UPND National Chairperson Mutale Nalumango says President Edgar Lungu who holds the instruments of power should set a date for the national dialogue between political parties.
Nalumango was reacting to a statement from PF secretary General Davies Mwila who said UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema was not committed to dialogue because he stayed away from the National Day of Prayer and Reconciliation.
She said, in an interview, that her party was committed to dialogue, but added that the onus to set the date was on the Head of State.
“As UPND we are extremely serious about the dialogue, we want them to come to the table. We want us to go to the table. Hopefully they could create an environment, they are the creators of the environment, they are the policy makers. They are the ones who have the militias, therefore they cannot give an excuse about our seriousness. We are waiting and we will go to the dialogue,” she said.
“Unless he is saying truly he is not the President, but if he really believes he is the President, whether legitimate or not, the man holds the instruments of power and therefore should act as such. Where on earth do you see an opposition setting a date for a national theme and say we want the President here to come and talk to us?”
Nalumango wondered why people were looking to the UPND to spearhead the dialogue process.
“We have done nothing so far towards dialogue and yet people are looking at us like we hold the solution in our hands with the way we approach this date that we show seriousness. I think that it is those that are questioning us that don’t seem to show seriousness. We are divided thats why we need the dialogue,” she said.
Nalumango also said UPND officials were not invited to the Independence celebrations at State House.
“I believe if I went to state house, I was probably going to be asked for an invitation. I thought thats the way it happens when events are at state house. The event was very clear that it would be by invitation, I personally have not seen those invitations. So why should we be the ones to be blamed?” wondered Nalumango.
“So I don’t know why anybody else would say are they serious? we are very serious than anybody else may want to put it. We are extremely serious, we need this dialogue because if this dialogue is to go on, to us it should start resolving issues of concern that have taken away our democratic values and principles.”