Mutati warns of problems if national dialogue is not resolved

By Staff Reporter

MMD faction president Felix Mutati has warned political stakeholders of serious governance problems if they fail to resolve the question of national dialogue.

Speaking to journalists at his Kabulonga residence in Lusaka yesterday, Mutati stressed that dialogue was an opportunity for Zambia to strengthen her governance institutions as a basis for improved service delivery.

He said the country could not afford to have differences that compromised its ability to meet the aspirations for citizens.

“The dialogue as a platform is not there for us as politicians to fix each other. But it is there for us to be able to craft a path that will be able to accelerate the implementation of the critical reforms that are required to improve the wellbeing of the people of Zambia,” Mutati noted.

“We are spending a bit more time dealing with issues around processes, procedures and other noises when we have a lot of substantive work that must be undertaken by all of us. The substantive work that we must do is the constitutional reforms, the institutional reforms, issues around civility of politics.”

He added that delayed implementation of the necessary reforms was costing the country in terms of diluting investor perception and hurting jobs.

“It is costing the macro-economic framework such as the exchange rate. So, it is in the interest of all of us Zambians to make sure that this programme succeeds. I’m sure if we all believe that no one is wiser than everyone, we’ll be able to overcome,” he said.

And Mutati emphasised that political stakeholders were investing “a lot more time on minor issues, issues around personalities, instead of dealing with principle” on matters to do with national dialogue.

“If we are going to invest time to say this one will attend depending on their political standing, then we are not going to address the substance of the issues. The issues are around institutional and constitutional reforms, the electoral reforms. If we miss out 2019, it will be difficult for us to achieve results in 2020 and 2021 and therefore the problem will get worse. So, let’s not invest time in quarrelling,” advised Mutati.