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A WELL-KNOWN UPND-aligned chief from Southern Province is holding the missing Hatembos against their will, PF deputy secretary-general Mumbi Phiri has revealed police have however, refused to confirm whether or not they have zeroed in on the abductors. When contracted on whether police have closed in on the abductors of the Hatembos, Police public relations officer Easter Katongo could neither confirm nor deny.

She said when police are carrying out investigations they do not reveal any detail to the public until investigations are concluded. “I believe everyone has noticed our silence on the same. It means we do not want to jeopardize our investigation. That statement you are asking about has not come from police hence we opt not to confirm or deny,” she said.

 Meanwhile, Ms Phiri said according to the PF intelligence, the Hatembos are being kept by one of the chiefs in Southern Province. The chief is a well-known sympathiser of the opposition party. “Even people on the streets are saying the same thing that these people are being held captive by a known chief in Southern Province,” she said. “I am demanding the arrest of the chief who is behind the kidnapping of the victims, not only as deputy secretary-general of the Patriot Front but also as a mother who feels aggrieved by the inhuman manner in which the missing persons have been treated,” she said.

Ms Mumbi said what was going on with the Hatembos has never happened in the history of this country, adding that Zambians should not allow such evil occurrences to happen as a Christian nation. Ms Phiri also wondered why the vocal NonGovernmental Organisations (NGOs) run by women were quiet over the missing Hatembos but were quick to petition the courts over the Cyber Security and Crimes Bill which was meant to protect citizens against cyber bullying. She said it’s clear that the vocal women organisations are mute over the missing Hatembos because they are dead scared of the chief who is behind the crime.

She said no one was above the law and therefore the police should move in and arrest the traditional leader. She said the police should smoke out the chief so that he can tell Zambians why he has been hiding the Hatembos. Ms Phiri said it’s obvious that the people who have abducted the Hatembos especially Pheluna have no heart, because if they did they would have organised a nurse to be looking after her daughter who has a serious condition.

Hatembos siblings Milton and Pheluna disappeared after a highly publicized meeting where the duo refused to appeal a court matter against UPND leader, Hakainde Hichilema which went against them. The duo, went against a family decision to appeal the matter which they lost on account of being time barred. The duo were mysteriously brought to Lusaka to denounce the case and then taken back to Choma where they disappeared after a presser organized by Zitukule Consortium.   

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