Suspects in Bulwayo stadium grenade attack freed

The injured lie on the ground after a suspected bomb blast at the end of a Zanu-PF rally at White city stadium yesterday...

Two suspects who appeared before a Bulawayo magistrate court on Saturday facing terrorism charges have been released as the State has failed to prove its case.

Douglas Musekiwa and John Zulu‚ of no fixed abode‚ were alleged to be the masterminds behind “insurgency‚ banditry‚ sabotage or terrorism” that claimed two lives and injured 50.

Among those injured in the attack at a Zanu-PF rally at a stadium in Bulawayo on June 24 were one of Zimbabwe’s vice presidents‚ Kembo Mohadi‚ and minister of Environment‚ Water and Climate Oppah Muchunguri. The two are seeking treatment in South Africa. The attack is reported to have been directed at President Emmerson Mnangagwa who left the podium a few seconds before the explosion.

Musekiwa and Zulu appeared before Bulawayo resident magistrate Gladmore Mushowe late on Saturday as the 48-hour detention period ran out. The magistrate gave the State another 24 hours which expired today so they were released.

In an attempt to build a case around the two suspects‚ the police sought and got permission to go through their mobile phone records. The grenade attack‚ the single biggest threat to elections due on July 31 drew condemnation across the world.

Mnangagwa told journalists that he knew the people behind the attack‚ pointing in the direction of politicians sympathetic to his predecessor‚ Robert Mugabe.

However‚ the Mugabe-backed National Patriotic Front (NPF) hit back at Mnangagwa over the allegations.

“He is the one who is in control of the investigative State apparatus and up until he gets empirical evidence on what happened in Bulawayo‚ he should keep quiet‚” said Jealousy Mawarire‚ the party’s spokesman.