By Francis Maingaila
Lusaka (14-05-18) – The Zambia Centre for Interparty Dialogue (ZCID) will tomorrow house a wide range of stakeholders, including political and none political affiliation to agree to agree and to agree to disagree on modalities of resolving issues affecting the country following the disputed 2016 general and Presidential elections.
ZCID Board Chairman Nathan Mulonga told Journalists at media conference this morning that the National Democratic Stakeholders Summit (NDSS) which will be sitting in Lusaka for two days beginning tomorrow is a consultative forum that will be led by independent expert facilitators called to stir informed conversation on a wide range of issues affecting the country.
He said the ZCID is capable of handling issues affecting the nation owing to its experience in handling political issues.
He said there was no cause for other parties to accuse the political mother body of not being politically biased when it has been dealing with similar issues over the years.
He indicated that the ZCID is not only neutral but is also acting for and on behalf of all political parties and the matter to be discussed has been agreed on by the parties presidents during the consultative meeting the centre have had in the last meeting.
He added that there is no way it can betray it’s members.
He said the complaints the parties have on particular issues will be addressed by people who are politically neutral.
“Contrary to suggestion by some stakeholders that, the ZCID is not capable of handling big undertaking like this one, the ZCID is more than capable to deal with these issues. This process in particular will he be handled by neutral experts.”
According to Mulonga, over over 250 delegates drawn from the political parties, churches, Civil Society Organisations, labour movements, the media and traditional leaders, including parliament, government line ministries and representative of development partners will be represented.
“Among the issues to be discussed include reforms surrounding the constitution, separation of power, judicial independence, electoral reforms and the public order act.”
He added that the key outcome of the summit is agenda setting for national dialogue, identification of the rule of engagement for the national dialogue and mechanisms o effect the compliance and implementation of the agreed positions.
He further disclosed that the proposal on the modalities and criteria for constituting members of the steering committee will also be on the agenda
Through this process Mulonga explained, Zambia will begin to rekindle a culture of dialogue and consultation among all stakeholders with the hope of addressing national issues without confrontation arising from conflicts.
Furthermore, Mulonga clarified that the pre-dialogue process has been called to enable warring parties not only to understand but also build consensus on matters of national interest is necessary.
“In order to appreciate the conflict resolution, the ZCID met various interest groups and ensure that the pre-dialogue engagement is relevant and timely to the current political situation.”
Meanwhile the ZCID has clarified that it is not talking over the dialogue called by the Commonwealth.
He said ZCID is always touch with the Commonwealth on how to proceed with the planned national consultative summit.
“We have written to the Commonwealth giving them details of the planned National Democratic Stakeholders Summit.”
He said the ZCID is yet to receive a reply from the Commonwealth.