In a letter dated Tuesday, August 14, 2012, addressed to President Sata and copied to the Inspector General of Police and the Minister of Home Affairs, the group leader only identifying himself as H. Mweemba said seven other Bembas have already been poisoned and will die soon.
The letter reads in part “We the Tongas under oath are now in serious warfare. Like we promised, this is an update. We wish to inform you that so far we have killed three (3) Bembas – 2 adults and 1 baby in Southern Province.”
This, they say, follows demands that all Bembas should leave the province if government does not give back the two districts.
“Our demand is simple – ‘Take Chirundu and Itezhi Tezhi back to Southern Province’. We gave the 30th of June 2012 as the dealine for all Bembas to leave Southern Province or we be given back our Chirundu and Itezhi Tezhi – you have opted for war-we are going to fight you Bembas effectively and courageously,” reads the letter.
The letter also states that the group uses different post offices for mails “for security reasons”, and their address is ‘C/o Mazabuka Municipal Council, P.Box 670022, Mazabuka.’
The group threatened it will only disclose the names and addresses of its victims once it has increased their numbers.
“Seven (7) have been poisoned and are expected to die sooner or later. The battle between the Bembas and Tongas is continuing and we are assured of victory. After numbers increase, we will give you all the names and addresses of all those we will have killed,” reads the letter.
The letter ends, “Like we demonstrated in our earlier mail, we do not negotiate, we fight-we are not scared of your IG or Minister of Home Affairs- we will give them copy of this letter.”
And commenting on the letter, United Party for National Development UPND spokesperson Charles Kakoma said his party does not condone actions of violence, hatred and tribalism.
The UPND, highly critical of government policies, have their stronghold in Southern Province.
But Mr Kakoma said his party believes in dialogue and that killing or poisoning people will not bring about any solution.
He said the renegade group should be dealt with in accordance with the law because they have admitted to committing a crime.
“As a party, we do not support such acts of violence and hatred and we believe in dialogue because it is talking that will bring about a solution for any problem,” Mr Kakoma said.