By PRINCE CHIBAWAH
ZAMBIA Centre for Interparty Dialogue (ZCID) says preparations for the dialogue between President Edgar Lungu and UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema are nearing completion.
ZCID Executive Director, Monica Kanjimana said in interview yesterday that the dialogue was supposed to take place this month.
Ms Kanjimana explained that preparatory activities were earlier temporarily suspended due to the recent cholera outbreak.
“We were unable to carry out a lot of activities we had planned which were supposed to build up to the actual dialogue. The issue of cholera is what has made us to move at a slow pace.”
Ms Kanjimana however said the process had resumed.
“It’s only now that we are sitting down to see how best we are going to approach this issue and figure out whether there are activities that we might forgo to expedite the process.”
She said other political parties would also be incorporated in the talks.
“We are working in partnership with the Commonwealth. They had to postpone their coming back to Zambia, so a lot of planning we have been doing has been via email. They have been waiting for us to give them a go ahead.”
She also expressed concern on attempts by some stakeholders to attach conditions to the process. “We are engaging the people who are putting up the barriers (conditions) in a more diplomatic manner so that we can build their confidence in the process.
We will keep on engaging and having continuous conversation with our stakeholders on the importance of this process,” said Ms Kanjimana
Ms Kanjimana announced that ZCID would convene tomorrow to come up with a fresh roadmap. She said ZCID would continue to engage stakeholders throughout the process.
“Detractors will always be there but I think it is important to state that if the senior party officials appreciate the relevance of what we are trying to do they will be able to relay this information to their followers,” said Ms Kanjimana.