Lusaka Province Minister Bowman Lusambo says the proposed national dialogue process should be led by Zambians.
Mr. Lusambo who is also Kabushi Member of Parliament said as correctly guided by President Edgar Lungu, the dialogue process should be fully home grown and Zambian owned.
He said has credible institutions such as the Zambia Centre for Interparty Dialogue that can successfully lead the dialogue process.
“As a nation, we have demonstrated immense abilities to handle our sovereign issues without any foreign interference. As can be evidenced from our history, the Zambian people are resolute in protecting the interests of the nation. In 1964, all Zambians rallied together to push for a birth of a new and liberated nation. In 1991, Zambians again came together and collectively made a return to multi party democracy with no foreign influence,” Mr. Lusambo said in a statement.
He added, “On the regional front, Zambia’s record in peace building is unparalleled. We have seen the country host numerous peace talks over the years. In May 1995, under the stewardship of late President Chiluba, Zambia hosted the signing of the Angolan Protocol which saw President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos and UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi meet and hug each other at Mulungushi International Conference Centre and in July 1999, the Lusaka Ceasefire agreement was signed towards the cessation of the second Congo war.”
“These including some of our regional liberation efforts have put Zambia in a respectable league as far as promotion of peace and enhancement of dialogue is concerned. Therefore to begin to peddle a position that only a foreign led dialogue process would attain credibility is not only mischievous but suspicious. Zambia at 54 cannot be reduced to a puppet master. Our forefathers who sacrificed so much including their lives would be turning in their graves to hear some arguments that seek to perpetuate the narrative that only a western initiated and western led dialogue process would succeed.
Mr. Lusambo continued, “As a nation, I feel, as corrected pointed out by President Lungu, our own national institutions such as the ZCID should take the lead in any dialogue process. From where I am standing, the ZCID has both the institutional capacity and credibility to foster national dialogue especially of a political nature since it is a creation of political parties.”
“With that said, why then are some people still against a home grown dialogue process? The answer is simple, these are people who are unpatriotic and have somehow convinced themselves that only a western led dialogue process would be genuine,” he said.
“As the Head of State pointed out, dialogue is in the Zambian DNA. We have always dialogued as a people and we have scored tremendous success as a matter of history. My humble appeal to my brothers and sisters opposed to a home grown dialogue process is to search deep in their hearts and reflect. Failure to do so would mean that they all have to leave this country and join their western counterparts where they may be useful.”