ZwNews Chief Correspondent

Zimbabweans from various walks of lives have expressed concern over the presence of school children at political rallies, following the blast that rocked White City Stadium in Bulawayo on Saturday, where President Emmerson Mnangagwa was addressing his supporters.

The issue of bringing children to political rallies, had stirred lively debates a few days ago, after it was alleged that political parties especially the ruling ZANU PF party were bussing school children to their rallies.

People who spoke to from the streets of Harare have expressed worry over the presence of children at political rallies, saying when attacks such as the Bulawayo one happen in their presence it has long term effects on the young.

“The bringing or bussing of school children to political rallies for whatever reason should not be called for, imagine those children who were at the rally, when the blast took place; the incident exposed them to danger.

“It has been said politics is a dirty game, so why exposing young lives to such areas?” Said a vendor who spoke to our news crew, during a road-side interview carried out at corner Second Street and Robert Mugabe Road in Harare.

Edinah Kaseke, a Harare resident added her voice on the matter saying it is indeed dangerous to expose children to areas such as rallies, which is usually characterised by tense atmospheres.

She added that especially in the Zimbabwean context, the rally environment is never child friendly whether there is a blast or not.  “Not to mention the blast alone, political rallies in the country have over the years being a place where hate speech had been the order of the day, that is bad for the children,” she said.

Meanwhile, Jairos Mangare, a social commentator said some of the children who were present at the stadium when the blast took place would be haunted by the memories of that unfortunate incident for a larger part of, if not the rest of their lives.

“The attack that happened should be condemned in all the strongest terms of the word, though we have not heard of any child being reported as injured or dead from the blast, it is disheartening that some of the children who were present, others at close range, would be haunted by the sad memories of the day for life,” he said. zwnews