By SIMON MUNTEMBA
Police have launched a massive search for the two Hatembo relatives, who have disappeared after they sued UPND President Hakainde Hichilema for illegally occupying their 2,000 hectare farm in Kalomo.
The two, Pheluna and Milton were last seen in Choma, two weeks ago at a press conference held at Meridian Lodge organized by Zitukule Consortium in Choma, where they claimed to be in hiding.
But the relatives do not believe the story. They strongly believe that they are being held against their wish.
They want to know how the organization gained access to them to arrange the press briefing, who organized the logistic and how were they contacted and transported to the venue.
The family has told Police that the two were abducted after the family sat and agreed to appeal against a High Court ruling to the Supreme Court over a case of Kalomo Farm 1924.
It was impossible, they said, that Pheluna who has a disabled daughter could stay away for the 40 days they have been away.
One of the brothers Cosmas said Pheluna and Milton were abducted after the family sat and agreed to appeal against a High Court ruling to the Supreme Court over a case of Kalomo Farm 1924.
Earlier the two were viciously attacked during the night at their home in Choma, then hospitalised at Macha Hospital and thereafter apparently went into “hiding”
The family is not privy to subsequent developments which include the decision to withdraw the appeal and lodgment of a complaint to the Law Association of Zambia against lawyers who were acting for them.
Police spokesperson Esther Katongo said in an interview yesterday that the police have launched investigations following a report filed at Lusaka Central Police on Tuesday by brothers to the missing duo, Emerson and Cosmas Hatembo.
“Yes, a report was received and we have launched an inquiry on the matter,” Ms Katongo said.
Ms Katongo however said she could not give more details for fear of jeopardising investigations.
On Tuesday after filing in a report in Lusaka, Emerson and Cosmas Hatembo made an emotional appeal to their suspected captors who are believed to have been working under instructions to release their abducted relatives.
Cosmas said their sister and brother have been mysteriously abducted by those who do not want them to appeal the case in which they sued Mr Hichilema.
“We are here in Lusaka from Kalomo seeking help from the police. We want them to help us trace Pheluna and Milton whom we last communicated to on February 2, and we believe they were abducted and brought here in Lusaka, or perhaps killed by those who are against us appealing the court case to the Supreme Court,” he said.
Mr Hatembo pleaded with those responsible for the disappearance of their relatives to release them if alive or present their remains in whatever state so that they could hold a dignified funeral for them
Asked if he did not see or hear that last week on Thursday, the duo briefly appeared at a press briefing where they said they were in hiding from those threatening their lives, Mr Hatembo insisted, “we last saw and hear from them on February 2 and we are made to believe that they have been abducted.”