We note the reasonable call by the Human Rights Commission on the need for dialogue among political parties especially between the UPND and the PF.
As UPND, we have always called for continued dialogue among citizens and all organizations as that is the only way many challenges affecting our people can be addressed.
We believe that through dialogue, even those who hold different views from ours, some consensus can be reached and in turn achieve harmony, peace and unity in the country.
Contrary to this spirit, we are aware of the public statements that have been issued by our colleagues in the PF leadership, who have insisted that, no dialogue between PF and UPND or indeed with anyone who has different views from theirs. Our colleagues in the PF leadership believe that anyone who differs with them must be dealt with through the lack of reason mediums such as violence, suppression, and oppression until they submit to them.
They have done that to several individuals and organisations such as the Post Newspaper and other media houses, the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) and other civil society organisations, political parties such as the UPND whose members are being brutalised and jailed for merely holding a different view from them.
The PF want to lead a society through this oppressive method. This is where everyone must agree with them, since according to the PF leadership, it is only them who are always right.
The condition the PF leadership is putting that they cannot dialogue with us until we recognise their regime is exactly part of the problem with regard to the rule of law.
Everyone knows that the matter of recognition and legitimacy is still subject to the decisions in the courts of laws after the petition has been heard as provided by the constitution and other laws of the land.
The current PF leadership has all the hallmarks and replica of the former apartheid oppressive, ruthless and racist South African government that never believed in dialogue as a means of resolving differences. Just like the apartheid regime, the PF label anyone who differs with them as a terrorist who must be crushed, arrested and beaten into submission.
But we know from history that tyranny and arrogance such as these being exhibited by the PF leadership have never been a means to resolving problems. Even with the apartheid South African regime, it was only after the different interest groups sat down and resolved the issues through dialogue with whoever they considered were at variance with their ideologies, that sanity finally emerged victorious.
UPND National Chairperson