ZANU PF national commissar Victor Matemadanda, who was allegedly poisoned during a party meeting a fortnight ago, yesterday claimed that there were people in the ruling Zanu PF party that wanted him dead.
Matemadanda told NewsDay in an interview that the people celebrated his sudden illness with the hope that he was dying, but insisted that this was “part of the game” which would not deter him from working “for the good of the party”.
Reports of Matemadanda’s poisoning come as the ruling party is in a tense moment as it is set to hold internal elections to choose district co-ordinating committee (DCC) members as it moves to galvanise grassroot structures.
Some Zanu PF bigwigs were said to be already canvassing for support to stand as candidates in the 2023 general elections, while others were allegedly unhappy with the party’s restructuring exercise which the Defence and War Veterans deputy minister is spearheading.
“Don’t expect people to love you,” Matemadanda said.
“Whatever happened will not deter me from my assignment. Even if I were to die, many precious lives have been lost for this country and I am not special, for as long as I am serving as per my appointment and I am doing something right in the party,” he said.
He said there were some in the party whom he thought were working together with him, only to realise they were saying bad things behind his back which revealed that they had their own issues.
“Even if it is my assignment that people would hate me for, I will do what I was assigned to do. No one kicks a dead dog, and if you then see people taking up stones when they approach your home, it means there is a vicious dog, and so it means I am biting
them,” he said.
He refused to either confirm or deny that he was indeed poisoned, but referred questions pertaining to those allegations to the Zanu PF acting party spokesperson Patrick Chinamasa.
“That is for comrade Chinamasa to say. He is the person qualified to speak for the party, I am not the party. I am just a drop (of water) in the party, but what I can say is that I am at work, I have my energy and I am raring to go,” Matemadanda said.
“It doesn’t matter where I fell sick. There are mortuaries in those hospitals and it doesn’t matter where I fell sick and how. What is important is that I am fine and I am back.”
Chinamasa issued a statement on Saturday that Matemadanda fell ill a week ago and had been rushed to hospital.
His illness, Chinamasa said, included itchiness of the eyes, sweating profusely, swelling of the body and vomiting badly.
He fell ill during a Zanu PF provincial co-ordinating committee meeting in Marondera last week and was rushed to hospital.
Matemadanda said after his illness, he was now aware of how much he was hated and loved in equal measure and alleged that there were some people who celebrated his illness and wished him dead.
“I now know people’s perceptions about me. Some were posting saying ‘you should have died’. I wish them well because they have exposed themselves. I had my obituaries and messages before I died, so it gave me a picture of what people would say if I were to die.
“What makes me happy is that the number of those who were sympathising (with me) is more than those who wished me dead.”
He added: “My mother would hide sugar from us as I was good at stealing, and so when I grew up, I was diagnosed with diabetes and the doctor said I should not take sugar as it was dangerous for my health. I said to myself, if sweet things like sugar can kill, who am I to be liked by everybody when sweet things can also kill.
“Some people should be free to hate me and others should love and like me, but you would want to understand why would people hate you that much?”
Matemadanda alleged that some people hated him despite that he was merely a representative of the party, Zanu PF, adding: “I cannot wish those to love me, but their hate obviously tells me of my effectiveness. So I will keep on working for the good of my party because it shows that I am doing something good.”
The Zanu PF political commissar said he was committed to the party and country to the extent that he had to walk around the city one day to listen to people’s concerns and to assist the party with a strategy to address their concerns.
“I walked around Harare to listen to people’s concerns and to help my party and my President (Emmerson Mnangagwa) to solve the problems in the country. Zanu PF has a manifesto that is people-centred and I am at the centre of that as the national commissar, and so I went and spoke to the people about their needs.”
Speculation was rife that Matemadanda was actually targeted by rivals in Zanu PF after several names were dropped from the list of potential candidates for DCC elections expected to be held soon.