OUTSPOKEN war veterans secretary-general, Victor Matemadanda has lashed out at his Zanu-PF critics for prematurely “rushing to write his political obituary”.
Speaking to the Daily News yesterday, the deputy Defence minister also insisted that he was still the ruling party’s national political commissar despite his reported recent axing from the position.
In this regard, Matemadanda emphasised, he was continuing to perform his duties, as usual, as Zanu-PF’s national political commissar.
“I am only being told through social media that I was fired, but on Saturday I attended the central committee meeting and did my work.
“Yesterday (Monday), I was in the office doing my work as the national political commissar. I don’t know who fired me in the press.
“If anything has been done by Zanu-PF it is the secretary for information and publicity who will announce that.
“But if there is anyone in the politburo … who got excited that I had been fired, when at the end of last week’s meeting it was not announced by the spokesperson, and they decided to tell the nation that I had been fired, this shows that there are foolish people at that level of leadership,” the defiant Matemadanda told the Daily News.
“People are reacting to social media to say I was insubordinate to the likes of (Zanu-PF secretary for administration) Obert Mpofu, Patrick Chinamasa, July Moyo, Mudha (Owen Ncube) and Dickson Dzora, but you know very well that I am senior to most of those people.
“How does a senior become insubordinate to his juniors? People just enjoy writing about me, but I don’t know where they are getting this from.
“I am a soldier and I don’t deploy myself. I get deployed by my commander. I was deployed in Mozambique when I was a serving soldier … where there were live bullets,” Matemadanda further told the Daily News.
“I had my own gun, and was prepared to kill or be killed, but I never tried to reason whether it was fair or unfair.
“This is my behaviour. So, we don’t question when we are deployed, although there is nothing yet that I have been formally informed about regarding the talk that I was redeployed.
“The president has not assigned me although he has the right to send me wherever he wants. He simply told me that there is some critical assignment to give me,” Matemadanda also said.
“I don’t know if there is someone he later told that he wanted to send me to Mozambique or he has fired me, like I am now hearing.
“All he said was that where he wanted to send me, someone of my level in politics was required and that is the politburo level.
“When we are in the politburo it doesn’t matter that I am in the commissariat, but the level I have is that I am a member of the politburo,” Matemadanda added.
“That has not been withdrawn and even as the secretary for the commissariat, I have not been replaced.
“If that was the case he (President Emmerson Mnangagwa) would have appointed my deputy, Omega Hungwe to act in my position, but he didn’t do that because I am still here,” he reasoned further.
Matemadanda, apart from being cut loose from the top leadership of the ruling party, is also said to be set to lose his ministerial post – with Mnangagwa apparently preparing to give him a diplomatic posting.
Yesterday, Matemadanda said if things turned out that way, being deployed as an ambassador would be a promotion for him.
“If I am deployed to Mozambique like what is being said, what is bad about that? Who among all the ministers doesn’t want to become an ambassador to represent the president and the country?
“If he has to appoint me, in any case, I know I am not going to be a career diplomat? I am not going to be transferred from one mission to the other.
“The president said that he would want to give me a specific assignment guided by how he knows me and what I can achieve for the country,” Matemadanda further told the Daily News.
“When I am done with that assignment, it is up to him if he wants to give me another assignment.
“I am not that kind of a person who would be deployed on the basis of saying enda unotamba kuri kutamba vamwe (I am valued).
“I am a valuable resource whether people like it or not. I am not bragging about it,” Matemadanda further let rip at his Zanu-PF opponents.
He also alleged that some of his ruling party critics once belonged to the vanquished Generation 40 (G40) faction, although they were now “feigning love” for Mnangagwa.
“Talk about operation Restore Legacy … there are people going around saying what they want, but as a person who was at the forefront, I have never spoken about that.
“I am not someone who wants to be hailed all the time, but there are a lot of things that I have done which the party knows, but there are people who are jealous about that.
“That is not going to take the talent I have … Some of them (his critics) even refused to help us as they were mobilising for Grace Mugabe’s rallies. I was arrested and suffered for ED when they refused.
“Now that they are sitting pretty, they are saying all sorts of nonsense. I will not waste my time talking about those fools,” Matemadanda thundered further.
All this comes after Matemadanda was said to have been cut loose as Zanu-PF’s national political commissar, after he allegedly and unilaterally wrote a circular to district co-ordinating committees (DCCs) and provincial chairpersons on March 15, ordering them to stop convening unconstitutional meetings.
The DCCs – which were scrapped in 2012 at the height of Zanu-PF’s factional, tribal and succession wars, in the twilight of Mugabe’s rule – stand accused of usurping the powers of other organs of the ruling party.
In the March 15 circular to Zanu-PF’s provincial and DCC chairpersons, Matemadanda ordered the divisive structures to stop convening unconstitutional meetings forthwith.
Matemadanda was among those who played a critical role in the ouster of Mugabe, who was swept from power by a stunning but popular military putsch in November 2017.
He was appointed Zanu-PF’s national political commissar after the historic July 2018 elections, following the sacking of retired lieutenant general Engelbert Rugeje.
He was also subsequently appointed deputy Defence minister the same year.