‘Brothers’ Lungu, HH meet
Published On November 21, 2018 » 3882 Views» By Times Reporter » HOME SLIDE SHOW, SHOWCASE
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By KASONDE KASONDE –
PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu and United Party for National Development (UPND) leader, Hakainde Hichilema, met last week in a lead-up to the national dialogue.
And the three Church national bodies will lead the dialogue process under an arrangement agreed to with the Zambia Centre for Interparty Dialogue (ZCID), clearing a major sticking point in the preparations for the much-anticipated meeting.
According to information revealed yesterday, Mr Hichilema and Mr Lungu met on Monday last week under the facilitation of the three Church mother-bodies in an undisclosed place and called each other ‘brother’.
The three Church organisations said yesterday the meeting, which they described as a landmark, was held in a cordial and friendly atmosphere.
This is according to a communiqué signed by Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ) president Bishop Sydney Sichilima, Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ) chairperson, Bishop Paul Mususu and the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) president Bishop George Lungu.
“In our continued effort to build consensus on the processes and issues that need to be taken into account in the national dialogue and reconciliation process we facilitated a meeting between H.E. Mr Edgar
Chagwa Lungu and Mr Hakainde Hichilema on Monday, November, 12, 2018,” partly reads the communiqué.
The three organisations expressed appreciation to the two leaders for agreeing to meet without preconditions.
The statement says the Church was delighted to note that the two leaders addressed each other as brothers and showed great respect for each other.
“The two leaders expressed unconditional support to an inclusive and Church-led national dialogue and reconciliation process. They assured us of their availability and commitment to future direct engagements,” reads the communiqué.
The Church mother-bodies assured the nation that there was hope for quick and successful national dialogue process.
They also remained committed to carry out the mandate entrusted to them by the Zambians.
With the help of God and all well meaning Zambians they would work towards realising the national dialogue.
On the dialogue process the CCZ, the EFZ, ZCCB) and ZCID, said the Church would lead the process but there would be a joint secretariat.
This is according to a statement signed by ZCCB’s Bishop Lungu, the chairperson of the three Church mother-bodies and ZCID board chairperson Nathan Mulonga.
The three mother bodies and ZCID have appealed to all stakeholders and Zambians to remain committed and support the process in its entirety.
“Together we can set the nation on a new trajectory that we will truly live in peace, unity and harmony by promoting a culture of good governance, tolerance, civility, upholding the rule of law and safeguarding as well as respecting human rights, “Bishop Lungu said.
Commenting on the move, UPND secretary general Stephen Katuka expressed happiness that the church and ZCID had reached an agreement that would see the dialogue process finally commence.
Mr Katuka said his party was ready and would actively participate by attending all meetings as required.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) said it would also participate in the church-led dialogue process.
NDC acting spokesperson Misheck Moyo said the need for dialogue could not be overlooked and commended ZCID for agreeing to allow the Church to lead the process.
Mr Moyo said the NDC would actively participate in the process until a win-win situation was attained.
Mr Moyo singled out the application of the Public Order Act (POA) as one of the outstanding matters that should be resolved urgently.
Patriotic Front media director, Sunday Chanda, said the party Secretary-General, Davies Mwila would issue a statement on the matter today.

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