United Prosperous and Peaceful Zambia (UPPZ) president Charles Chanda says President Edgar Lungu’s remarks that resolutions from the just ended National Dialogue Forum were still open for further consultations are unfounded.
President Edgar Lungu on Tuesday said the resolutions of the NDF were not final because the process was still ongoing and that stakeholders were still free to register their concerns over proposals such as the introduction of a coalition government and the reintroduction of deputy ministers.
But in an interview, Wednesday, Chanda wondered if government would convene another dialogue forum to allow for people with further concerns have their say.
“It is impossible because they had to rush to finish. So how come today those resolutions are not final? But you know why the President is taking that stance? It’s because one of the resolutions has not been welcomed by everybody in the country and that is about the reintroduction of deputy ministers. They did not want to listen to some of us with different views. This is why I decided to just storm out because for them, it was all about consensus. And they knew that PF had numbers so using consensus was not the best way, they did not even look at the quality of the debates. So the reason why there is this turn now, it’s shwoing that the NDF actually did not fulfill what it was meant to fulfill and the problem is the composition because some of the issues we discussed and we oppsosed, we were overcome because of the voting,” said Chanda.
“So the President cannot say that the resolutions are not final because from NDF, the resolutions were going to go to Parliament and from Parliament they were going to be signed into law. So we mustn’t be taken for fools as citizens. Where mistakes are made, it is better to acknowledge the mistake than to now use excuses that we cannot defend. The NDF had to even increase days to finish their mandate. So why was there a rush if for sure whatever they were doing was not final? Then why was there the rush?..There is no process… where are people going to do those consultations? Where? Are they going to have another NDF? What about payments? Are they going to release more money for people to be paid? So it’s a none starter.”