The Zambia Council for Interparty Dialogue says the Commonwealth must refrain from making unilateral decisions on the dialogue process.

In a statement issued by the ZCID board, Wednesday, the board also demanded to play a prominent role in the dialogue process.

“The Board of Trustees of the Zambia Centre for Inter-Party Dialogue met on the 13th of March 2018 at Fringila lodge in Chibamba District of the Central Province of the Republic of Zambia and among others, considered the position to be adopted by the Centre with regard to the on-going dialogue process and resolved as follows: That we will support the current approach to the dialogue process as proposed by the Commonwealth insofar as ZCID plays a prominent role in convening, facilitating and undertaking the dialogue process. That as a key stakeholder in the proposed dialogue process, ZCID must and should be consulted at all times before any changes are made to the previously agreed approach towards the dialogue process. Put simply, going forward, the Commonwealth must refrain from making unilateral decisions and/or failing to honour previously agreed positions with regard to the dialogue process,” the ZCID board stated.

“That representatives from ZCID must be the ones to feature prominently in the proposed Steering Committee. That the proposed dialogue must be a Zambian led and all-inclusive process involving all political parties and other key stakeholders and must not be an exclusive activity involving the Patriotic Front and the United Party for National Development only.”

On Sunday, Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland’s special envoy Professor Ibrahim Gambari said the Commonwealth would facilitate, whilst ZCID would be part of the process.

“What the Commonwealth is doing is just to facilitate the process and if you listened to me very well, this process will be led by a steering committee that will launch on the 26th, they are the ones who will lead the dialogue process…ZCID is one of the institutions and organizations we have consulted and like other organizations and NGOs, they will be part of the process, having made recommendations, and they will assist us in establishing a small secretarial team so they will be part and parcel of the process but it will be led by a steering committee,” said Prof Gambari.