Patriots for Economic Progress (PeP) leader Sean Tembo has resigned from the Zambia Centre for Interparty Dialogue (ZCID) saying it is pointless to continue being part of the board when the PF and UPND have stripped the Centre of its core mandate to lead the dialogue process.

Last week, State House, through President Edgar Lungu’s Special Assistant for Press and Public Relations Amos Chanda issued a statement to the effect that the ZCID should involve the Church in spearheading the much-hyped national political dialogue.

This followed the UPND’s snubbing of the ZCID’s National Democracy Stakeholders Summit (NDSS), organized as a pre-dialogue process, at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre (MICC) in Lusaka earlier this month.

Tembo a two-day ultimatum to challenge Chanda’s statement in a bid to maintain ZCID’s independence but the board has remained silent to date.

In a statement, Monday, Tembo announced his resignation.

“I wish to announce to the nation that today, Monday May 28, 2018, l tendered my resignation from the board of governors of the Zambia Centre for Interparty Dialogue (ZCID). It is worth noting that ZCID is an institution that was created and is owned by us, political parties, with the primary mandate of facilitating inter-party dialogue. My decision to resign from the ZCID board was influenced by the fact that the two key members of ZCID, namely the ruling Patriotic Front and the main opposition UPND, have not only passed a vote of no confidence in ZCID, but have further stripped ZCID of its primary mandate to facilitate inter-party dialogue, and have instead re-assigned that mandate to the Church,” Tembo stated.

He regretted that the collective wisdom of the co-founders was being questioned by today’s political leaders.

“It must be noted that when ZCID was created around the year 2004 by political luminaries of that time who included the then Republican President, Levy Patrick Mwanawasa of the MMD, the then party president of the Patriotic Front and subsequent Republican President, Mr. Michael Chilufya Sata, the then party president of the UPND, the late Anderson Kambela Mazoka, the then party president of the FDD, the late General Christon Tembo, the then party president of the Zambia Republican Party, the late BY Mwila and others, these political luminaries of yesteryear identified the need for the creation of an institution called ZCID, that would be owned by political parties themselves and whose sole mandate would be to facilitate inter-party dialogue, despite the Church existing at that time,” he stated.

Tembo stated that he would not continue drawing tax payers’ money through sitting allowances under the ZCID board for doing nothing.

“Fast forward to 2018, I find it regrettable that the collective wisdom of Mwanawasa, Sata, Mazoka, BY and General Christon Tembo is being questioned by today’s political leaders, and we have a situation where both the ruling party and the main opposition do not believe that an institution, which was created for the sole purpose of facilitating inter-party dialogue, is capable of discharging its primary mandate. It must be noted that when l made a decision to offer myself to serve on the board of ZCID, I did so on the understanding that I am going to be engaged in the business of inter-party dialogue. Now that this mandate has been taken away from ZCID and allocated to the Church, I cannot in good conscience continue to sit on the board of ZCID and draw tax payers’ money, through sitting allowances for doing nothing. If l did so, l would have no moral pedestal on which to stand in holding the government of the day accountable for abuse of tax payers’ money,” bemoaned Tembo.

“It is on the basis of the foregoing that l decided to tender my resignation from the board of governors of the Zambia Centre for Interparty Dialogue. I wish to take this opportunity to thank the various political parties that elected me to sit on the ZCID board in 2017. I further wish to reiterate that l shall always be available to serve this country in any suitable capacity in future, provided such service to the nation does not conflict with my moral standing.”