By REBECCA MUSHOTA and JAMES KUNDA –
THE Zambia Centre for Inter-Party Dialogue (ZCID) has started preparations for the political parties dialogue.
ZCID board chairperson Nathan Mulonga said that in a few weeks, dialogue meetings would start.
Mr Mulonga said all stakeholders from the church, traditional leadership, civil society, political parties and all interested parties were free to be a part of the dialogue.
He said this in an interview yesterday when he commented on President Edgar Lungu’s statement that the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) was ready for dialogue as long as it was driven by the ZCID.
Mr Mulonga also said the ZCID had not heard from the Commonwealth over the dialogue.
This is despite writing to the Commonwealth.
The Commonwealth had earlier in the year indicated that it had departed from the stance made earlier to let the ZCID drive the dialogue, but would instead avail a steering committee on March 26, this year who would spearhead the dialogue.
On March 26, the Commonwealth did not avail the steering committee and has not responded to Press queries nor communicated the position.
Mr Mulonga said the ZCID had the capacity to lead the dialogue and with the help of other eminent people, a committee to lead the dialogue would be selected.
United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema yesterday said that President Lungu’s statement was an excuse out of the dialogue process because it was a shift of positions.
PF Secretary General Davies Mwila dispelled Mr Hichilema’s insinuations that the governing party was shifting goalposts on the dialogue process.