The Zambia National Students Union (ZANASU), an umbrella body for students’ unions, calls on Church mother-bodies and other faith-based organisations to work as partners with the Zambia Centre for Interparty Dialogue (ZCID) to move the dialogue forwards.
ZANASU President, Mischeck Kakonde reminded stakeholders that the planned national dialogue on the reforms cannot be compared to 1991 dialogue when Zambia was under autocratic rule and stated that Zambia is not in any crisis and the 3 church mother bodies should not be in the forefront of creating an imaginary crisis.
“There is no legitimacy contest in Zambia and the dialogue must therefore be understood in its proper context of reforms pertaining to laws and wish to salute the Head of State, President Edgar C. Lungu, over his continued display of willingness to build consensus on pertinent issues which form agenda items,” says Mr. Kakonde who is also a student from the University of Zambia.
Mr. Kakonde said the student movement calls upon the 3 church mother bodies to instead present any other issues on the agenda besides the constitutional amendments, electoral reforms and POA and to rise above any other interests and answer to national interests.
“It does not sit well with dialogue when the 3 church mother bodies seek to exclude a body established for intra-party dialogue such as ZCID. The 3 church mother bodies ought to realise that even after the dialogue, ZCID will need to continue to harmonise and ensure there is follow through on outcomes on a day to day basis and cannot be excluded from the process. The Church shouldn’t transform its role to becoming a centre of controversy in the nation’s quest for national dialogue,” he said.
The ZANASU student leader has revealed that the umbrella body ZANASU will will soon convene a meeting with Presidents of affiliate Students’ Union beginning with Lusaka to discuss the role of students in the forthcoming national dialogue process and said it ought to be remembered that even the 1991 dialogue by UNIP and MMD was the driven by the student movement, who approached Judge Ngulube and later the church to later lead the process by providing the platform and chairing the high level meeting, and students will continue to play that role.