President Edgar Lungu and UPND Leader Hakainde Hichilema have finally agreed to dialogue on the current political situation in the country arising from last year’s disputed general election.
Visiting Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland who has brokered the truce has told a media briefing in Lusaka that the two leaders have willingly decided to forget about last year’s elections and engage in meaningful dialogue.
Ms Scotland said that both President Lungu and Mr. Hichilema are committed to the values and aspirations set out in the Commonwealth Charter, of peace and harmony particularly in this peace building year of the Commonwealth.
Ms Scotland said that the two leaders have agreed to a process of dialogue, facilitated through the office of the Commonwealth Secretary General, whereby a roadmap of reforms pursuant to Commonwealth principles of good practice, governance and the rule of law, can be undertaken in preparation for the 2021 elections.
Ms Scotland explained that this roadmap will be created through an inclusive, consultative process which will involve all political parties, civil society organizations, the church and other key stakeholders.
The Commonwealth Secretary General has disclosed that President Lungu and Mr. Hichilema have both agreed that the progress of implementation of the said reforms should be reviewed at the end of 2019 in order to ensure that the preparation and implementation of any such agreed reforms are completed expeditiously, and in good time for the 2021 elections.