UPND National Chairperson Mutale Nalumango says her party welcomes the call by the Human Rights Commission for dialogue between the two major political rivals.
In a statement, Nalumango who is former deputy Speaker, said dialogue with PF would help put an end to political violence.
“We note the reasonable call by the Human Rights Commission on the need for dialogue among political parties especially between the UPND and the PF. As UPND, we have always called for continued dialogue among citizens and all organizations as that is the only way many challenges affecting our people can be addressed,” Nalumango said.
She also said through dialogue, a consensus between the two parties could be reached and in turn achieve harmony, peace and unity.
“We are aware of the public statements that have been issued by our colleagues in the PF leadership, who have insisted on no dialogue between PF and UPND or indeed with anyone who has different views from theirs. Our colleagues in the PF leadership believe that anyone who differs with them must be dealt with through the lack of reason mediums such as violence, suppression, and oppression until they submit to them,” Nalumango charged.
“They have done that to several individuals and organizations such as the Post Newspaper and other media houses, the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) and other civil society organizations and to political parties such as the UPND whose members are being brutalized and jailed for merely holding a different view from them.”
She added that the ruling Patriotic Front wanted to lead society through an oppressive method where only the party in government was right.
“The PF want to lead a society through this oppressive method. This is where everyone must agree with them, since according to the PF leadership, it is only them who are always right. The condition the PF leadership is putting that they cannot dialogue with us until we recognize their regime is exactly part of the problem with regard to the rule of law,” Nalumango added.
And Nalumango said it was not good for the PF to focus on her party’s refusal to recognize the legitimacy of President Edgar Lungu as the matter was subject to decisions in the courts of law.
She further accused the PF leadership of being ruthless and oppressive citing that it labeled anyone who differed with it as a terrorist.
“Everyone knows that the matter of recognition and legitimacy is still subject to the decisions in the courts of laws after the petition has been heard as provided by the constitution and other laws of the land. The current PF leadership has all the hallmarks and replica of the former apartheid oppressive, ruthless and racist South African government that never believed in dialogue as a means of resolving differences. Just like the apartheid regime, the PF label anyone who differs with them as a terrorist who must be crushed, arrested and beaten into submission,” said Nalumango.
“But we know from history that tyranny and arrogance such as these being exhibited by the PF leadership have never been a means to resolving problems. Even with the apartheid South African regime, it was only after the different interest groups sat down and resolved the issues through dialogue with whoever they considered at variance with their ideologies, that sanity finally emerged victorious.”