Wearing his trademark scarf in the colours of the nation he leads, in some eyes so controversially, this was a close escape for president Mnangagwa.
In the smoke and confusion he was ushered to safety, apparently unscathed.
But there were injuryied the senior government figures, including the wife of his deputy.
The president met her and other survivors and on social media said,
"we will not allow this cowardly act to get in our way as we move towards elections… the strongest response to violence is peace."
Mnangagwa came to power in November, when the military moved against Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s leader since then independence.
Many called it a coup.
So a keenly contested election next month is vital to confer legitimacy on a new government.
Mnangagwa had been addressing a rally in the second city of Bulawayo, an opposition stronghold.
Some will blame the blast on rogue elements in the old regime.
Certainly zimbabwe’s path of democracy is now fraught with danger.