The Southern African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD) has urged the ruling Patriotic Front and the opposition UPND party to desist from making statements that can jeorpadize the process of dialogue between President Edgar Lungu and Hakainde Hichilema.

Speaking in an interview today, SACCORD executive director Boniface Chembe said the process of national dialogue would not only bring about sanity but also provide a solution to governance challenges in the country.

“As SACCORD, we advice the ruling party and the opposition party to be careful with the kind of statements that are being issued as the country prepares for the national dialogue process. Our organisation believes that it is important for stakeholders and the leading political parties to follow this advise because the statements being issued will either support or jeopadize the process of dialogue in a positive or negative way,” he said.

“We believe that the process of dialogue will be able to inspire the reconciliation process and provide a solution to the governance challenges that the nation has been facing since the 2016 general elections.”

And Chembe said SACCORD has condemned the political violence that transpired in the ongoing Chilanga ward by-election few days ago.

He said with only few days left to go before the by-elections. political parties must avoid violence and ensure that peace is maintained and that people are allowed to vote in a conducive atmosphere.

“With only a few days left before the poll day for the by-elections, it is important that political parties refrain from ferrying cadres from Lusaka to where the by elections are taking place. The images of bloodshed in Chilanga are truly regrettable and we hope that political parties will maintain peace and allow people to peacefully elect their representatives,” stated Chembe.

“Political parties must act quickly to their messages and manifestos so that people in their areas are able to make an informed decision in terms of which leaders are going to address the challenges they face and peacefully select the representatives of their choice.”