Zambian Provincial Minister for Copperbelt Elisha Matamba has promised to notify SADC, AU and United Nations (UN) of alleged threats on President Hakainde Hichilema’s life by Zanu PF’s Patrick Chinamasa.
Matamba also vowed to act on word Chinamasa and Zanu PF apologist Rutendo Matinyarare had reportedly admitted to having a hand in the death of former Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa.
Mwanawasa, who played a central role in Zimbabwe’s 2008-2013 Government of National Unity (GNU) succumbed to a stroke in August 2008 at a France Hospital.
Speaking to protestors who handed him a petition for delivery at Zambia’s Foreign Ministry, Matamba said claims that Mwanawasa had been killed by Chinamasa and Matinyarare could not be ignored.
After highlighting the peace that has subsisted between his country and Zimbabwe, Matamba warned the Zanu PF Politburo member against harming Hichilema, declaring Zambia would come for him.
“I appreciate the petition to do with threats on the life of President Hichilema. I have also read that Chinamasa and Rutendo have agreed that they participated in killing Mwanawasa.
“I want to promise that I will take this petition to the Foreign Affairs Minister so that they can use the diplomatic channels to take this issue to SADC, AU and finally the UN.
“If someone agrees that they killed a president of another country and now they are planning to kill another one we cannot sit and wait for another life to die.
“To Chinamasa and Matinyarare, Zimbabwe and Zambia are like twins, sisters, we have lived in peace for many years. Some of those who are in government there used to live in Zambia.
“We have continued to live side by side in peace. Before you take a step, before you touch Hichilema we will come for you. We will come for you.”
Matinyarare has dismissed the allegations, while Chinamasa is yet to respond.
After years of peace and collaboration during the liberation war, Zambia and Zimbabwe could be set for interesting times if the claims are supported by evidence.
The two country’s diplomatic tiff hit boiling point on August 25 when Zambian national Nevers Mumba, head of SADC’s Election Observer Mission (EOM) to Zimbabwe’s polls read out a damning report of what they had witnessed.
Appointed by Hichilema to lead the mission, Zanu PF attacked him and the Zambian President, accusing both of having been sent by the West.
A war of words has since ensured, with Mumba telling Zanu PF to use proper channels if it has issues while Zanu PF maintains Hichilema deliberately ensured its election would be discredited.
Zimbabwe’s elections have widely been described as a sham following SADC’s preliminary report, the European Union’s (EU) concerns about them being free and fair, reports from the Carter Center and The Commonwealth.