Matemadanda Poisoning: The President Had Finished His Address
25 November 2020
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The below is an exclusive interview with Deputy Defence Minister Victor Matemadanda on Sunday (republished) in which the ZANU PF National Commissar states saying the president had just finished speaking when he was allegedly poisoned.

This statement suggests that the latter could have also been attacked in Marondera.

  • I was forcing myself to be normal,
  • It was not an allergy
  • It was a gas
  • there is no one whose hand I shook.
  • President had finished addressing

ZimEye: vaMatemadanda

ZimEye: How are you feeling today?

ZimEye: Did you manage to get that (other) doctor?

Matemadanda: I am still to contact him I was still trying to reach him.

ZimEye: Are you sure this was poison and was not an allergic reaction?

Matemadanda: Aaah, other tests indicate to that [effect].
ZimEye: They indicate to an allergy?

Matemadanda: No, to some poison.

ZimEye: Is there a name for the poison?

Matemadanda: Aaah, it’s a gas they said they will confirm for me by about Tuesday, I don’t know after analysing.
ZimEye: By Tuesday?
Matemadanda: It’s a gas which they are saying entered my body.

ZimEye: And you suppose that gas was released from the assailant’s palm?
Matemandanda: I did not see…it was so swift the person came saying they want to remove something from my cap. Upon that moment that is when I inhaled. At one time I thought they were removing an insect and it was the insect that was smelling, but I later realised that it something else when it began reacting.

ZimEye: And you smelt something strong upon that moment?

Matemadanda: Yes, yes, yes, right there. Not strong to the point of realising what it was.
Do you know these green insects [ zvipembenene]? So I thought that because we are now in November, ~I thought it was that insect.

ZimEye: It was a chipembenene on top of the cap?
Matemandanda: No, I did not see it. The man just said there is something on top of your cap, so I just assumed when I smelt the strong scent, as the man indicated.

ZimEye: And have you ever reacted to a chipembenene?

Matemadanda: Aah, no.

ZimEye: I am just assuming it was.

Matemadanda: Aaah, no. I think it was…It’s just that when it happened it was unexpected, I only realised upon recollection that on top of the cap there was nothing because I had just come out of the hall where the president was addressing. I did not go elsewhere. So I had only escorted him to the car.

ZimEye: So you had gone back to sit down?

Matemadanda: I did not even go back to sit down, I was now going to my own car, when I started feeling funny, I rushed to go sit inside the car. I felt a dizziness, what was like a flue, or something so I thought it was a reaction to the smell; I rushed to go into the car and said to my boys let’s go into the car. But it just continued getting worse, because there developed an element of hunger, so I told them go buy me some sadza at OK Supermarket there, but when I began eating that is when I started vomiting, so ….

ZimEye: But when this person came to touch you were sat down?

Matemandanda: No, President had finished addressing. That is when I escorted him to his car, to see him off, so when I left to go to my own car, that is when this man came saying: Cde there is something on top of your cap, so he opened his palm saying he is removing something; He was enlarging the veranda (of my cap), that is when I inhaled that gas, and I felt it was something unusual, there is an odour which I did not understand, but I was not quick to realise it could be something dangerous, that is when I thought ‘it is a chipembenene, I don’t know.’ But the reaction just developed gradually.

ZimEye: Do you think we could get video footage?

Matemadanda: Aaaah, because president had already left, and the camera people usually only focus on the president, I don’t know but I asked for them . I don’t know if we will find the footage.

ZimEye: Then suddenly you were now hungry; when was the last time you had had some food?

Matemadanda: I had breakfast, when I got to the meeting I had told myself I would not eat in public, but I drank water which I had carried with me to the meeting. And I did not eat anything, and there is no one whose hand I shook, and I did not drink any water there.

ZimEye: But this hunger you insist it came from that smell, that powder?

Matemadanda: I wouldn’t, me I am diabetic, but I am not (sic)…but when I became hungry, I never thought it was something abnormal, because hunger was not as extensive to the point where I would scream for food to be bought, normally I would ask to drive home to eat there.

But I actually bought sadza at OK, but I don’t know how it is connected, for to say what, I don’t know.

ZimEye: Suddenly you are confused?

Matemadanda: Yes, there was some lapsing like as if I want to sleep, or some confusion that is mild, such that if you force to gather strength it could come back, but some laziness suddenly became the order of the day.

ZimEye: And that came from that very moment just after the person had touched your cap, that is when you became confused?

Matemadanda: Aaaaah, I … it was sort of a gradual thing that was happening as I was moving and responding to this thing, but in the final analysis, I could see while walking it’s like I want to forget this and that. I could not make up how that was now happening. So I was forcing myself to be normal, but knowing that there is a dizziness, a confusion, what what what.

ZimEye: If ZBC had published or broadcast especially this statement on poison, do you feel that there would be a more diligent search to establish who did this?

Matemadanda: I had never…in fact I had never because what I know is that these things end up in some hands where a lot of speculation emerges. It might end up creating enemies for me because what happens is people start following scenarios and going …

Even vaChinamasa paya pavakataura (when he said) … I was saying it shouldn’t be a thing that is trying to confirm the speculation that is around. Because what I know is the narratives that will be drawn, will end up creating enmity with people unnecessarily. So even as it is now I was going to respond today, but I would not give them a statement, I don’t want.

ZimEye: You want to wait for the tests on Tuesday?

Matemadanda: I want to see, but all the same I am getting myself treated, so, I don’t see the need and use, otherwise it is just a learning curve where I should try and be more cautious; But otherwise I don’t want to be all hyper about it and the speculative reporting that is accompanying it because in the end there is nothing that it gives me, apart from people creating their narratives; if I once quarelled with someone and so forth.