19 November 2012

Zambia: ZDDM Urges Inter-Party Dialogue

THE opposition Zambia Direct Democracy Movement (ZDDM) has said the people of Zambia did not make a mistake by voting for President Michael Sata and has since called for inter-party dialogue to iron out contentious issues on the political landscape.

In a petition to President Sata, ZDDM president Edwin Sakala and his deputy Charles Kafumbo said an inter-party meeting to resolve the perceived impasse between the Patriotic Front (PF) and the opposition political parties in Zambia should be convened as a matter of urgency.

Mr Sakala said the situation if left unresolved could lead to untold misery among the Zambian people.

"It is for this reason why we are calling on you to facilitate this proposed inter-party dialogue which is aimed at bringing together brothers and sisters from the opposite camp and the ruling party fighting the same enemy to a round table meeting and share views on how they can help each other to achieve the common goal," he said.

Mr Sakala and Mr Kafumbo presented their petition to the President yesterday through security personnel who later delivered it to Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations, George Chellah.

Mr Chellah said it was good that ZDDM acknowledged that Zambians did not make a mistake by voting for Mr Sata and the PF and assured that the petition would be delivered to President Sata.

"It is good that they do acknowledge that Zambians did not make a mistake to vote for him (President Sata) and now they are beginning to seek other forms of engagement for the benefit of the country," he said.

In his petition, Mr Sakala said the Zambia Centre for Inter-party Dialogue (ZCID) should host the meeting which should also come up with concerted efforts to tackle poverty, unemployment and many other issues of national importance.

He said Zambia could only develop if politicians put aside their differences and concentrated on finding solutions to reducing poverty-related issues.

"We believe that Zambia could have reached greater heights in development had it not been for the poor political culture started by UNIP, that of believing that only a few Zambians belonging to a single political party can have the monopoly of the wisdom to move the nation forward.

"The truth of the matter is that Zambia will only change for the better when we as politicians learn from other nations to distinguish the difference between political interest and national interest," the petition reads.

Mr Sakala said it was his party's hope that Mr Sata would accept their proposal for inter-party dialogue so that political leaders meet and begin to work towards serving Zambia better.

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