President Edgar Lungu says the Patriotic Front is ready to dialogue but the process should be led by the Zambia Centre for Interparty Dialogue instead of the Commonwealth.
According to a statement issued by Press and Public Relations Chief Analyst Cecilia Mulenga, Wednesday, President Lungu said it was wrong for external forces to lead the process with set conditions in a sovereign state like Zambia.
President Lungu said this when United Nations Resident Coordinator in Zambia Janet Rogan paid a courtesy call on him at State House today.
He said there was nothing wrong with outside players participating but only as observes and not adjudicators because Zambia was capable of addressing its own issues as a sovereign state.
“We are ready to talk and anyone is free to participate in the dialogue process but not to talk centre stage because we are a sovereign nation. Anyone can be part of the process but only as observers and the Zambia Centre for Interparty Dialogue as the umpire. We Zambians have to own the process,” President Lungu said.
“This dialogue is meant to achieve a predictable system which will enable us choose leaders without interference. There is need to have ab arrangement which us clearly understood and with minor conflicts.”
The Commonwealth was supposed to launch a steering committee for the dialogue process on March 26 but the event did not take place for unexplained reasons.
Meanwhile, President Lungu said he was concerned that the media was more concerned with politics instead of health matters.
“Our media is awash with politics at the expense of discussing serious matters of how the government should address issues such as maternal mortality, improve life expectancy, sensitizing people on cholera prevention. No one really wants to focus on things that matter such as putting food on the table of the suffering people, water reticulation, addressing gender based violence and early marriages. There are also many other health challenges such as prostate cancer that the media can help in sensitizing men who are prone to this disease. But the agenda is ever being zoomed into politics,” said President Lungu.