The Patriotic Front has reaffirmed its commitment to national dialogue saying the Zambia Center for Inter Party Dialogue(ZCID) must be given space to spearhead the process.
PF Secretary General Davies Mwila said that the Patriotic Front has not set any conditions for the dialogue except to demand for the recognition of President Edgar Lungu as republican President.
Mr. Mwila told ZNBC News that ZCID has since written to political parties to suggest dates for a summit of political party leaders which will take place next year.
Mr. Mwila also announced that no PF officials apart from President Edgar Lungu and Vice President Inonge Wina have been allowed to comment on the dialogue process so as to allow the ZCID conduct its work diligently. Mr. Mwila said commenting on the dialogue by anyone below him might jeopardize the efforts of ZCID. Mr Mwila also praised the efforts of the office of the Commonwealth for helping to facilitate dialogue.
Yesterday, the United Party for National Development (UPND) 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.
UPND secretary-general, Stephen Katuka said that PF could 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, adding 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.