ACKSON Sejani says President Edgar Lungu must show his unequivocal commitment to the dialogue process with no more lame excuses.
The former Mapatizya UPND member of parliament said this year was pivotal in the governance of the country
Sejani, a former local government minister in the Frederick Chiluba administration, in an interview, underscored that at some point this year, “we shall be two and half years from the electoral fraud and chaos of the 2016 election.”
“We shall also be two and half years to the next flash point, the 2021 election. In this midpoint year, it is time to sober up as a nation, particularly those in government,” Sejani said, adding that it was time to deal with all outstanding national issues in Zambia’s governance through the national dialogue.
Sejani noted that the dialogue process must be undertaken and concluded in 2019.
“Edgar Lungu must show his unequivocal commitment to the dialogue process with no more lame excuses. We have come a long way with this dialogue process with so much hide and seek tactics aimed at delaying it or totally frustrate it all together. This must stop in 2019!” he said.
“Those who have never been serious from the word go are about to be exposed and the nation will know them. Those who are benefiting from the chaotic status quo will also be exposed by their unwillingness to participate in this, the church-led exercise.”
Sejani indicated that it was now time to level the political playing field by, inter alia, reforming the Electoral Commission of Zambia.
He argued that the ECZ commissioners, being the referee of national elections, cannot, for example, continue to be appointed by one of the players in the field – the Republican President.
“This game will raise eyebrows ab initio. We must deal with the public order Act so that all players are allowed to assemble and organise freely. The public media must be accessible to all players, after all, we all pay taxes and levies!” Sejani said.
“Is it not strange in Zambia that it is actually the private media that is accommodating all and sundry in their coverage, thereby performing the public function whereas the so-called public media only panders to the whims of a narrow and particularistic clique in government.”
He added that the country’s judiciary ought to be reformed because that was where citizens rushed to for redress.
“Civilised and peaceful people go to court to seek resolution of their grievances. If, however, this avenue is closed or if it is compromised in the discharge of its responsibilities, then we are encouraging anarchy and strife,” noted Sejani.
“It is important therefore for the national dialogue to get on with the job at hand. Ideally, the electoral commission would have done a better job if its stakeholders consultations, as it prepares for the 2021 elections, came after the dialogue so that it captures the recommendations of the dialogue.”