Political dialogue must be anchored on equality – MNT


THE Movement for National Transformation founding president Daniel Shimunza has noted that the national dialogue process should be anchored on equality, social inclusion and economic advancement for the benefits of all.

In a statement, Shimunza stated that the political dialogue process should be led by the Church, as agreed amongst the majority of political players.

“As Movement for National Transformation,  we are unequivocally in support of the dialogue process, in order to deal with national issues, bordering on electoral reforms, ammendment of the Public Order Act (POA), constitutional ammendments, post- 2016 election problems, and any other national concerns, in our constitutional democracy, to foster justice, equality, social inclusion, economic advancements for the benefits of all citizens,” Shimunza stated.

“However, we contend that the following must be considered in order to advance this dialogue agenda; firstly, stakeholders must select who leads the dialogue, to avoid bias and immature rivalry in the process. So far, it seems all stakeholders agree that the Church must lead. But we need a unified voice of the Church mother bodies. The Church must not further divide the nation. Secondly, the process must be all inclusive of all national key stakeholders, beyond political parties. This is critical to consolidate all pending issues of national interests. This must include NGOs, unions,  civil society, corporate leaders, and any others concerned.”

He stated that the dialogue process should be devoid of partisan interests.

Shimunza states that the PF and UPND should show maturity during this process.

“Thirdly,  there must be no pre-conditions by any stakeholders. Openness and patriotism will be required to put partisan interests aside, for national interests. All issues must be addressed without hypocrisy and pretence. Everyone must be heard.Maturity is required by leaders of various political parties especially United Party for National Development and the ruling Patriotic Front, to set a good example of multi-partisanship. We must cross the aisles of self- preservation, peer rivalry, and pettiness, and take responsibility for national issues. Otherwise, both will become irrelevant as Zambians see their selfish interests, that have delayed the process thus far,” he stated.

“Conflict management and resolution principles must be the goal of all stakeholders in the process. Dialogue does not mean the effacement of problems among stakeholders, but the courage to rise, and finding lasting solutions to what has divided the nation. Therein istransformative leadership.”

Shimunza further stated that Zambians were looking for genuine dialogue.

“Conclusively, we need affirmative action, mediation, result- driven dialogue, and enforcement of all critical changes proposed. This will result in confidence, and immediate impact on the nation. It takes maturity, and responsible approaches to engage both perceived allies and foes, in the battle of governance. Those in power must be humble enough to come down from their highest  pedestal and not mock those outside power. Whereas those seeking power must be self- restrained and condenscending to humble opinions of sobriety in seeking power. This is about moderation, not self -seeking immaturity. Maturity takes no blame shifting, but is even willing to sacrifice for the good of many above self. Zambians are tired of division and seek a unifying leadership which MNT advances. We need objective politics, not subjectivity, consensual politics, not confrontational politics, respectively. It is time for transformation, and unity regardless of station,” stated Shimunza.

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