…new law discriminatory and not inclusive
By AARON CHIYANZO
INDIVIDUALS planning to boycott the National Dialogue Forum should reconsider their position, Justice Minister Given Lubinda has said.
Civil Society Constitution Agenda (CiSCA) chairperson John Mambo howver charged that national dialogue is doomed to fail because it was no longer inclusive and the people were being forced to participate.
Mr Lubinda said that the National Dialogue Law was not partisan and that it should be supported by all.
He urged political parties to put the interest of the nation first.
“Government will continue appealing to stakeholders to participate in this forum. Those planning to boycott the national dialogue forum should reconsider their position,” he said.
The UPND, some civil society organisations and church mother bodies have indicated they will not participate in the forum.
According to Ministry of Justice acting Chief Parliamentary Counsel, Mwenya Bwalya, the National Dialogue Forum, constituted under section 5 of the National Dialogue (constitution, electoral process, public order and political parties) Act, no. 1 of 2019, was scheduled to commence sittings on Tuesday April 23rd 2019 and end on Monday 7th May, 2019.
Ms Bwalya said the sittings of the forum would be held at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre from Monday to Friday from 08:00 hours to 18:00 hours daily, excluding public holidays.
And Bishop Mambo said that the recently assented National Dialogue Law compelled invited stakeholders to participate in the forums without fail.
He reiterated that ‘the stubbornness of using numbers to make decisions in parliament was a mockery to democracy’.
Bishop Mambo told the Daily Nation that a process which forced people to participate would never yield fair and desired results.
He also claimed that the legal dialogue process was not all inclusive as it left out the marginalized who constituted a critical component.