Patriotic Front (PF) Secretary General Davies Mwila has said that he has noted media reports linking incarcerated United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema to calls for unconditional dialogue.
This is according to the statement released to the media by the PF media team
Mr. Mwila has observed that while the alleged statement on dialogue was pulled down from Mr. Hichilema’s Facebook page moments after it was posted, the ruling Party would give it a benefit of doubt.
“It is not within our powers to determine whether he did issue the said statement or not although it had been posted to his page and later pulled down. Considering it was later pulled down, Zambians may wish to ask whether that action on its own confirms the flip-flopping the Opposition is accustomed to”, Mr. Mwila observed.
The Patriotic Front Secretary General who reaffirmed that the ruling Party has remained committed to dialogue with all stakeholders, including the Church, Opposition Political Parties, Business and Civil Society, including the Co-operating partners stated that there can never be any fruitful dialogue without known agenda items.
“Our position as the Patriotic Front is that there can never be any meaningful dialogue without clear agenda items. In other words, there is always going to be one non-negotiable precondition to any dialogue – the agenda. Let our colleagues inform us and the public the specific agenda items otherwise it is not in anyone’s interest to have a talk-show guised as dialogue. This is also because a day after the said statement was posted, UPND Vice President for Administration GBM issued conditions and we seek to know if indeed the agenda item to be discussed is Mr. Hichilema’s release because when it comes to that, the President’s hands are tied as the matter is before the Courts of Law. So, once we have received the proposed agenda items, we can then state our position”, he has observed.
According to Mr Mwila, the statement departed from what has been UPND’s message to the international community about Zambia’s statement of affairs.
“In the same statement Mr. Hichilema is reported to have denied Zambia ever being a failed State. This is contrary to what his Party’s social media platforms have been reporting. It was widely reported prior to the August 2016 elections that one of UPND’s reason for announcing their unpreparedness to accept defeat was part of their strategy to create a destabilised atmosphere to justify a Government of National Unity (GNU), a strategy the PF Administration said was a misplaced call and an exercise in futility, ” concluded the statement.