Mazabuka Central UPND member of parliament Garry Nkombo says the scheduled dialogue between his party and the PF is expected to address among other things, Constitutional lacunas, the electoral process, the Public Order Act and the victimisation of civil servants.
Speaking on a Diamond Television programme dubbed ‘Costa’ last night, Nkombo hailed President Lungu for showing commitment to the dialogue process and further expressed confidence that the process would yield positive results.
“I am so glad that President Lungu has shown interest to discuss and so has President Hakainde, they have agreed and all the parties have agreed. Now the question really is how genuine is this agreement? I think that the view that is their now from where we stand is that of what, why and when? What are the issues to be discussed? The issues include the Constitutional lacunas, the electoral process, the Public Order Act, the heavy handedness on the part of the police, the victimisation of civil servants, all these cases of negativity are part of the what the issue at hand is. For us we have presented our issues to the mediator and I also believe that the PF have presented theirs and there will come a time in stages when people are going to sit face to face to deal with the issues that people will bring to the table,” Nkombo said.
“So we are very confident that this process is going to yield because we have all agreed that we will put our issues on the table and the PF will also put their issues on the table. If they say these are UPND flaws and we also say these are the flaws from PF, the two parties are going to be co-mingled, they will be checked and then we will find out who is wrong and who is not. This is a give and take process because what is agreed right now is that there is a greater Zambia aside all of us. We are a passing phase because human beings come and go but institutions remain and that is why we have agreed on our party to sit on the table even when we are the aggrieved part.
Nkombo emphasised that it was important for the PF and UPND to agree and put their differences together because reconciliation was the only thing that could heal the country.
I would be unfair to them if I doubted because if we did doubt we would not have been in the talks in the first place. So we are very hopeful that they (PF) will come to the table with an open heart like we do and like the President said in his speech, he said that ‘there are many things that can unite us than those that can divide us’. I can tell you this, I am not a second class citizen so even if there were to be differences I have no other country to run to and so reconciliation has to be agreed upon because the aspect of reconciliation is what slows down the pain,” he said.
“I can say this clearly because I have been a victim, the pain of depriving me the pleasure of being with my family when I was wrongly incarcerated in Livingstone was too much and the pain can tear you apart if not managed well. So the issue of reconciliation is where the lottery lies, it takes brave people to admit they were wrong. The other thing is that Presidential pronouncement is such a powerful tool, if Mr Edgar Lungu stood up today and said ‘as part of the reconciliation process I would like the police to begin acting professionally’ because it is a fact that there is no professionalism in the police, ‘if a citizen goes to police to complain, let them (police) act accordingly’, that will be part of the problem solved.”