Zimbabwe’s President Elect Emmerson Mnangagwa speaks to the media at State House in Harare, August 27, 2023. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

HARARE, March 1 (Reuters) – Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa abandoned a trip to Victoria Falls on Friday due to an anonymous threat of attack against the country’s airports, his spokesperson said.

On Friday morning, Zimbabwe airport authorities were made aware of an email sent through Fastjet Airline claiming a “credible bomb/firearm threat” targeting Zimbabwean airports, presidency spokesperson George Charamba said in a statement.

“As a precaution, the country’s security systems are now on heightened alert following this message whose source and credibility is also being investigated,” he said.

He said that Mnangagwa was due to address a meeting in the resort town but had suspended his trip to allow for investigations, and urged the public to remain calm.

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

Local media had reported earlier on Friday that Mnangagwa’s private plan made a U-turn minutes before landing at Victoria Falls airport, and went back to the capital Harare.

An Air Zimbabwe plane with passengers on board was detained at Victoria Falls, while a Kenyan Airways flight rerouted to land in Livingstone, Zambia, according to local news reports.


(Reporting by Nyasha Chingono; Editing by Nellie Peyton and Alex Richardson)