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President Mohadi relives White City bombing

by Staff reporter
22 Sep 2018 at 08:17hrs | Views
ACTING President Kembo Mohadi yesterday, for the first time, poured his heart out about "painful permanent mental scars'' that he sustained during the dastardly White City Stadium bombing attack in Bulawayo on June 23.

The cowardly attack that was aimed at the Presidium left at least 49 people, among them Acting President Mohadi, Defence Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga's wife, Mrs Marry Chiwenga and Zanu-PF Political Commissar Lieutenant General Engelbert Rugeje (Retired), injured while two lost their lives.

Overcome with emotion, Acting President Mohadi recounted the pain of losing one of his trusted aides, Nelson Dube, in the blast. Dube, who was a chief security aide working in the office of VP Mohadi, was in the line of duty when the explosive went off.

The main target, President Mnangagwa escaped unhurt. Dube, he said, took the brunt of the explosion while shielding him.

"He was dedicated to me and his job. The pain of losing him will stay with me forever," he said, the apparent sting of the memory etching wrinkles on his brow.

Speaking on the sidelines of the launch of the Presidential Agricultural Inputs Programme at Lutumba village in Beitbridge District yesterday, VP Mohadi said the attack left him emotionally wounded.

He said the death of Dube, the sheer brutality and ruthlessness of someone carrying out such an attack where thousands of citizens could have been maimed or killed, had a devastating effect on him.

"It was actually a missile targeted at the Presidium and certainly uncalled for. However, sadly what doesn't leave my mind is that my aide Nelson Dube who was on my left took the whole blow from me and he died," he said.

Acting President Mohadi said if the despicable attack had been targeted specifically at him without injuring others, he would be unfazed.

"The White City incident is actually part of occupational hazards that we face at work. In fact, when you are at work you have got to be prepared to get hurt and even in the case of a builder, a brick may fall on his or her toe, so to me I equally treat it as it as one of those, an occupational hazard," he said.

Acting President Mohadi condemned the attack, saying it was a barbaric act driven by cowardice.

"Who did it? I don't know. But one must understand that we come across such things because we normally don't have friends all over. In fact, some people are friends and even among those, some of them would not even be my friends," he said, a hint of sadness creeping into his voice.

He said after the bomb attack he was rushed to Mater Dei Hospital in Bulawayo and later whisked to Manyame Military Hospital in Harare for security reasons before he was flown to South Africa.

"After the incident I was rushed to Mater Dei Hospital and from there I was taken to Manyame Military Hospital in Harare because of the security nature of the bombardment. However, because of certain complications that they discovered I had to go to South Africa for further management. I am now feeling better such that I can even kick you," he said, his mood lifting momentarily.

It was clear that joking is part of the methods the Acting President is employing in trying to deal with the tragedy. He said it was by the grace of God that he survived the attack, which will forever linger in his mind. International bodies such as the African Union, UN and Sadc roundly condemned the attack. Security forces and the police are working around the clock to bring the perpetrators of the attack to book.

Source - chronicle