The Key stakeholders in the dialogue process have said that Zambia Centre for Interparty Dialogue (ZCID) is incapable of handling the dialogue process impartially.
Leading the charge at a media briefing held yesterday was Roan PF member of parliament Chishimba Kambwili who said that ZCID was incapable of handling the dialogue process impartially because it was an extension of the Patriotic Front.
“That ZCID is an extension of the PF, all of the people who are at ZCID are compromised and they are pro Edgar because Edgar has stolen too much and he’s able to buy people. So when he’s able to buy people, you cannot trust the dialogue that can be initiated by people that are in his pockets. So it is very unfortunate and some of us can only apologise to the Commonwealth on behalf of the Zambian people that we have a President who is very unreasonable. A President who can pretend to be a Christian and yet he’s not, a President who can pretend to be a democrat and yet he’s not, a President who can pretend to be humble and yet he’s a thief. But there is no humbleness in theft! So is this a man you expect to respect the Commonwealth?” Kambwili asked.
Mr Kambwili described President Lungu’s actions as a mockery to the Commonwealth and the entire international community.
“That was mockery, Lungu was mocking the Commonwealth. He was mocking the whole world that he can accept dialogue when in actual fact he’s not prepared to dialogue. Look at how they are treating the opposition, we can’t even be given police permits to hold meetings. I have been trying to hold meetings in my constituency and they refuse me but they go and give a permit to Steven Chungu who is Luanshya MP to hold a meeting in my constituency this Saturday. What nonsense! How can they allow Steve to hold a meeting in my constituency and deny me the owner? So tell them that as Steve holds his meeting, I will also be there at that meeting because I am the owner of the constituency,” said Kambwili.
And Charles Milupi asked President Lungu to stop playing games with the dialogue process. Mr Milupi observed that even President Lungu was aware that ZCID was incapable of handling the dialogue process.
“What we are looking for really is for the rule of law to return, freedom to attend and conduct meetings and we want a professional police state. Now, inspite of all these things that are going wrong, against all odds, On the 3rd of April last year, Mr Lungu arrested Hakainde Hichilema in the most brutal manner and charged him with treason. Some of us who sat in the court to witness what he was arrested for, realised how desperate our country had became. So when all these things were happening and we came in as opposition leaders to demand what was right and the Church came in, NGOs came in but can someone tell me where ZCID was? What did they say about Hichilema’s arrest? Did they come in and said that UPND is also a member of the ZCID? Did they ask Mr Lungu for dialogue? No! It had to take the Church and outsiders like General Obasanjo, it had to take the Commonwealth and Patricia Scotland to come in and demand Hakainde’s release,” said Milupi.
“We want to unite this country and Mr Lungu must stop playing games, so they must decide if they want to take part or not. But the advantage with the Commonwealth is that it’s an outside body, which is widely respected and it chose to handle the talks when ZCID was nowhere to be seen. So we want to come up with a solution that will give a new direction to this country. What Mr Lungu has done shows a lack of integrity and sincerity, because before Commonwealth got involved, Patricia Scotland had a meeting with Mr Lungu even before Hakainde released and he agreed that Commonwealth should table this dialogue and that’s why Professor Gambari got involved and created the timetable because he believed that both parties had agreed. Bu then when they are about to start now then Mr Lungu who is President says ‘no we don’t want you, we can do this by ourselves’. This shows lack of sicerity and lack of sincerity in a President is very worrying for a President and it shows that he has no direction.”
And UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema said that he was not surprised that President Lungu does not want the Commonwealth to facilitate the dialogue process because the PF has always been inconsistent.
Yesterday, the ruling Patriotic Front(PF) Women’s Chairperson reaffirmed the party’s position that any dialogue that would take place should be headed by the ZCID.
“We shall not allow dialogue to be super headed by someone from outside Zambia. Zambia is a sovereign country, Zambia is not at war, Zambia is a haven of peace. We have ZCID who are supposed to organize all political parties,” Hon Kapata said.