Banda tells Lungu to take responsibility

By Staff Reporter

OPPOSITION People’s Alliance for Change (PAC) president Andyford Banda says President Edgar Lungu should be held accountable if the country’s security situation degenerates on account of national dialogue not succeeding.

But nominated member of parliament Raphael Nakachinda feels the President should be commended for: “the first time in the history of this country” allowing key stakeholders to start the dialogue process without government having a direct control of the process.

Responding to some callers’ concerns when he featured on Let the people talk programme on radio Phoenix this morning, Banda made an earnest appeal to President Lungu to take measures aimed at the restoration of confidence in the governance of the country.

“Someone said that President Lungu is worried about political violence and he’s called on all stakeholders…. This is my call to the President; Mr President, the issue of dialogue lies on your shoulders. If you are not going to make a move, Mr President, if the dialogue does not happen, I don’t think it’s HH who will be blamed or it’s the Church, it’s ZCID or anybody. That issue will squarely be blamed on you (President Lungu),” Banda said.

“As PAC, we would like to call upon you to take up leadership to ensure that this dialogue process happens. We know that the Church are the right people to direct the issue of the dialogue. I don’t think there is any complication! Mr President, if this country goes wayward because we have not dialogued, in the future people are going to squarely blame it on you. You are the leader that is there today and the person who should lead us in ensuring that this dialogue happens”.

But Nakacinda, who is national secretary for Felix Mutati’s MMD faction, called in saying, “first of all, I find president Banda to be a reasonable person and I want to say that I’m confident that he would be sincere when it comes to matters of national interest.”

“He referred to the issue of national dialogue, to which as young politicians we are supposed to be extremely interested to see the focus for which the national dialogue was called upon. I just wanted to differ with president Banda when he says that President Edgar Lungu will be blamed if the dialogue process does not succeed,” Nakacinda indicated.

“I thought we are actually supposed to be commending President Edgar Lungu, for the first time in the history of this country, for allowing that the citizens, through the key stakeholders, initiate the process that will culminate into reforms without government having a direct control of the process!”

Nakacinda underscored that President Lungu did not appoint a technical committee or commission to do with constitutional reforms but that he instead allowed political players, under the Zambia Centre for Interparty Dialogue (ZCID), to spearhead the process that would identify areas of reform on issues that are known historically to have been troublesome in the country.

“But through this process, we have ended up politicking among ourselves…. Don’t you (Banda) think that what we need to objectively and genuinely challenge one another over is the insincerity of some of the political players who want to use this [dialogue] process for politicking? A reference point is your alliance partners, the UPND!”

In response, Banda pointed out that dialogue would benefit neither the PF nor opposition political parties.

“We want to go into an election and ensure that if 10 people have voted for me, my 10 votes are counted. If 1, 000 people have voted for me, my 1, 000 votes are counted,” he explained.

“Let’s ensure that the electoral process is cleaned up, let’s ensure that the ECZ has got teeth, let’s ensure that the public order Act is done and then let’s campaign hard so that there is change in 2021.”

Earlier, Banda said most of the people in Zambia that were being called politicians did not even have a vision for the country.

“If you listen to them for a few days, a few weeks, you’ll understand that takuli eko baletutwala aba (these aren’t taking us anywhere). Politics is not just about making noise, icimwela (morale), dununa reverse and what not. We need to start thinking deeply; let’s approach our politics differently as we approach 2021,” noted Banda.