UPND president Hakainde Hichilema has written to Justice Minister Given Lubinda, asking him to take seriously the views exchange when they met a service station in Lusaka.
Lubinda has downplayed the roadside meeting, saying nothing tangible could come out of it and that he never agreed to any suggestions from the opposition party, but HH insists that his views on the leadership of the dialogue process were serious.
“In your letter to me dated 15th May, 2018 you are seeking clarity regarding the meeting we held at a refuelling station in Lusaka on 14th May, 2018. During that impromptu meeting, the issue of the leadership of the dialogue process (ZCID or Commonwealth) was discussed and I indicated to you that in order to break the impasse and progress this critical process in the interest of the nation, the Church would be the right group to lead the dialogue process as a middle ground,” HH recalled.
“It was at this point that you suggested to us that we attend the Zambia Center For Interparty Dialogue (ZCID) led meeting the following day on 15th May, 2018 so that we can explain our views. In response to your suggestion, we declined to be part of the ZCID meeting as we stated that doing so would amount to endorsing the ZCID’s leadership of the National dialogue to which we disagree for the reasons we have stated several times over. Therefore, I would like to reiterate that indeed we did meet you and whether in an impromptu or not manner, we discussed some matters including that related to the national dialogue and we succinctly presented our views to you that the Church ought to lead the process which we believe not only us but others in the Nation as a whole have confidence in as opposed to the ZCID.”
He sympathised with the Justice Minister, saying he was serving a very difficult regime.
“A meeting of that nature in other societies whose governance system is not at variance with divergent views would in fact be praised but I fully understand the circumstance you are going through especially from the party you belong to,” stated HH.