United Prosperous and Peaceful Zambia(UPPZ) President Charles Chanda has maintained that the Church and the Zambia Centre for Interparty Dialogue (ZCID) should be excluded from the National Dialogue and let the process be handled by political party presidents.
Responding to 13 political parties that have reportedly chickened out of the ZCID, Mr Chanda said that does not hold water.
He said whether political parties pull out of ZCID or from the Church, dialogue must take place.
Mr Chanda said the onus is on the Republican President to convene a meeting for political parties ,where political and socio economic issues could be resolved.
“I wish to respond to a story that 13 political parties have withdrawn from ZCID. I want to retaliate that it seems to appear that individuals or organisations are bent on fueling tension in this country. I also wish to retaliate that unfortunately, we seem to be making a big issue out of it when the matter is straight forward. So, whether people come out of ZCID or whether they run to the Church for support, we are saying, the dialogue should be between political party presidents without ZCID and the Church. The reason is obvious, the country is not a Church.
The Church must keep their distance. When we need the Church, we will go to Church just like we do every Sunday.The Church must not impose themselves on something that can be attended to by politicians,” he said, “So, as UPPZ, we are not moved on whether people move out of ZCID, or whether they move out of the Church because as far as we are concerned dialogue must exclude these two bodies and only Presidents of political parties should meet in the dialogue. We will not change on this stance.”
The UPPZ leader clarified that if the Church led the dialogue and in an event that certain politicians are found to be culprits, it will be very difficult for the church, from the position of leading the dialogue to directly condemn erring parties because doing that will be against the ethics of ensuring that issues are handled impartially.
“… but if the Church is part of the dialogue, they can speak out their concerns so that whoever is a culprit, will be identified during the dialogue. So, this issue of the battle between the Church and ZCID, it is a sponsored gimmick and we must not tolerate that as a country,” he said.
Mr Chanda said it is unfortunate that certain sections of society are undermining the process due to selfish interests.
” It becomes unfortunate when we want to undermine the President just because we have interests to promote certain individuals. This is not what the President can succumb to.
He is a Republican President and he must not subject himself to unnecessary pressure and by so doing, I am calling for the President to call for a meeting for political party Presidents at his convenience so that we can discuss matters of national interest.
Whoever does not come,
this must not be a problem to the President . Just call for a meeting and extend the invitation to all of us, we will meet with you and voice out matters of national interest. This will shame those who think as political party Presidents, we can’t sort out political problems,” he said.
He appealed to the Defence Force to be on alert and deal with anyone that will destabilise peace in the country.
“I wish to appeal to the Defence Force to be alert so that we are not overtaken by individuals who are greedy for power and would like to destabilise the country. Whoever wants to be President in this country, it should be through the ballot and we do not want manipulative kind of arrange. We must wait for 2021 so that we can go to the ballot to ensure that the person who wins becomes President.”