Former Republican President Rupiah Banda has challenged the commonwealth to clearly come out on their stance to support a Zambian led dialogue process so as to end the debate on who should led the forthcoming political dialogue process.
The UPND has continued to insist that the dialogue process should be led by the commonwealth even after it pronounced that it supported a homegrown dialogue process prompting the former head of state to call on them to be categorical on their stance.
Speaking when the Zambia Centre for Interparty Dialogue board members paid a courtesy call on him at his farm house on Saturday Mr Banda said there was need for stakeholders to rally behind ZCID and ensure that dialogue process was a success adding that there was need to find peace before the country starts looking for solutions to other challenges.
“The summery of all I said is that if we try to solve all the problems in order to have unity we will work for the next hundred years and we will never agree, we are different people……
“…If we can’t find the solutions, if we get to accept that our leader is Edgar Lungu because we can’t have a country without a leader, now it is this leader who has to accommodate all of us that is my main point from what I was saying and the solution lies right there.
“And with the Commonwealth we need to tell them also that since you are saying that dialogue should be Zambian led come out and say so and stop coming or if you come; come through us. Give us the resources to find the solution and let’s work together to do this but you can’t say it should be Zambian led and at the same time the opposition is saying we want it to be led by you and you not saying anything about it…. They must help us find the solution because we agree that they have a role to play, we have to work together to do this and it will be easier for our President to accept them,” he said.
He added that outsiders were envious of the peace that the country enjoys hence the need to work together in ensuring that peace continues to prevail.
“…but if we try to find solutions first before we have peace, that my fear there is so much tension which is not necessary butsiders, you know I had visitors from South Africa they said you can’t believe how peaceful this country is seo but tikuti kulye peace but the people who come from outside say this paradise,” he said.
And the former Head of State bemoaned the high levels of tribalism that has gripped the country.
He said the tribal divisions being experienced in the country today was unheard of during the time they were growing up and that the country would harvest what it was sowing was not curtailed.
ZCID has in the past few weeks been meeting key stakeholders in readiness for the political dialogue process.