… ‘It is no longer clear what this dialogue is all about’- Tayali
By AARON CHIYNZO
THE concempt for the national dialogue should be clearly stated to stakeholders because if it is no longer clear what is to be discussed, Economic and Equity Party President Chilufya Tayali has demanded.
Mr Tayali said that the real agenda for the national dialogue was no longer clear because it seemed to have shifted from what was agreed in the first place.
He said in an interview that the initial idea for dialogue was started by political parties adding that they only invited the church to chair the process as a neutral body.
Mr Tayali however wondered why the church was now calling the shots and making the major decisions without the involvement of political players.
He reiterated that it was surprising that the church was even planning to sideline ZCID from the process when it was made up of political parties themselves.
Mr Tayali pointed out that the church was supposed to work with the agenda which was set by political parties but that it was no longer clear if that was still the case.
“How can the church plan on sidelining ZCID in this process when ZCID is made up of political parties.
This is supposed to be an interparty dialogue, so can ZCID be left out? It is no longer clear what this dialogue will be all about because the church is coming up with its own programmes,” he said. Earlier, Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ) general secretary Emmanuel Chikoya said that all political players are free to attend the dialogue launch slated for January 18, 2019 where modalities for the main dialogue will be set
Fr Chikoya noted that there had been misunderstandings regarding the dialogue to be convened on Friday next week.
He told the Daily Nation that the meeting would mark as the ceremonial public launch of the dialogue process.
He said the January 18 gathering was open to all stakeholders and not restricted to party presidents and secretary-generals as erroneously suggested.
Fr Chikoya said that all political players and other groupings were free to attend the meeting as it would be a public event where guidelines and other modalities for the actual dialogue process would be communicated.
“The meeting on the 18th January, 2019 is not a meeting as people want to view it, it’s a launch.
And everyone regardless of how you want to call them, are free to attend. “Please help us correct it.
So we should not mistake this to the actual dialogue. It’s just a launch and we will share the guidelines on how we will proceed,” he said.
When asked whether NDC consultant Chishimba Kambwili was eligible to attend the actual dialogue process, Fr Chikoya said that guidelines would be communicated at the launch.
The clergyman said that for now he would not want to dwell on the issue as guidance would be given at the right time.
Meanwhile, State House had confirmed that President Edgar Lungu would attend the national dialogue meeting set for January 18.
Special Assistant to President Lungu for Press and Public Relations Amos Chanda had said that the Head of State was committed to the national dialogue process and was hopeful that ZCID and Church mother bodies would create a platform to build confidence in the process.