President Robert Mugabe's deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, has reportedly opened up for the first time on his food poisoning scare, saying, however, that he was recovering.
Mnangagwa was flown to South Africa for medical attention after he started vomiting and having diarrhea while attending a presidential youth interface rally held in Gwanda in August.
Speaking at one of his allies' memorial service in Masvingo over the weekend, the vice president was quoted by NewsDay as saying that he was indeed poisoned but would not divulge further details.
"I have come to tell you that what happened to Mai (Shuvai) Mahofa in Victoria Falls is what also happened to me. I am making tremendous recovery. Those who wished me dead will be ashamed because when God's time for one to die is not up, he will not die. I still have many years to live and the truth will come out," Mnangagwa was cited as saying.
Mahofa, who died months ago, was the provincial affairs minister for Masvingo and a key Mnangagwa ally. She was allegedly poisoned at a Zanu-PF annual conference in the resort town of Victoria Falls.
'Masvingo is the best province'
Mnangagwa's loyalists accused his "Generation 40" rivals within the ruling Zanu-PF party of poisoning him in a bid to physically eliminate him from the race to succeed Mugabe, 93.
Last month, Mnangagwa issued a statement denying reports that he had eaten ice-cream from the Mugabe-owned Gushungo Dairies when he fell sick at the Gwanda rally but did not say anything at the time regarding his alleged poisoning.
Mnangagwa, who reportedly leads a faction calling itself "Team Lacoste", is battling against Generation 40 to take over power from Mugabe when the nonagenarian eventually leaves office.
Mnangagwa reportedly used Mahofa's memorial service to respond for the first time to the barrage of public attacks on him by his rivals.
"If you try to catch a fish by putting a snare on a rock outside water, you will realise that you won't catch it," said the embattled vice president who also appeared to be supporting the ruling party Masvingo and Midlands provincial structures that the First Lady said were riddled with factionalism.
"Masvingo is the best province, whatever anyone says. Those who castigate the province don't know what the future holds and when things come to a head, we will try to see where each one of us stands. Zvese zviri kutaugwa zvichapera kana nyaya yaakusvika kumagumo (everything being said and happening now will soon be over)," said Mnangagwa.