OPINION: Pres. Lungu and Hichilema Need to Walk the Dialogue Path

The political situation in Zambia is much improved in the aftermath of the release of UPND president Hakainde Hichilema on August 16 from prison on charges of treason.

The Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland had left the country after having met President Edgar Lungu and Hichilema setting out clear guidelines on the dialogue process.

Three months later the two leaders have yet to come to a round table. Two key moments have passed in the country that could have provided the opportunity for the two to come face to face.

The National Day of Prayer and fasting, whatever the issues around its declaration, may have been a window to make a firm statement on the need for healing and reconciliation.

If not the less contentious Independence Day provides enough credence for national leaders to come together and bridge the differences mired in politics. Both leaders did make a commitment to dialogue before the Commonwealth delegation.

The two leaders have continued side stepping each other with innuendos about each other beginning to resurface in a less than conciliatory tone. The UPND have been all over town demonizing President Lungu in one breath while on the other seek dialogue with the Head of State.

We seem to be back to the weekly trend of UPND press conferences vilifying the system in very invasive language. For dialogue to commence there has to be a commitment to give up something.

It could help that the tone is less offensive but more conciliatory. After all President Lungu seems to have gone some measure in setting steps for dialogue. Many of the politically inclined cases before the courts of law have been out rightly thrown out or ended up in nolle prosequis.

That has been healthy in the spirit of diluting political tension and many could agree that President Lungu has been less combative in his political language.

Under the current atmosphere there has to be more from both parties if the promised dialogue is to take place.

Something has to give after both parties would have to learn something in the words of John F Kennedy that is condensed in his famous line, “The test for courage comes when you are in the minority while the test for tolerance comes when you are in the majority.”

It is not for us to state who is in the majority or minority but our prayer is that this dialogue turns out to be more than just a promise.


  1. Lolo

    Yeah you are right more especially on a day before the National Day of Prayer and fasting so that even when we are preaching reconciliation we are even to point at it. Reconciliation was part of the theme on the day of prayers but the is who the president want to reconcile if he himself can’t? I think he could have called opposition leaders even if others, may be, would have refused to come but that could be the good starting point of the preaching on that wonderful day. Spiritual leaders did not guide well on that one.

  2. OneNation

    The heading is wrong: President Lungu attended the National Day of Prayer, he also presided over Independence Day celebrations. Hichilema shunned both. If you call these two as windows of opportunity to start the dialogue process, then why not just ask Hichilema (who seems too proud) to walk the dialogue path? President Lungu in reality doesn’t need the dialogue because, to be honest, there is no tension in the country.

    • Franktok

      You have to be politically blind to fail to feel the tension in the country. We are just coming out of 90 days of state of threatened emergency, my guy, unless you subscribe to the idea that ck and others are selling that market fires have been stage managed, just like in the time of Adolf Hitler’s Germany.

  3. Jcm

    what a freind we have in reconcialation will shapd wall is now over donate

  4. Pumpa

    Is this true?

  5. Jr

    To be frank and honest, no one can force a horse to drink water. Of the two, hh needs it, more that the other. Hence the need for him to show remorse. Arrogance makes pipo to do wrong things. As a result he has ended up misleading pipo with shallow minds. Leadership comes from God. Leaders are in two groupings: born leaders and leaders in the making. Find your grouping! Ndelolesbafye!!!

  6. Lcm

    what a friend we have in doner trust fund two reconciled

  7. kitonzhi

    The strong should extend an olive branch for dialogue. God did it,he gave his son to the world
    .God facilitated reconciliation to the weak wicked man.ecl must lead.

  8. Matuzi

    Loading give time

  9. G.M

    People are troubling their minds let who ever is in power do what is due to him and that’s it. The other will take it up from there if he wins support when 2011 comes no one has power to prolong life. It is only the invisible most high.

  10. Franktok

    The best option for that dialogue was the ConCourt but judges there blew it away. And now their colleagues in Kenya have decided to stay home rather than be a part to the rerun process. Is the problem with our judges or politicians in Africa?



  12. Solomon Pleito

    Can’t happen hh is jealous of lungu pakumwipaila pa shupa. Kalungu alikasula sana!

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