UPND, PF told to dialogue

THE Southern Royal Foundation of Chiefs has urged opposition political parties to engage in dialogue with the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) as the country enters 2017.
Foundation chairperson Chief Chikanta said dialogue between the governing party and those in the opposition plays a crucial role in enhancing democracy and development.
Chief Chikanta of Kalomo district in Southern Province said in an interview yesterday that 2017 should be a year of reconciliation, especially between the PF and the United Party for National Development (UPND).
He urged opposition political parties and the PF to embrace respect and dialogue in their discourse.
“As we begin 2017, the party in government must appreciate the fact that existence of the opposition is legally bound and the opposition alike should also show mutual respect to the ruling party.
“If there is a problem [between the ruling party and the opposition], they need to sit down and talk without engaging in bitter exchange of words,” Chief Chikanta said.
He appealed to President Lungu to continue unifying the country, especially after the acrimonious August 11 general elections.
“The President should be accommodating and bring parties together following the August 11general elections, which brought about divisions following regional voting pattern talks,” Chief Chikanta said.
And Chief Chikanta appealed to the government to expedite the delivery of farming inputs in Southern Province.
He said most farmers in the region have not received the subsidised inputs under the Farmer Input Support Programme.
“The President [Mr Lungu] recently issued a directive for the expeditious delivery of inputs, but it seems the instruction has not been fully followed.
“The rains have already started and farmers need to plant as soon as possible,” Chief Chikanta said.

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