The Southern African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD) has told Zambian President Edgar Lungu to be a man and face the opposition to help chart the way forward in addressing the country’s political conflict,The Post reports.
Saccord executive director, Boniface Cheembe shared his disappointment at the lack of effort by President Lungu to discuss the country’s political tension.
“The Patriotic Front should be in the forefront promoting peace and stability. Therefore, it is disappointing to have leaders who are not ready to sit with other stakeholders to resolve the misunderstanding meant to safeguard citizens’ lives,” Cheembe said.
Saccord, which is a Zambian based Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) said that United Party for National Development (UPND) leader, Hakainde Hichilema had shown selflessness when he called for a meeting with a Lungu, a political rival for the good of Zambian people.
Cheembe added that leadership should be about putting the people first and was disappointed that President Lungu and the PF had turned down the chance to hold a dialogue with the UPND.
The PF have continued to blame the opposition for post-election violence and while refusing to meet with Hichilema, have called on him to publicly denounce the violence.
Ceembe concluded by criticising the government controlled media by giving a biased view on the political violence which he felt was feulling tensions, instead of helping to support peace.
News24 reported that Hichilema recently increased pressure on the newly-elected President Lungu to step down, claiming that he was using state machinery to effect a coup d’état in the country. The UPND leader stated the claims in the wake of a petition filed by the party, citing that there were several irregularities during the country’s presidential elections on August 11.
According to reports, the impending inauguration of Lungu had been halted due to a constitutional court ruling on the poll results.
However both the Electoral Commission and the ruling Patriotic Front rejected Hichilema’s claims, stating that the opposition leader was making inflammatory statements in a bid to rid himself of frustrations.