The Zambia Council for Social Development says the three church mother bodies must take up the responsibility of spearheading the dialogue process because their independence makes them neutral players.

In a statement, Sunday, ZCSD executive director Lewis Mwape observed that the Zambia Centre for Interparty Dialogue was not the best organisation to lead the dialogue process because it consisted of political parties which were competitors.

“ZCSD wish to recommend that the National Dialogue be spearheaded by the three Church Mother Bodies. This is historical and that every time we face political conflicts, the Church becomes a neutral body to provide conflict resolution and national unity.
The ZCID is a formation of political parties who are naturally competitors and those that form its leadership are essentially seconded from political parties and could therefore compromise on neutrality of the National Dialogue reconciliatory agenda. However, the ZCID must facilitate and coordinate the participation of its members (The Political Parties) in the National Dialogue and also support the nomination of members of the National Dialogue Steering Committee,” Mwape stated.

“Our proposals and recommendations are premised around the principle of Give and Take.
ZCSD therefore calls on the PF and UPND Leadership particularly the PF President Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu and the UPND President Mr. Hakainde Hichilema to appreciate that the National Dialogue is in the very interest of the Zambian people and that the nation must be allowed to be united once again and all political players pursue politics of peace and unity that fully recognizes the Rule of Law and Constitutionalism. ZCSD also takes this opportunity to applaud ZCID for its contributions to shaping the Dialogue Process.”

He stated that ZCSD was worried that the dialogue process had stalled for too long.

“The Zambia Council for Social Development has weighed all proposals from various stakeholders and their interest and concerns. ZCSD acknowledges that the National Dialogue will provide a credible platform that will be useful to move the country forward after the 2016 General Elections that left the nation in a limping stance politically, socially and to a large extent economically due to electoral violence and the actions by public institutions that promoted hatred among our once united people. ZCSD is concerned that the National Dialogue process has stalled for a long time as the longer we take to move into the next stage of the National dialogue will acutely affect governance; particularly the political environment which is an essential ingredient for development and prosperity of any nation and Her people,” stated Mwape.

“We are worried that the Patriotic Front (PF) opts that the dialogue be led by the Zambia Centre for Interparty Dialogue (ZCID) while United Party for National Development (UPND) is more confortable to have National Dialogue be led by Commonwealth. The Zambian people are fully aware of the Genesis and the importance of the National Dialogue in fostering peace and harmony in the country and more importantly to help the nation to face the future with great hope and accountability on the part of our leaders from all spheres of life particularly political leaders who bid for public office during elections for the service of the people.”