April 15, 2024

Zimbabwe: Bomb threat sparks panic as President Mnangagwa abruptly cancels trip to Victoria Falls

Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls Airport was temporarily closed on Friday following a bomb scare, leading to the cancellation of President Edson Mnangagwa‘s planned address at a renewable energy conference.

Presidential spokesman George Charamba stated that investigations will commence soon, prompting the president to suspend his trip for the time being.

Authorities couldn’t confirm a report in local media that the president’s plane made a U-turn while travelling to the conference.

Security systems are “now on heightened alert,” Charamba said while calling on Zimbabweans to be calm while investigations proceed.

“While our country is peaceful, and all our ports of entry are well secured, such alerts on possible terrorist attacks are taken very seriously,” he said.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe said that the incident had forced some flights to divert or delay landing, and more disruptions were likely “to allow for the continuous monitoring of the environment.”

While such incidents are unusual in southern African countries, a 2018 explosion in Zimbabwe’s second-largest city, Bulawayo, killed two people and wounded about 50 others during a campaign rally before the presidential election that year.

Mnangagwa, who said the blast occurred just “inches” from him, was unharmed. But two vice presidents and other top officials were among the wounded, and two security aides later died from their injuries. Two men who were arrested after the explosion were later freed for a lack of evidence.

AP

 

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