GOVERNMENT and UPND agree on the importance of dialogue to resolve grievances

PF leader Michael Sata with his UPND counterpart Hakainde Hichilema
PF leader Michael Sata with his UPND counterpart Hakainde Hichilema

GOVERNMENT and the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) have agreed on the importance of dialogue to resolve grievances.
Minister of Home Affairs Ngosa Simbyakula said this yesterday after meeting a delegation from the UPND, which raised various concerns including those of the constitution and the Public Order Act.
Dr Simbyakula said the concerns will be taken seriously to find a lasting solution.
This is according to a joint statement issued yesterday by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the UPND.
“The Minister of Home Affairs assured the delegation on the concerns raised that the ministry would take up the issues raised seriously so as to find long-lasting solutions,” the statement reads in part.
The UPND, through its vice-president for politics, Canisius Banda, appealed to the minister to facilitatie a request by the Grand Coalition for a meeting on the Constitution,
Mr Banda also brought out concerns raised in a letter dated June 11, 2014 to the minister which included alleged biased application of the Public Order Act (POA) by the police, police brutality, land encroachment and grabbing of plots.
According to the statement, other issues raised in the meeting included the need to regulate the presence of party cadres and police at court premises to avoid anarchy as witnessed in the recent past.
On the application of the POA, Dr Simbyakula advised the UPND leadership to engage the police as much as possible to come up with alternatives in case they were denied notification.
He further advised the meeting that his doors were open for dialogue when they faced challenges on the POA.
Both parties expressed gratitude that the meeting was conducted in a spirit of give-and-take and in a very cordial atmosphere.
Among those present in the meeting were Deputy Minister Stephen Kampyongo and Permanent Secretary Peter Mwaba.
The UPND delegation included party secretary-general Winstone Chibwe, chairman of information and publicity Charles Kakoma and his deputy Edwin Lifwekelo.