Harare – War Veterans Secretary General Victor Matemadanda who was first reported abducted on Thursday night, then rumoured killed in a staged suicide yesterday has been found safe and sound, amid revelations a Jonathan Moyo led G40 faction in Zanu PF had manufactured the stories.
The prominent and outspoken veteran of the liberation struggle was reported to have been abducted by armed men at his home in Gokwe on Thursday night. Nehanda Radio reported that a statement released by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights had confirmed the abduction.
At the time of their publishing, Matemadanda was reported to be missing, and presumed detained in a secret location.
The timing of the “abduction” coincided with statements by Zimbabwe’s President, Robert Mugabe, that he would deal severely with dissenting war veterans who were suspected to be behind a scathing communique that demanded Mugabe resign from power.
On Sunday morning, reports began to surface on Social Media claiming that the War Veteran leader, who was suspected of being a target for Mugabe had been found dead in police custody.
Whilst earlier dismissed as a hoax, a message began circulating in several Whatsapp Groups in Zimbabwe. Part of the message read, “War Veterans Secretary General Victor Matemadanda has been killed for asking Robert Mugabe to resign.”
Sources offered different views, with some within Zanu PF stating that the veteran leader had committed suicide under pressure from Robert Mugabe who had promised to wipe out his entire family.
At the time the reports intensified, Matemadanda’s cellphone was not reachable, amid frantic efforts to confirm his reported abduction, and rumoured murder.
Investigations and probing led to revelations that the war veteran leader was in good health, in good spirits, and unaware of the sensational reports making the rounds online.
Further investigations by this publication later revealed that certain social media leaders, and online publications had been paid certain gratuities to create and propound the rumours.
According to sources very close to a faction termed G40, the rumours were meant to measure citizen reactions to a potential arrest, abduction or murder of the war veterans leader.
Speaking in anonymity, a source very close to G40 leaders revealed that, the faction were pushing for the arrest of Victor Matemadanda, but they were worried of repeating the Pastor Evan Mawarire situation, where nearly ten thousand citizens stormed the magistrates court to demand his release.
According to the source, the war veterans communique was authored by G40 cadres, as a means of turning Mugabe’s wrath against his comrades.
The source further claimed that, Mugabe was worried about needlessly persecuting war veterans who retain a very passionate and personal relationship with all Zimbabweans. The source stated that, loyalists of the faction decided to measure the “tempreatures” of the citizens by first arresting Mahiya, then starting a rumour about the death of Matemadanda.
The hypothesis suggested by the source was seconded by several other high placed sources.
In the meanwhile, Matemadanda remains alive, well, and reported to be in good spirits.