Former United Party For National Development Presidential advisor Mr Edward Mumbi has said Secret dialogue meetings with UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema which exclude other political parties will not yield any fruits.
And any fruitful dialogue should incorporate all political parties and must be premised on HH recognising President Edgar Chagwa Lungu as Head of State. Anything short of these conditions will be a waste of time Mr. Mumbi has said.
He advised the opposition leader to stop pre-empting the outcome of the proposed dialogue being spearheaded by the Commonwealth.
He said doing setting impossible preconditions would lead to failure and incite violence.
Mr Hichilema has charged that he was confident that the dialogue would be fruitful, but Mr Mumbi said Mr Hichilema’s initial statements were unacceptable.
“How can he pre-empt the dialogue? Can he tell the Zambians what the context of his convictions are in the dialogue which has not yet been made public? Is he saying that the Commonwealth has a pre-determined position in this dialogue?
“That is very wrong, what does Mr Hichilema say in the event that the dialogue was not successful? That will then be the beginning of violence, because it’s like he has the results already,” he said.
Mr Mumbi said that it was impossible to have a successful dialogue when the opposition leader was still in denial that President Lungu was legitimately elected by the majority of Zambians in the last election.
He has since suggested that the Commonwealth, being the initiators of the dialogue between the political leaders should first demand that Mr Hichilema recognise President Lungu. He noted that failure for the opposition leader to recognise the Head of State was the source of political tension that the country was experiencing.
“The Commonwealth should first make sure that Mr Hichilema recognises the sworn-in President if the dialogue is to be successful. Zambia has a President, there is no vacuum, and elections are over,
“The Commonwealth should be careful, because we are beyond elections and we do not expect them to be silent without advising the opposition leader to recognise and in the process work with the government in power,” he said.
Mr Mumbi also demanded that the proposed dialogue between President Lungu and Mr Hichilema be chaired by Commonwealth special envoy Professor Ibrahim Gambari and open to all political parties for contribution.
He said this would help the Commonwealth gather accurate facts and arrive at an informed decision. Mr Mumbi advised Prof Gambari not to speak to either President Lungu or Mr Hichilema privately, but publicly, saying that the dialogue talks involved all Zambians.