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Be wary of spoilers, doomsayers in dialogue process – Zitukule Consortium

ZITUKULE Consortium says it is deeply concerned with the growing number of spoilers and doomsayers in the national dialogue process.

Consortium executive director Nicholas Phiri noted that some elements survive and thrive on the existence and continuation of destructive political rivalry in the country.

Phiri has therefore warned both primary and secondary parties to the January 18 national dialogue to be conscious of those who benefit from conflicts because they would stop at nothing to ensure that national dialogue fails to bear fruit.

“We have noted with concern that several voices have risen to advise President [Edgar] Lungu not to attend the national dialogue together with Honourable Chishimba Kambwili, the Roan PF member of Parliament and National Democratic Congress consultant. These are same voices that had insisted in the past that unless UPND recognised President Lungu as Republican President, there would be no dialogue,” Phiri recalled.

He further noted that anybody who means well would not have problems with Kambwili being part of the national dialogue as was a citizen before being either PF or NDC member.

“It was the same clique that cried ‘sovereignty’ just to get rid of the Commonwealth in facilitating the national dialogue in preference to ZCID even when it was clear that ZCID were not equal to task at hand. Today, the same voices are condemning the church as the leader of the national dialogue and advising President Lungu to put up conditions for national dialogue. It goes without saying that national dialogue is about listening to and learning from each other on issues that divide and bind us as a people with the ultimate aim of unifying the country in the midst of diversity for the common good of our people. This being the case, anybody who means well would not have problems with Honorable Chishimba Kambwili being part of the national dialogue as he is a citizen in the first place before being a PF member.”

Phiri further said the national dialogue must be pursued without any preconditions.

He also advised the church to be careful with the Zambia Centre for Interparty Dialogue (ZCID) in facilitating national discourse as several stakeholders perceive it with less credence.

“As Zitukule Consortium we remain hopeful that the Head of State will not be swayed by the counsel of doomsayers. He must pursue national dialogue without any preconditions. Preconditions have largely delayed us in having the national dialogue take off. We are confident that the Head of State shall keep his words and provide level headed leadership which he demonstrated against the wish and counsel of doomsayers when he met with president HH at a time that those who survive on destructive political rivalry did not approve of the idea. Further, we also wish to advise the church as a leader of the national dialogue to be careful with ZCID in facilitating national dialogue as several stakeholders perceive ZCID with less credence,” said Phiri.

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