THE letter authored by the clandestine group calling itself ‘Tongas Under Oath’ is what police were looking for last week on Tuesday when they searched the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) offices.
And President Sata has said some UPND officials handed to the state the seditious material that police were looking for at the party’s offices.
According to highly placed sources, the seditious material that police were looking for was the letter carrying tribal sentiments to the effect that the clandestine group was targeting Bembas for assassination.
The source also said a UPND member of Parliament, who could not be named, eventually availed the letter to security personnel.
“It is the same material that police were looking for but they drew a blank until a UPND MP made it available.
It was authored in Lusaka not Mazabuka as stated in the letter,” he said.
Senior UPND officials, including party president Hakainde Hichilema, last week complained that the government was instilling fear in the opposition and turning Zambia into a police state.
But President Sata yesterday said, “The police were searching for seditious material but some of their people brought us the material.”
The President said at State House that he believes the document was drafted in Lusaka and not Southern Province.He also disclosed that some UPND members tipped the police about the reported seditious materials at the party secretariat.
“When the Zambia Police searched UPND headquarters, we (government) were accused of turning the country into a police state. It was in fact some UPND officials who alerted police that there were seditious articles at the party secretariat.
“We are grateful to the police that they were not trying to turn Zambia into a police state,” he said.
The letter, declaring war on Bembas and demanding that all Bembas should leave Southern Province, was copied to President Sata, Home Affairs Minister Edgar Lungu and Inspector-General of Police Stella Libongani.
The head of state said he trusts that “Tongas are innocent” in the matter, adding that some malicious individuals are trying to implicate them.
Mr Sata said government is aware of the people behind the document and they will soon be exposed as they are Lusaka-based.
“What you do in the dark will be exposed in no time,” President Sata warned. “There are no ‘Tongas on Oath’. We have already gone further and you have to go further than this.”
“I love Tongas,” President Sata said, “…we have Tongas married to people from other tribes and we have other tribes married to Tongas. They are peaceful and innocent people,” Mr. Sata said.
The President believes the malicious individuals who authored the letter are trying to smudge the image of Tonga-speaking people by accusing them of spearheading the clandestine group.
The President expressed disappointment that some malicious individuals would deliberately embark on a plan to smear a peace-loving tribe.