UPND vice-president Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba says time has not yet come for UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema and President Edgar Lungu to sit on a dialogue table, saying party committees first have to meet and come to an agreement.

On Thursday Professor Ibrahim Gambari and his Commonwealth delegation met the two leaders separately to push the dialogue process.

Mwamba said in an interview with News Diggers! that the meeting with prof Gambari was cordial, but there were still a few things that needed to be put in place.

“The meeting went on very well. I think our meeting was very cordial though we expressed our concern that the meeting was supposed to have taken place some time in January. They were supposed to be here in January. But nevertheless he did apologize and engaged his own reasons that the government had communicated to him that there is cholera in Zambia. Okay we had to buy that but that wasn’t very important because there was cholera but business was being conducted and there were just specific areas where cholera was in Zambia. In a nut shell everything went on well,” he said.

“But time has not yet come for president HH and Lungu to meet. There are stages and I think it is very far away from now that these two will be able to meet. Because the smaller groups have to met first to agree. You don’t just rush to go and invite the presidents to meet when the smaller groups haven’t agreed, haven’t resolved all their challenges, the resolutions and the consensus hasn’t been made. So that can only be done after the smaller groups, the committees if you may like, have met. Once we reach an agreement then now, these people will meet,” he said.

He added that selected officials will be identified to facilitate the committee meetings.

“And they will come a time not too long from now, they will be nominating a chairman and two vice chairpersons. We have already presented our names and I think PF have also already done that. I don’t know if I’m right but ourselves we have actually done that,” said GBM.

“The commonwealth will only come in as facilitators and observers. They will be observing what will be discussed because of their vast experience in such matters. There will be a chairman actually who will be chairing these meetings and we want a chairman who is neutral, who is non political. Who has no affiliation to any of these two political parties. Including ourselves as UPND, we have been dying for this dialogue.”