Young African Leaders Initiative YALI President Andrew Ntewewe says political leaders should take today’s meeting called by the Catholic Bishops for political parties to discuss solutions to political violence as an opportunity for them to start engaging on national issues.
And Mr Ntewewe says there is no grantee that the indaba called by the Catholic Bishops will have positive results as there is a possibility of some people walking out of the meeting hence the need for people to be consciously optimistic.
Speaking when he featured on Hot FM’s Talk on Monday radio program Mr Ntewewe said political leaders must understand that the essence of a democratic system of governance is to differ on political ideologies but that there should be tolerance of divergent views and ideas.
He said one of the reasons why the country is experiencing high levels of political violence is because leaders are not seen to engage openly on national issues.
“We think that the opening of this dialogue should be a long term process. Political party leaders must begin to understand that yes we have different political ideologies, yes they have different policies, yes they have a different way of looking at things and resolving issues but that is the essence of having a democratic system of governance and that is why there is need for tolerance and accepting diversity.
“It is very relevant that our leaders find this as an opportunity to begin to discuss because from the YALI point of view we believe that democracy is a process, democracy is about dailogue, democracy is about constantly persuasion, democracy is about engagement and what we have seen to be the biggest problem is that our leaders have not been able to engage one another, our leaders have not been discussing issues in an open manner, they have not been discussing issues in a way that we are suppose to be helping each other in finding solutions,
” he said.
And Mr Ntewewe said people should not be too optimistic as the meeting may end in disappointment adding that Leaders should not go to the meeting with preconceived ideas.
He said leaders who will attend the meeting should be respectful to the Zambian people and ensure that they do not give in to negative temptations of slandering one another as that is a recipe for failure.
“There is no grantee that you can go to a round table and believe that definitely a solution is going to be found. What could actually happen is that some people may even walk out of the meeting. So as we look to the meeting, we must be very consciously optimistic, we must be consciously optimistic that ultimately civility at the column is going to take the lead, that ultimately our leaders are going to be respectful of the citizens of this country and ensure that they work very hard because the temptation is going to be huge were they would even say this is not what I would like to sit down and talk about,” he said.
He added “One of the key things that we expect to come out is the fact that they are suppose to discuss this culture of political insults but most importantly we don’t expect that any leader should go there and take a swipe another leader, that is not the essence of the dailogue that we are going to have. The essence of the dialogue is that everyone is coming with an open heart and not finger pointing because that will be a recipe for failure.”