ZANU-PF national commissar Victor Matemadanda has sensationally claimed that the ongoing restructuring in the ruling party has ruffled feathers and some party colleagues want to murder him.
The war veteran declared in no uncertain terms that rivals in the ruling party were targeting his life because he was a “vicious dog,” adding that nobody would want to kill him if he was not a force to reckon with.
This comes after Matemadanda, who is alao the Deputy Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs, suffered a suspected poisoning at a special Provincial Coordinating Committee meeting days ago in Marondera, leading to his near-death and hospitalization.
Although Zanu-PF acting national spokesperson Patrick Chinamasa dismissed the poisoning story in a statement on Saturday, Matemadanda yesterday expressed no doubt that the incident was a clear attempt on his life. He however put up a brave face and even toured a busy street in Harare to supposedly show his attackers that he was back in the office and determined.
“Don’t expect people to love you,” Matemadanda, a liberation war veteran, told NewsDay.
He added 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”.
“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.
Matemadanda 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.
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.
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.” ■