UPND president Hakainde Hichilema says he understands circumstances justice minister Given Lubinda is going through which led him to write a letter seeking clarity regarding the dialogue roadside meeting.
Lubinda, after a roadside ‘meeting’ on Monday which discussed national with Hichilema and his vice Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba, wrote a letter to the opposition leader expressing disappointment that their discussion was disseminated via social media.
Before that, Lubinda told The Mast that what he had with Hichilema and GBM was a casual chat.
However, in response to Lubinda’s letter, Hichilema stated yesterday that “meetings of such nature in other societies whose governance system is not at variance with divergent views would in fact be praised” but that he fully understood the circumstances the Kabwata member of parliament was going through, especially from his party, the PF.
He explained that the impromptu meeting did take place and “as national leaders, we discussed, among other issues, the dialogue process”.
“It was at this point that you suggested to us that we attend the Zambia Centre for Interparty Dialogue (ZCID) led meeting the following day…so that we can explain our views. In response to your suggestion, we declined to be part of the ZCID meeting as we stated that doing so would amount to endorsing the ZCID’s leadership of the national dialogue to which we disagree for the reasons we have stated several times over,” stated Hichilema in his letter to Lubinda dated May 17. “Therefore, I would like reiterate that indeed we did meet you and whether in an impromptu manner or not, we discussed some matters, including those related to the national dialogue and we succinctly presented our views to you that the Church ought to lead the process which we believe not only us but others in the nation as a whole have confidence in as opposed to the ZCID.”
He maintained that the Church should be left to lead the dialogue process.
“Since your party has issues with what you call foreign entities even when our country is a full member state to these regional and international bodies, certainly, it should be agreed that the Church mother bodies are bona fide local entities, understand our local community challenges, have helped our country resolve serious challenges in the past and it should therefore be appropriate and acceptable to all of us for the Church to lead the process,” stated Hichilema.