Economic and Equity Party President Chilufya Tayali says the National Dialogue Forum was highly credible and it achieved milestones in the history of Zambia.
Mr. Tayali says the Forum achieved a number of substantive and progressive issues which were looked at during the 16 days of seating other than the issue of Deputy Ministers which some people have concentrated on.
He said the people that attended the NDF, were the ones that had made submissions to have the constitutions amended and therefore, no one can argue that, the members of the NDF, were purposely selected to achieve a clandestine agenda.
Mr. Tayali said all the submissions from the stakeholders and the general public, were compiled and presented as the “Zero Draft” which the people that submitted issues had to refine and validate and add something to consolidate their desires.
He said whilst the negativists are over emphasizing the issue of Deputy Ministers, the NDF achieved very important changes to the constitution among them proposed changes to the number of days in which to hear a Presidential petition, Coalition government, reduced period for campaign periods and the proportional mixed representation among others.
Mr. Tayali wondered how amidst all these achievements the negativists have rubbished the NDF that it has just brought more costs by the re-introduction of Deputy Ministers, when in the issue was extensively debated and it was made clear that, Deputy Ministers do not get more money than Members of Parliament, except that, the pay point will change from Parliament to Cabinet Office.
He said it is therefore misleading to suggest that the Deputy Ministers will increase government expenditure, because they will only get the same amount that they are already getting as MPs.
And Mr. Tayali said while he is concerned with the delay in paying retirees by Government, he finds it unreasonable for patriots to support the idea of keeping people on a payroll when they have stopped working, therefore, the idea of paying retirees within 6 months should be encouraged so that, people can get on with their lives after leaving their work.
He also said that there was no payment at the NDF, unless to those who were sponsored by various organizations and individuals, outside the NDF arrangement.
Mr. Tayali said the issue of allowances, is totally out, in as far as NDF is concerned, no member was paid for attending or voting in a particular manner at the forum.
He said the Economic and Equity Party is glad that they participated at the forum and expressed hope that, the resolutions passed will be supported in Parliament so that they are enacted into law.