’s Meskel Square before tens of thousands of people on Saturday when the explosion went off, sending droves of supporters towards the stage as the prime minister left hurriedly.
In an address broadcast afterwards on state television, Ahmed said the blast was orchestrated by groups who wanted to undermine the rally but did not name them.
“The people who did this are anti-peace forces. You need to stop doing this. You weren’t successful in the past and you won’t be successful in the future.”
He said several people had been killed, but Ethiopia’s Health Minister Amir Aman later adjusted that statement, saying one person had passed away at Addis Ababa’s Black Lion Hospital.
At least 153 people were wounded, 10 critically, the health minister added.
Six suspects are under investigation for involvement in the attack, according to Ethiopian police.
Geingob said the rule of law should prevail in Ethiopia.
He expressed sincere condolences to those who lost loved ones in Addis Ababa and wished the injured in both attacks of Ethiopia and Zimbabwe a speedy recovery. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has also condemned the bomb blast at a stadium in Bulawayo during a ZANU-PF rally on Saturday.
Vice President Constantino Chiwenga was also reported to be safe. It was reported that several people had been injured but the extent of the injuries had not yet been established.
Zimbabwe is getting ready for elections next month.
Speaking also as the Chair of the Southern African Development Community (SADC)‚ Africanews reported that Ramaphosa said acts of violence and criminalities had no place in the democratic process of any sovereign state within the SADC region.
Moreover, Africanews reported that Ramaphosa said it was vital that the political and security situation in Zimbabwe remained stable in the run-up to the general elections.
President Ramaphosa reportedly said that the SADC would evaluate the incident and take appropriate steps.