DIALOGUE DOOMED

…Katuka says there is no road-map for proposal talks. 

By Aaron Chiyanzo

THERE is no road map to the proposed dialogue between Hakainde Hichilema and President Edgar Lungu to compel and restrict him uttering anything he feels, says UPND secretary general Stephen Katuka.

Mr Katuka said that people should not be too quick to conclude that Mr Hichilema and the UPND were not interested in the proposed dialogue because of their utterances against government.

He said there was no road map for the proposed dialogue which could have restricted the UPND from making any utterances.

Mr Katuka pointed out that the envoy who was sent by the Commonwealth to facilitate the dialogue process, Professor Ibrahim Gambari was still assessing the situation.

He said that even after their meeting, Prof Gambari had not yet communicated anything to the UPND with regards to the dialogue process.

Mr Katuka alluded that the UPND were still committed to the proposed dialogue with President Lungu and that they should not be judged prematurely.

“We met with the dialogue envoy from the Commonwealth but he did not give us any road map to the dialogue process. So we do not know why people are already concluding that Hakainde and the UPND are not interested in the proposed dialogue. Who told them that we are not interested,” he questioned.

Mr Katuka also questioned what the connection was between Mr Hichilema’s recent utterances and the dialogue process.

He emphasised that there were no set parameters to the dialogue process which stopped Mr Hichilema from condemning President Lungu.

Meanwhile, Mr Hichilema recently said at a rally in Itezhi Tezhi that he would not drop any court cases. The pronouncement has however incensed some sections of society as it was expected that the proposed dialogue entailed putting divisive issues in the past.

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