THERE has been a deficit of dialogue among political parties in Zambia and that is why there had been tension in the country’s political landscape for a long time, veteran politician Vernon Mwaanga has observed.
He said there was no reason for political parties to avoid each other in a democratic dispensation.
Dr Mwaanga said there was need for leaders of both the ruling and opposition political parties to interact despite their differences in ideologies.
He said there had been no dialogue and interaction between the ruling party and the opposition since 2001 and that the Patriotic Front (PF) should consider meeting with the opposition to discuss a range of economic, social and political challenges the country was faced with.
Dr Mwaanga said the Zambia Centre for Interparty Dialogue (ZCID) had become a moribund organization because it was not serving the purpose for which it was initially formed as political parties in Zambia were not interacting.
He said overtures had been made to engage the PF but the ruling party had not been willing to interact with opposition political parties to discuss the issues the opposition political parties had been raising over the years.
“There has been a deficit in dialogue among political parties in the country and this has certainly been a source of political tension. Since 2001, there has been no dialogue among our political parties and the Zambia Centre for Interparty Dialogue has become moribund. The PF has not been interested in dialogue but overtures have been made to engage the opposition and we hope that they will be able to consider interacting with other political parties so that they could hear and discuss the issues being raised by the opposition political parties,” Dr Mwaanga said.
He said he was hopeful that the ZCID would be resuscitated because it was a good platform for political parties to interact and discuss issues that affect the governance of the country.
Dr Mwaanga said he was hopeful that the opposition political parties consultative meeting held at Courtyard Hotel on Saturday was the beginning of many meetings among political parties in Zambia.
He said dialogue often helped to calm political tension in countries and that was why it was imperative for the ruling PF to promote unity and love by engaging in dialogue with the opposition political parties.
Dr Mwaanga said dialogue had helped many countries achieve many things and that political party leaders should stop talking at each other but should cultivate the culture of talking to each other.
He wondered why political parties in Zambia were avoiding dialogue when it was an avenue for resolving any form of differences that could arise.