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Bomb explodes in Gweru

Clive Makumbe

There was chaos and mayhem in Gweru’s central business district on Thursday after a bomb explosion took place at Gweru Rural police station that shattered window panes, vehicles, church ceilings, but no one was injured.
Scores of people were forced to flee for their lives after the explosion amid fears that a land mine planted during the liberation struggle was the cause of the big bang that shook the city.
Heritage Housing Trust a company located opposite the police station were the blast occurred, had some of its window panes shattered including some on the cottage behind the main office by the shock wave that was felt kilometres away.

A person points to the shattered windows at Heritage Housing Trust

The explosion that sent tremors across the central business district was caused by a suspected war time anti-tank mine planted inside the station.
According to a memorandum from the police, the explosion happened at the police station which is situated at corner Leopold Takawira road and Eighth Street uprooted a huge tree and left several vehicles windscreens shattered and surrounding buildings affected.
It is suspected that the anti-tank mine could either have been buried or planted during the liberation struggle.

One of the vehicles that had damaged windscreens after the bombing at Gweru Rural Police station

“This memorandum serves to put on record circumstances surrounding the explosion. Circumstances are that on September 27 at around 10AM, Master Ndirwo (46), a general hand at ZRP Gweru Rural Police station was burning litter which was in a rubbish pit near the perimeter fence of the police station. The pit is about 25 metres from the charge office.”
“At around 2:45PM, Ndirwo went to put out the fire that had spread out of the pit towards the fence. When he was about four meters towards the pit an explosion occurred in the direction of the pit. He managed to flee from the scene unhurt,” reads part of the memorandum.
Zimbabwe National Army engineers attended the scene and suspected that the explosion was a result of an anti-tank mine because a big jacaranda tree stump was uprooted, the magnitude of the explosion shook nearby buildings.
“There were no fragments of the anti-tank at the blast scene. The explosion could have been a result of the heat generated by fire and sun. They also stated that the antitank mine has no life span, that
is, it remains armed as long as it is not exploded.
“Seven cars which were parked along 8th Street closer to the scene had their windscreens and door glasses shattered by fragments from the uprooted tree stump. Ceiling paint of the charge office peeled off as a result of the tremor.  Five roofing tiles of Lutheran Church situated about 120 meters from the scene were hit by fragments from the blast and fell inside the church.
“Heritage Housing Project building situated along 8th Street about 30 metres from the scene had some of its windows shattered,” reads part of the memorandum.
Acting Midlands provincial spokesperson Assistant Inspector Ethel Mukwende refered all questions to the police national spokesperson Charity Charamba, who was unavailable by the time of going to press.

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