The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) has described the insistence by the Church to both lead and facilitate the National Dialogue process as a more divisive route and has missed a chance to reconcile the two competing positions.
YALI Governance Advisor, Isaac Mwanza, said said it is unfortunate that the Church has decided to impute those who have objected to the solo move by the church as not credible while calling those who have endorsed their solo move as credible stakeholders.
“We know those who have called for a joint leadership and facilitation of the national dialogue, whom the Church imputes as non-credible includes His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia Edgar Chagwa Lungu, many political parties that are members of ZCID, some civil society organizations who believe in united efforts of the Church and ZCID at a time when the national dialogue is itself proving divisive,” he said.
Mr. Mwanza said those whom the Church consider as credible for supporting the Church’s solo position of leading and facilitating the dialogue include some CSOs and UPND who believe the dialogue is about addressing the breakdown in the rule of law and denial of people’s fundamental rights, among other things.
“It is unfortunate that the Church has been persuaded to take the route of the solo leadership and facilitation process premised on an imaginary breakdown of the rule of law and denial of fundamental rights which ranks a priority on those whom the Church calls credible stakeholders,” he said.
Mr. Mwanza said the route taken by the Church will not yield any progress as it has the potential of being rejected by political parties who constitute ZCID.
“We wonder how the church-led and facilitated dialogue can be sustained in the absence of the political leadership from political parties in ZCID,” he said.
Last week President Lungu criticised the decision of the church not to embrace ZCID by preferring to go alone with the the National Dialogue while UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema welcomed the move and said UPND wants to discuss the breakdown in the rule of law in the country.