Former Zambia National Students Union vice president Prince Ndoyi has commended the opposition UPND for not disrupting President Edgar Lungu’s speech during the opening of Parliament, saying it was a sign of great maturity.

And Ndoyi has urged the Patriotic Front (PF) not to politicise the attendance of President Edgar Lungu’s address to parliament by opposition UPND Members of Parliament.

In a statement, Ndoyi who is also a Felix Mutati-led MMD faction member said the action by UPND Members of Parliament sets a tone for the much talked about dialogue and reconciliation.

“I want to unreservedly commend the UPND members of parliament for rising above partisan interests and attending the occasion of the opening of Parliament by President Edgar Lungu. Further more, we commend their behaviour and attitude during the address as one would have expected them to be very disruptive as evidenced from their friendship with Cde Julius Malema. This Indeed shows maturity and must be commended by all well meaning Zambians. And I want to urge the Patriotic Front not to politicise this action. This is neither a gift to President Lungu nor the Patriotic Front but it sets a tone for the much talked about dialogue and reconciliation. It is up to President Lungu to facilitate and provide a platform for the same, as he is better placed being Head of State,” Ndoyi said.

He however said although the UPND claims that the move did not signify recognising President Lungu as Head of State, the opposition party needed to move on and rest the post-election issues.

“The UPND MPs have now recognised President Lungu and their actions set the tone for dialogue between the two parties. And it is hoped that recognising President Lungu also implies putting the retrogressive electoral dispute of 2016 to rest. Hakainde Hichilema also must desist taking to the media as his actions and statements recently have threatened the possibility of a sustainable dialogue and reconciliation. The soul of the nation has been held hostage for far too long. It is also worth noting that the much condemned punishment by the Speaker Hon. Matibini has arguably yielded results,” Ndoyi said.

“My advise to the UPND is that they must avoid portraying their attendance of the opening of Parliament as doing President Lungu and the Zambian people a favour. In fact the UPND MPs have done themselves a favour as the people they represent were getting fatigued by this persistent indifference at the expense of development. In fact it is suffice to further conclude that their actions threatened their victory in future elections in those constituencies.”

And Ndoyi urged political parties to use a sober approach towards political dialogue in order to resolve all the disputes.

“As a young political activist and democrat, I believe dialogue is an integral component of democracy and is the best method of resolving disputes between or among people or political opponents. Dialogue is an engine for renewed friendship. When successful, it gives birth to consensus, reconciliation, peace, unity and cooperation. When dialogue fails, acrimony, hatred, division and disrespect persist or worsen as we have experienced,” said Ndoyi.

“Finally, for dialogue to be successful and sustainable, both the UPND and PF must be committed to the process. They must be sober in their approach. There should be no politicking or subjectivity but objectivity. Each of the concerned parties should be willing to trade-off by letting go as opposed to maintaining arrogance.”