THE United Party for National Development (UPND) has demanded for the national political dialogue to start immediately because it is already long overdue.
Party spokesman Charles Kakoma said yesterday that relevant stakeholders should speed up preparations for the national dialogue because it had already been delayed for too long.
Speaking in an interview with the Daily Nation, Mr Kakoma expressed concern that the proposed national dialogue had taken too long to be held.
He wondered what was still delaying the dialogue process when the issues that were dragging the smooth flow of the process had been ironed out.
Mr Kakoma claimed that all stakeholders had agreed that the process would be facilitated by the Zambia Centre for Inter Party Dialogue (ZCID) and chaired by the church.
He called on relevant stakeholders to expedite whatever modalities they were putting in place before the actual national dialogue.
Mr Kakoma said that the national dialogue was long overdue as it was now almost a year since the process was initiated.
“We don’t know why the national dialogue is delaying. We all agreed that the church would spearhead the process so why the delays again? National dialogue is now long overdue, it’s almost a year since the process was initiated by the Commonwealth. So we urge the relevant stakeholders to expedite whatever modalities they are putting in place,” he said.
The dialogue process which is envisaged to bring UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema and President Edgar Lungu to the table will be firmed up on the thematic areas which include constitutional and institutional reforms.
Other areas of concentration include the separation of powers, judicial independence tolerance, freedom of assembly and civility in politics and electoral reforms.
The stakeholders had also agreed to mandate ZCID to immediately meet with the Church to set the programme for the dialogue process among others