Lungu demands UPND recognition before dialogue

President Edgar Lungu says the UPND must first recognise him as Head of State before there can be any dialogue between PF and the opposition.

And President Lungu says he has received the inquiry report into what led to the death of 34-year-old ZAF flight sergeant Mark Choongwe at Woodlands Police, but did not divulge details.

Speaking at City Airport earlier today before departure for Mongu, President Lungu said his doors were open for dialogue, but with people who recognised that he was duly elected Head of State “as declared by the Electoral Commission of Zambia and the Courts of law”.

“What is it that I am going to discuss with them if they say I am not President? I have no difficulties with the opposition but they should bring issues which are objective and national in character,” President Lungu said.

“If they are crying foul that they were robbed off the victory it’s not for me to decide it’s for the courts of law and ECZ, I am willing to meet anybody but there should be an agenda.”

And the President said “investigations into the murder of the ZAF officer have been completed and a report has been handed over to me. I am not a prosecutor and so we will let the law take its course.”

Flight sergeant Choongwa died in police custody at Woodlands Police Station where he was brutally beaten by other inmates.

And the President who is in Mongu to grace the Kuomboka ceremony said he appreciated and valued tradition and culture.

“It is a cultural event and am going there as a Zambian who appreciates tradition and culture,” said President Lungu.

The Kuomboka traditional ceremony of the Lozi people of Western Province has not taken place in the last three years due to very low water levels on the Zambezi.

Western Province and Mongu is particular is a UPND political stronghold and the opposition party leader Hakainde Hichilema and his deputy Geoffrey Mwamba are also gracing the event.

Expectations are high among residents and governance stakeholders around the possibility of the two leaders meeting for an elusive handshake since the incumbent was sworn into office.

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