The National Secretary for the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy in Zambia, Raphael Nakacinda, has said the need for a Commonwealth referee to supervise discussion between the United Party for National Development (UPND) and the Patriotic Front (PF) is embarrassing
The National Secretary for the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy in Zambia, Raphael Nakacinda, has said the need for a Commonwealth referee to supervise discussion between the United Party for National Development (UPND) and the Patriotic Front (PF) is embarrassing.
He pointed out that mechanisms to resolve differences between the parties existed, but that there was no political will among stakeholders to resolve conflict unless a Commonwealth delegation was present.
Nakacinda warned the Commonwealth not to allow the UPND to use the dialogue process to remain politically relevant by creating the impression that their leader, Hakainde Hichilema, was equal to President Edgar Lungu in his absence.
The comments came as the Commonwealth released a new road map for dialogue between conflicting Zambian parties.
An envoy from the Commonwealth Secretariat, Professor Gambari, was sent following the Commonwealth’s brokering of a deal to secure the release from captivity of President Hakainde Hichilema.
There has been significant political discord in Zambia, with distrust and contention colouring all dialogue between parties.
The Patriotic Front government is seeking recognition as the legitimate elected government of the Republic by the opposition, whilst the latter decry the unjust manner in which the former claimed victory, including their continued persecution and imprisonment of UPND members.
Nakacinda said: “There are mechanisms among ourselves as political parties which we can encourage and foster dialogue but there is no political will.
“We have ZCID which has worked to achieve meaningful dialogue among political players and it has been done before in the past but how come today that platform is not utilised.
“When the commonwealth comes everyone is stampeding to go and meet Professor Gambari and try to talk about this so called dialogue but when the delegation leaves there is no talk about dialogue so it is a fallacy, it’s just political gimmicks that should not be entertained.
“We are also aware that the UPND are basically attempting to use this intervention from the commonwealth in sustainable manner to advance their narrow political agenda.
“Provided there is some impression that there is tension or conflict it makes the UPND relevant.
“That type of cheap politics must be seen for what it is, and the Commonwealth must be warned that they risk being used for very selfish and narrow political agenda.”