Zambia Center for Inter-party Dialogue executive director Nathan Mulonga has asked the church to quickly state whether or not they are willing to chair the dialogue process.
And Mulonga has insisted that ZCID will manage to organize the process regardless of the criticism the organization has faced in their quest to do so.
In an interview with News Diggers! Mulonga said it was wrong for the Church to demand to lead the entire process instead of just chairing the dialogue process.
“The trust deed of ZCID is very clear. The trust deed says the chairing of the process, is supposed to be chaired by a person who is independent. And in this situation, the trust deed says that in chairing the summit of the President, you either elect an eminent person, either from the clergy or any other profession. So, if the Church is not prepared to chair we will invoke the other provisions. We will look for another person from the other side as long as all the parties have agreed, and we move on. Because you see what is happening here is that there is a lot of politicking, you see that despite having agreed in Siavonga, that the Church chairs, the church wanting to take over the entire process. But I believe that the national dialogue is not supposed to be handled in a style like that one. It is supposed to be inclusive. For now, we cannot judge the church that they do not want to chair because we are still in the process of seeking. They only stated that the particular date when we should have met they were not willing to meet with us. We are hopeful that as Zambians we should be able to rise above the political divide and be able to come together and resolve our issues as people of Zambia and that the process is entirely inclusive for everyone and we will continue to engage all the stakeholders in this process until we reach to the solutions to the difficulties that the people of Zambia are facing,” Mulonga said.
And Mulonga said the organization would manage to organise the process regardless of the criticism they faced.
“We as an institution are subject to public scrutiny, and secondly as an institution, criticism which is constructive is most welcome because it helps us do better than we have been doing. So therefore, we don’t want to ridicule anyone, those who feel that they can continue to malign us, they are entitled. But with us I think our approach has been and will continue to be that we are all Zambians and that what we are looking for as ZCID. We don’t want to throw stones to anyone, we believe that we have got a role to play in the nation and our mandate is very clear and specific as regard to where we are. And people should also understand that as at now, the issues that are to be discussed, whether you cahenge the colours, whether you change the chairmanship, whether you change whosoever you feel would be able to do this, the issues to be discussed are already drawn. The UPND agreed to the issues, the PF agreed to the issues, the FDD agreed to the issues, the forum for political parties outside parliament agreed to those issues. Unless there are other issues which are totally different but as with regards to the main issues that are to be discussed in this national dialogue process, they are clearly identified. And we are quite happy that they have been identified and at the end of the day what is important is if you are able to address the issues that have been brought forth. And this we will do,” said Mulonga.
“We had written to the Church and we are still engaging with the Church, the Secretary Generals Meeting in Siavonga agreed that the Church will chair. When we wrote to meet with them they said that they were not ready to meet with. So, we are still waiting for the Church to tell that they are ready. Because if the chair is not ready to meet with the secretariat, then the ZCID, the ZCID has agreed to be the facilitator. We will wait until the chairman agrees that we try to look and engage with political circles to see where we can go. What was initially the biggest hurdle, before the secretary general meeting was that we are not moving together with one of our members. But since after the Siavonga meeting, it was agreed. We agreed on the issue, it is now up to the political parties to take up issues and set up the technical committee and also the chair taking his position. And once that is done, then we are able to move. We recognize that the Churches did issue a communique, but we believe that there is still room for us to engage with the Church and be able to find a solution for the betterment of this nation.”