‘I have no plans to kill Hichilema’ – Patrick Chinamasa tells Zambians
Zanu-PF Secretary for Legal Affairs Patrick Chinamasa has denied claims by a Zambian Provincial Minister for the Copperbelt, Elisha Matamba that he had admitted to having a hand in the death of Zambia’s third President Levy Mwanawasa and is also planning to kill current President Hakainde Hichilema.
Matamba, on Monday, addressed scores of protesters in Ndola who submitted a petition to him accusing Zanu-PF apologist Rutendo Matinyanyire and Chinamasa of threatening to kill the Zambian President Hichilema.
They also claimed that Chinamasa had admitted to playing a role in the death of their former leader Mwanawasa.
The minister told the demonstrators that he would deliver the petition to the Southern African Development Community (SADC), African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN).
“I have received the petitions on the threats on the life of President Hichilema by Chinamasa and Rutendo Matinyanyire.
“I will deliver your petition to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs so that it can be taken to SADC, AU and UN. Chinamasa has confessed that he killed President Mwanawasa and is now planning to tamper with the life of President Hichilema,” he said.
On Friday morning, Chinamasa dismissed the claims as “false, malicious, and highly defamatory”.
He also denied having a relationship or knowing Matinyarare.
“The recent statement by Zambian Provincial Minister for Copperbelt, Honourable Elisha Matamba, has been brought to my attention. There is no truth whatsoever in the allegations by Honourable Matamba:
“a) that I killed the Late Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa; b) that I “admitted to having a hand in the death of former Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa”;
c) that “Chinamasa and Rutendo have agreed that they participated in killing Mwanawasa” (As a matter of fact, I don’t know Rutendo Matinyarare and I have never met him/her in my life); d) that I have intent to kill Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema.
“The above allegations by Honourable Matamba are false, malicious, and highly defamatory. I, however, agree with Honourable Matamba when he says that “Zimbabwe and Zambia are like twins, sisters.” In fact, the two countries are more than twins/sisters,” the former Finance Minister said.
He further recognized the role played by Zambia in the liberation of Zimbabwe.
“Zimbabweans will never forget that Zambia, along with Tanzania, Mozambique, and other Frontline States, acted as midwives to our freedom, independence, and sovereignty that we fervently cherish and defend.
“The sacrifices made by Zambians for our freedom and independence are part of the liberation history that is taught at the Herbert Chitepo School of Ideology. Zimbabweans harbor no ill intent against Zambia or Zambians.
“As neighbors, we should not allow agents provocateurs to damage the good relationship that exists between our two countries and peoples,” Chinamasa added.
The diplomatic tiff between the two countries started last month after SADC Election Observer Mission led by former Zambian vice president Nevers Mumba dismissed Zimbabwe’s harmonised general election which saw incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa winning with 52,6%.
Opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa who is believed to be Hichilema’s ally lost with 44%.
Chamisa dismissed the election result and called for fresh polls supervised by SADC.
International observers noted that the plebiscite was marred by serious irregularities including but not limited to late ballot delivery, voter intimidation and suppression and interference of the central intelligence organisation through a Zanu-PF aligned shadowy organisation, Forever Associates of Zimbabwe (FAZ).
After releasing a damning report about elections, Mumba as the head of SADC appointed by Hichilema, the chairperson of SADC Troika, was branded a western puppet. The war of words erupted between the two countries.
Mumba has since submitted the final report to the SADC Troika who will study it and make a decision.