Zanu PF commissar and Deputy Defence Minister Victor Matemadanda is recovering at his Mt Pleasant home after he fell seriously ill in the wake of a Zanu Pf provincial co0rdinating committee meeting which was also attended by Predsident Emmerson Mnangagwa and Vice President Constantino Chiwenga in Marondera on November 13.
Party insiders revealed that Matemadanda is suspected to have been poisoned at the function. He has been receiving treatment from his Mt Pleasant home in Harare after complaining of stomach pains and vomiting soon after the meeting.
The insiders say he was responding well to treatment. They, however, stated that he was still “not out of danger”.
“He is now better, but the situation was terrible,” the insider, who requested anonymity, revealed.
“I talked to him today (yesterday), he is now doing well.
“He was vomiting and complaining of severe stomach pains. I think it was food poisoning.”
Matemadanda, is also the Zimbabwe Liberation War Veterans Association secretary-general.
When contacted for comment on his condition, Matemadanda could neither confirm nor deny the issue but referred all questions to acting Zanu Pf spokesperson, Patrick Chinamasa, who he claimed “has all the details”.
“Cde Chinamasa has got the details,” Matemadanda said.
Chinamasa was not picking calls, but he issued a statement late last night confirming that the Defence deputy minister “suddenly fell seriously ill” on November 14.
“Matemadanda’s sudden illness was accompanied by itchiness of the eyes, sweating profusely, swelling of the body and vomiting badly, resulting in him rushing for medical attendance,” he said.
Chinamasa added that the war veterans’ leader was recovering with only itchiness in the eyes persisting. The Zanu PF spokesperson said that he was not aware of the allegations that Mr Matemadanda was poisoned.
He said only doctors could speak about the poisoning allegations after carrying out tests.
Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa declined to comment on Matemadanda’s alleged illness and poisoning.
“How am I supposed to know about someone’s personal health?
“I am a government spokesperson and how is that a government issue? Phone him and hear from him,” Mutsvangwa said.
Matemadanda has been traversing the length breadth of the country restructuring the ruling party that is in the process of conducting district coordinating committee (DCC) elections to reintroduce the controversial structures banned by the late former president Robert Mugabe in 2014 accusing them of fanning factionalism in the ruling party.
The position of Zanu PF commissar has always been a contentious seat with history replete with cases of his predecessors dying in mysterious accidents during party restructuring exercises.
These include the late former Defence minister Moven Mahachi, Border Gezi and Elliot Manyika.
Cases of alleged poisoning in Zanu PF top ranks have become commonplace with Mnangagwa being one of the “victims” after he was taken ill during the infamous youth interface rallies in Gwanda in August 2017.
Mnangagwa suffered a “severe bout of abdominal discomfort, vomiting and diarrhoea”.
He was alleged to have “eaten ice-cream” from former President Robert Mugabe’s Gushungo Dairies, a claim that further strained relations between Mnangagwa and his then boss and mentor.
After recovering from the alleged poisoning, then VP Mnangagwa told a memorial service gathering for Masvingo iron lady Shuvai Mahofa in 2017 that, just like she was poisoned at a Victoria Falls Zanu PF meeting in 2015, he was also a victim of poisoning in Gwanda.
Mahofa, a close Mnangagwa ally, allegedly succumbed to poisoning in 2017.
Chiwenga also nearly died last year after he was allegedly poisoned.
The VP spent several months battling for his life in hospitals in South Africa, India and China.
After Chiwenga’s return, he made headlines for refusing to take food at Zanu PF and government functions, let alone drinking water.