President Edgar Lungu yesterday held talks with the United Nations Development Program UNDP Resident Representative Janet Rogan where key issues were tabled.
One aspect that came out of Wednesday’s meeting is the aspect of dialogue.
We are told through the State House Press office that President Lungu is resolved and committed to engage in meaningful dialogue when stakeholders involved are ready to do so.
The statement further promulgates that Mr. Lungu wants such dialogue to be spearheaded by the Zambia Centre For Inter Party Dialogue ZCID.
As National Democratic Congress NDC we doubt if this call for dialogue by the Head of State is genuine.
As NDC, we feel this call is an act of panic and desperation by the Lungu regime.
As a party, we disagree with President Lungu when he says that external player’s should only participate as observer’s and not as adjudicator’s in such dialogue.
As much as the NDC is committed to dialogue, we feel this dialogue can only became a reality if the country went a step further and engaged other players.
In this regard, we have the Commonwealth in mind and other independent players who have a credible history of managing political tension in various counties.
There is no need for state house to be jittery by involving external hands in resolving the political tension in Zambia.
The participation of foreign players in finding a lasting solution to the political tension in Zambia will not in any way take away the fact that Zambia is a sovereign nation.
The disunity that we are witnessing today has largely been fermented by President Lungu and the pf.
The pf Government has been in the fore front promoting violence and anarchy.
Strangely, President Lungu has never come out to denounce such violent acts.
The pf regime has been in the fore front perpetuating discontent and rivalry. Worse still, the pf has been in the fore front persecuting opposition political leaders using state apparatus and denying opposition political groupings to hold meetings.
In all this, the ZCID has remained mute and we wonder why this institution would now be recommended to superintend over the inter party dialogue process.
No wonder, the NDC has doubts in calls for dialogue being championed by President Lungu.
As a party, we find it naive that President Lungu can today be preaching dialogue. What has changed? Why has the President been conspicuously quite all along.
And why is Mr. Lungu and the pf skeptical to have independent players drive this dialogue process?
President Lungu knows the perpetrators of all these problems that have divided the country.
The whole nation knows the role that President Lungu and state house have played a big role to divide this country.
If Mr. Lungu is truly sincere about dialogue, we urge him to apologise to the opposition and the people of Zambia for dividing the country by allowing pf cadres to take the law into their hands.
We further urge President Lungu to allow external players to fully participate in the dialogue process. Not as observers, but as adjudicators.
If President Lungu knows that there is tension in the country, why has he remained quite all this long?
Political cadre’s from the opposition have been harassed, mimed and killed and Mr. Lungu has been quite.
Worst still, the ZCID has done little or nothing to resolve such issues. The ability therefore for ZCID to handle and mediate over such issues is highly questionable.
Further, we urge President Lungu to ensure that the Public Order Act POA is taken to Parliament for amendment.
The POA has been the major source of political tension in Zambia and as NDC, we demand that this archaic piece of legislation be repelled.
As NDC, we therefore find calls by president Lungu on the needed for ZCID to superintend over dialogue with the stakeholders questionable, suspicious and highly implausible.
Issued by: Mwenya Musenge, Secretary General NDC.