STATE House has asked UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema to follow procedure in extending an invitation to President Edgar Lungu for a dialogue meeting.
In an interview yesterday President Edgar Lungu’s Special Assistant for Press and Public Relations Isaac Chipampe advised Hichilema to formally write to the Head of State over his request that the duo should dialogue to put an end to political violence and other ills affecting the nation.
On Tuesday, Hichilema has requested that President Lungu avails himself for dialogue with him at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Lusaka next week.
“We must do everything in our power to ensure we put an end to political violence and other ills affecting our nation,” he tweeted. “I hereby request @EdgarCLungu to come to the table and dialogue for the benefit of our country. I propose next week at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. #Zambia.”
Hichilema stressed that Zambians wanted dialogue and that: “we must make it happen!”
“I am not concerned about swallowing my pride in pushing for amicable dialogue with @EdgarCLungu,” Hichilema said. “It is our hope that he responds so that we can chart a new course that fosters peace and democracy.”
A day before President Lungu’s media interaction at State House last Friday, Hichilema tweeted that he was pleased that the Head of State was meeting the press.
“I call on members of the press to pass on a message for me. Tell him I’m ready for dialogue to foster peace, stability and democracy. Zambia is more important than us. #Zambia,” said Hichilema.
However, chief government spokesperson Dora Siliya responded to the opposition leader’s tweet, saying: “you don’t need an emissary….”
“You can cal [sic] on the President any time if you want to push the Zambia agenda. We can only have one Republican President at a time. We await you if you mean what you say,” said Siliya.
When reached for comment, Chipampe said the UPND leader is aware of how communication with the President is done.
“There is a formal way of doing things, even meetings. There is a formal way of communicating when you are talking about the President. If you say the meeting is on Wednesday and venue it like you are dictating the terms, so the best way is officially write and then the process can begin. I think that’s how it’s done everywhere in the world…He (HH) knows what to do,” said Chipampe.