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The UPND is lying in suggesting that Zitukule consortium is holding the missing Hatembo siblings for their own safey.

Zitukule chairperson, Partner Siabutuba who was recently released from police detention has denied ever holding the Hatembos as suggested by UPND Secretary General Cornelius Mweetwa and has called on the Police to dig deeper.

Yesterday Mr. Mweetwa stated that Zitukule Consortium was holding the Hatembos for their own safety. The Hatembos have been missing for the last two months.

Zitukule Consortium has dismissed  the UPND claims and has called on the police to get to the bottom of the matter stating that  the contentious issue was  the land transaction that seemed to have gone out of hand.

FDD President Edith Nawakwi has stated that the Hatembo’s were being held to prevent them challenging the alleged fraudulent acquisition of the 2,000 hectare farm by UPND President Hakainde Hichilema.

Mr Siabutuba said it was only after authorities understand the issues surrounding the Kalomo farm that they would understand the situation concerning the Hatembos.

“If you look into their testimony, it’s about a transaction on their farm, that transaction seems to have gone out of hand and the question all of us are asking is why. So unless some of these issues are resolved and the understanding is clarified by relevant authorities, we will continue speculating.

“It is important for the police to take centre stage in finding out what is going on,” he said.

Mr Siabutuba said the police had always come to the protection of citizens whenever there was need to do so but wondered why the case was different for the Hatembos.

He said contrary to speculation, Zitukule was not holding the Hatembos but that the police could locate them if they rose to the occasion.

Mr Siabutuba said answers on what was really happening with the Hatembo family could be provided if the police got to the bottom of the matter.

“Is it because of the sale of the farm or what is it? The only people that can answer is the police,” he said.

The UPND has charged that the missing Hatembo siblings are being kept by the Zitukule Consortium for their safety.

But FDD president Edith Nawakwi says the abduction is about making sure that the filing in of nominations for the August 12 elections is incident free for UPND president, Hakainde Hichilema.

UPND spokesperson, Cornelius Mweetwa said attempts to implicate Mr Hichilema in the abduction were the creation of the Patriotic Front (PF) working with Ms Nawakwi.

But Ms Nawakwi has charged that Zitukule could be a UPND surrogate organisation holding the Hatembo’s fearing they would go to court and expose the fraudulent manner in which Farm 1924 in Kalomo was allegedly dispossessed from them fraudulently by Mr. Hichilema.

“That transaction was fraudulent and it is not true that the High Court made a determination on the fraud.  There is no time bar to fraud.”

She also expressed fears for the lives of the abducted Hatembo siblings, “We have seen what happens in countries like Iraq when someone is abducted and the abductors realise they cannot hide them anymore, what do they do to them? And this is my daily fear,” Ms Nawakwi said.

Ms Nawakwi said Pheluna, a mother could not willingly go into hiding and leave her sick daughter abandoned.

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