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All 23 presidential candidates contesting June's election in Zimbabwe will receive state protection, following an explosion that killed one person and injured at least 50 on Saturday, at White City stadium in Bulawayo.

Any delays in bringing this matter to finality, as has been the case with other related attacks on the private media and opposition politicians, would cast aspersions on the State's commitment to breaking the cycle of violence.

Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, who was among those injured in the attack, said the elections - the first parliamentary and presidential polls of the post-Mugabe era - would go ahead as scheduled on July 30.

"We are still to get information on what exactly happened as we understand that some people could have been injured as this happened in the VIP tent".

The elections will be the first since the ousting of Mugabe who had led the state for 37 years.

Emmerson Mnangagwa, who previous year succeeded Robert Mugabe, branded the attack a "cowardly act".

Chiwenga also ruled out the possibility of the election being postponed.

"I am deeply shocked to hear about the explosion at President Mnangagwa's rally in Bulawayo and grateful he survived", he tweeted.

Mnangagwa escaped unhurt from the blast on Saturday in the city of Bulawayo, an opposition stronghold, and police have said they were searching for a motive. Mugabe has said he felt betrayed by Mnangagwa, a former protege, and has called his presidency illegal.

Mnangagwa stated the campaigns had been going on in a free and peaceful environment, saying he would not be intimidated by such actions from his foes.

A security officer had to have a leg amputated, presidential spokesman George Charamba said. The strongest response to hate is love.

Zimbabwe is getting ready for elections next month.

Video clips appeared to show an object, possibly a grenade, hurtling through the air above the crowd near Mr. Mnangagwa's entourage. He adds that he too has many questions about the event, but has morals to always put people's lives first.

Mnangagwa said the explosion occurred just "inches" from him. "There's now a need for the Office of the President to reconsider who surrounds him", he said.


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