UPND national Chairperson Mutale Nalumango says FDD leader Edith Nawakwi should not draw the party into her own agenda of who she likes or who she doesn’t.
Nalumango told News Diggers! in an interview that it was morally wrong for Nawakwi to jump on the PF-UPND dialogue when she was in hiding at the time UPND leaders were being arrested.
Last week when she featured on 5fm’s the Burning Issue programme, Nawakwi said UPND was not serious about the dialogue.
“I personally want to see President Lungu because we don’t want to go to 2021 with the issues which beset us in the last election. The questions we must resolve are; are we going to go the next election on the same electoral system as the one we encountered in the last couple of elections? And for me I actually wonder my brothers and sisters in the UPND stand for. Our chairman, my elder sister honorable Nalumango should give direction to the UPND. But if they are not willing to talk…me I want to meet the leadership in PF,” said Nawakwi.
But in her response, Nalumango said Nawakwi was free to meet President Lungu but said it was wrong for her to allege that the UPND did not want to dialogue.
“Actually she is free to go and meet president Lungu and we are not even aware of what their relationship has been. We don’t know whether she is a Lungu supporter or not, she has her own right. But it is wrong for anybody , any Zambian to allege that UPND does not want to dialogue. When did we say that we dont want to dialogue? Because we want to dialogue and we want a very serious dialogue. Its not a political game, this national dialogue is very important for every well meaning Zambian and it therefore cannot be a window dressing kind of dialogue. It has to be a dialogue that should address issues, it has to be dialogue that is facilitated by serious persons in our land and beyond. So what I don’t know is where Edith is getting the idea that we have refused to dialogue? Which statement is she basing on that kind of allegation that we don’t want to dialogue. We are the people that are pushing for dialogue and we want dialogue like yesterday because we have issues that this dialogue must address,” Nalumango said.
“We are principled, we know the issues that we want for this nation that affects every Zambian whether its PF or its UPND those issues affect them. The issues of injustice for example, and when we say justice reform in Zambia, is it for UPND? It is for Zambians. So if people want to politic over every issue, first we disappear and then we appear looking like we really care, that is unfortunate.”
Nalumango also wondered how Nawakwi would suddenly resurface and castigate the UPND over dialogue issues when she never commented when Hichilema was arrested.
“So let Nawakwi jump on this from nowhere, where was she when we were incarcerated? Where was she? She never made a comment not even to condemn, I don’t remember. They are the people who saw Hakainde as a person who had committed a crime, its not correct. If they are allies with PF, well they can sit together as allies and discuss. But to allege that we are refusing to dialogue is very unfortunate. As far as we are concerned, we want this dialogue. We are committing it in the hands of God who created Zambia. So Edith has got the right to say anything, meaningful or not. And Edith has a lot of knowledge on governance, she should not make things lite just like that, just to say things for the sake of saying,” said Nalumango.
“Not today you are condemning Lungu because I don’t know why then the other day you are the friend. You don’t know what you want. She doesn’t even know how or where it started from. This is why for me when people say ZCID (Zambia Centre for Inter-party Dialogue) must be serious and give direction on this matter. As for my little sister Nawakwi, she should be serious and not draw us into her own agenda of who she likes, who she doesn’t, we are beyond that.”