YALI says President Edgar Lungu must consider holding talks with opposition political parties and various stake holders regularly in order to get honest views on governance issues.

And YALI says UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema must drop the election petition and focus on dialogue.

In a statement availed to News Diggers! today, Young African Leaders Initiative Governance Advisor Isaac Mwanza said there was need for the President to hold bi-annual and quarterly meetings with different stake holders in order to exchange ideas and resolve the economic and governance challenges that the country was facing.

“We believe time has come for the Head of State to begin holding meetings with stake holders who include opposition political parties, civil society organisations, the church as a way of getting honest views on matters of national governance,” Mwanza said.

Mwanza said he was sure that stakeholders would be willing to hold such talks.

“We don’t think everyone must be in government for them to contribute to the governance of this country or to reforming systems, for instance the media contributes to a country’s governance by way of providing timely and balanced information which enables decision-makers to make right decisions” he said

He said stake holders who might not be willing to attend talks with the Head of State would have no one to blame when things went wrong in the country.

Mwanza said YALI appreciated mediation offered by the Commonwealth but noted that the resolution of differences laid on President Lungu’s commitment to the dialogue process.

“We want to reiterate that YALI welcomes Professor Gambari as the Commonwealth representative to talk ahead of 2021 elections but we believe President Lungu must take up his rightful place in providing leadership,” Mwanza said

And Mwaanza asked HH to drop the petition and focus on the upcoming dialogue.

“Our destiny as a country will however depend on our collective resolve to move beyond the 2016 election that divided us and focus on the future. We thus appeal to the UPND leader to let go of the petition and begin to focus on this dialogue, 2021 and beyond,” stated Mwanza.