ADD leader Charles Milupi says by standing on the truth, the Opposition Alliance has unsettled those who lack integrity.
On Sunday, four opposition political parties accused the Opposition Alliance and the church of trying to use the dialogue process as a vehicle for regime change.
At a joint press briefing, Sakwiba Sikota of the United Liberal Party, Felix Mutati, leader of one of the two Movement for Multiparty Democracy factions, Edith Nawakwi of the Forum for Democracy and Development and Wynter Kabimba of the Rainbow Party, charged that the Opposition Alliance had deliberately been misleading the nation, among other accusations.
But in an interview, Milupi said Sakwiba, Nawakwi, Mutati and Kabimba should come out in the open and state who they are and what they stand for, before throwing stones at others.
“You know, if you stand on truth, you unsettle those who peddle lies, those who have no integrity,” Milupi said.
“So we have heard statements and the idea is to disband the alliance so that they pick one of us like Hakainde Hichilema and then say ‘all these are his lapdogs, these are his useful idiots’ the idea is to make us angry so that we can walk away but that will not happen. We stand on truth, we think that what we stand on, if it is implemented, it will result in this country moving forward politically, socially and economically. Anyone who finds anything wrong in us, it means they are dishonest and they lack integrity and they don’t mean well to this country. And to accuse the church that they are campaigning for anyone or they want a regime change is wrong.”
He said it was wrong to accuse the church of helping with opposition alliance to push for regime change, adding that those attacks on the alliance lacked integrity.
“So those four political parties first of all must tell us who they are? We have come out very clearly as an alliance of opposition political parties. What brings them together? Are they an alliance? Is the alliance just to speak the position of PF such that if PF boycotts they also boycott? When we had a meeting on Tuesday, Mr Hakainde Hichilema stood up and said something, then Davies Mwila stood up and said ‘what are we here for?’ and then he walked out. ZCID stood up and walked out, those same four political parties also walked out. So when PF walks out and you also walk out, what impression are you creating? So that is the meeting which resulted in all these statements,” Milupi said.
Milupi said the fact that the alliance’s position on the dialogue position coincides with what the church is saying does not mean that the two are in cahoots.
“So to accuse us because we understand what should be done right and exact that our understanding coincides with what the church is saying does not mean that the church supports us. Anyone who says that the church supports any particular group of people is totally wrong because first of all, in our alliance, we have not even reached a time when we shall be talking about what we are doing for  elections, who stands? Who the running mate? Who does what and so on. We came together to address these issues that we have mentioned, the political space, the abuse of the police, the abuse of the Public Order Act, the abuse of the Electoral Commission of Zambia, the Violence that we are seeing. We want the political field to be evened out,” he said.
Milupi insisted that there was no way the alliance would allow ZCID to chair the dialogue process because the centre was composed.
“So it (ZCID) is a subordinate body to us the politicians because it is our SGs who sit on that board. And ZCID together with their friends in our view try to weaken the [dialogue] process by superimposing ZCID. In a village when there is a problem in a marriage, you go to seniors and in our case, ZCID is junior because our secretary generals sit on that board. We have said no, we need the church mother bodies because we are a Christian country, we have respect for the church because they have the moral authority. And at the launch of the dialogue, this time the PF excused that President Lungu needed 48 hours notice but our knowledge very clearly was that the notice to State House well within that time frame. But the strange thing that we noticed was that PF and President Lungu didn’t show up, ZCID didn’t show up at dawn. We also noticed that the other wings of government like the Speaker who had been invited did not show up, the other arm of government, the judiciary like the Chief Justice did not show up, the retired presidents like President Kaunda and President Banda did not show up,” Milupi said.
And Milupi said there was someone in the background trying to manipulate the dialogue process.
“Someone somewhere in the background is manipulating these things. They don’t want dialogue. Following that meeting, Mr Sakwiba Sikota started going on television where he said a lot of things against the church and these other ten political Parties went on television and said ‘we are affiliated to PF and we are not ashamed to say that and they said a lot of things against the church mother bodies. We were concerned because you do not throw mad at your parents because if you are a Christian country, the highest people to respect are the elders of the church. We were concerned and our next step was that we were going to pull out of ZCID,” said Milupi.