THE battle-zone stage has been set for another traditional tribal cousins' clash on January 1, 2013 between the Bembas and Ngonis in the annual golf tournament in Ndola.
With the Bembas lifting the Tribal Cousins trophy 12 times, the Ngonis have vowed to crash their arch rivals and claim what would be their only third title.
Ngoni chairperson, Charles Mwanza said his team had worked on the mistakes which cost them the loss during the last New-year's Day, promising the Bembas a thorough thrashing.
Mwanza said after the death of their inspirational chairperson, Viano Kapoka, Bembas seemed disoriented and the Ngonis would capitalise on the confusion to reclaim the elusive title.
He said that the Bembas, who were allegedly struggling to find a new leader, would fail to use their usual 'monkey' tricks after the demise of their chief planner.
Mwanza, who is Zambia Golf Union (ZGU) president, said the Ngoni had lined up a crack squad which could easily overrun their traditional cousins.
But a Bemba representative, Arnold Mutale said Ngonis would be in for another shocker as the defending champions, despite losing their chairperson, were still a formidable squad.
Mutale said the Bembas had settled for Mulenga Mpuku as their new leader and were already gearing up well for their routine victory.
During the last competition, then Ngonis chairperson, Matthew Nkhuwa boycotted the event after his call for a change of the playing format was not granted by the organisers.
Nkhuwa, a former ZGU president, had demanded that the tournament be competed as a match-play but the organisers stuck to the original individual stableford.
When the battle for supremacy on the picturesque Ndola golf course ended, it was again the pre-tournament favourites, Bembas, who emerged winners after posting 386 points against 367 for the Ngonis.
However, it was not an easy stroll for the Bembas as they needed to be aided to the winners' podium by a disqualification of a Ngoni golfer, Bernard Daka, who had amassed 26 points.
In the individual prizes where 32 golfers were rewarded, Thomas Mwansa, a Bemba, topped all after winning a three-way count-back following a tie on 35 points with Shivan Desai and former Ndola Golf Club captain, Ashwin Harry.
Moses Tembo scooped the fourth position after a two-way count-back with Matipa Sichitamba, who had tied with him on 34 points, one ahead of Umesh Patel who was sixth after winning a three-way count back over Mwanza and Tej Vashee.
Two lady golfers, Lonah Mwenda and Esther Yambayamba tied on 32 points but with the former winning the battle for the ninth place after a count back while Judy Sakala was 11th on 31 points, one better than five golfers, who included Yogesh Desai and former Zambia Postal Services postmaster general, Paul Simfukwe.