Commonwealth special envoy for Zambia’s political dialogue following last year’s disputed elections said on Sunday that he has proposed a dialogue strategy that will guide the talks.

Ibrahim Gambari, who has been in Zambia on his second visit and met various stakeholders since Thursday last week, said his proposed roadmap entails that agreed structures should be established by next month and that the dialogue process should formally commence in January next year.

The Commonwealth envoy held his initial consultations with stakeholders during his previous visit in September and his second visit was meant to check on the progress in the dialogue framework.

He said in a statement released after the visit that the roadmap also envisages that the dialogue should culminate in the establishment of a national peace architecture for high level conflict prevention in Zambia.

“As I have stated in the past, the road ahead will be full of challenges but I would like to encourage political leaders and other stakeholders, including the media, to remain focused, committed and supportive of an environment conducive to a constructive, results-driven dialogue process,” he said.

He however said the dialogue process was a “Zambian process” to be led by locals and that its success would be defined by the people of Zambia themselves while the Commonwealth’s role would be mere facilitation.

According to him, it would be imperative for stakeholders in Zambia to continue to maintain an environment of mutual respect in order to help build confidence and trust.

The dialogue process was initiated by the Commonwealth after the release of leading opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema from prison where he was incarcerated after being charged with treason.

The opposition leader has refused to accept the outcome of last year’s elections which gave incumbent President Edgar Lungu a new mandate, citing fraud.

The disputed elections resulted in violence in some parts of the country. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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