The United Party for National Development (UPND) has rejected PF’s demand that the recognition of President Edgar Lungu as the Head of State is non-negotiable by and for those who may wish to participate in the pending dialogue process.
And PF media director, Sunday Chanda has charged that the UPND should find someone else to dialogue with if they do not want to accept the fact that President Lungu is the Republican President.
UPND secretary-general, Stephen Katuka however said that PF cannot set the rules of engagement in the proposed dialogue because they were just a participant in the process like any other stakeholder.
Mr Katuka said that the conditions to the proposed dialogue could not be set by one political party as all were mere participants.
He told the Daily Nation that it was those who were charged with the mandate to arbitrate through the process who could set the rules of engagement for the proposed dialogue.
Mr Katuka challenged other players to think about what would happen if the UPND also decided to set its own conditions for the dialogue to take place.
“This dialogue is not about Hakainde or Edgar Lungu, it is about the future of this country not individuals. The conditions must not be set by one party, it is those chosen to arbitrate who should tell us what to do and what not to do. Who is PF to tell us what to do?
“The rules of engagement must be set by those who are arbitrating, those who are calling for this dialogue. I don’t know what PF thinks, it’s like us saying first there must be this,” Mr Katuka said.
Meanwhile, Mr Chanda emphasised that if the UPND cannot recognise the President as they come to the table, then they must try dialogue elsewhere.
“We shall not accept mechanisms aimed at undermining the Presidency and if that is too much to ask, then let UPND find other people to dialogue with,” said Mr Chanda.
He insisted that the ruling party would not rescind any of its decisions and that UPND was free to walk out if they wanted to.
Mr Chanda said that he was sure there were other political parties, the church and other stakeholders who were ready to participate in the dialogue process with PF.
He explained that PF would not let anyone abuse the dialogue process as the party was only looking forward to making the days to come better and brighter for the Zambian people.