Sunday, December 15, 2013

MMD has heeded Sata's call for unity, says Dora
By Agness Changala
Mon 28 Oct. 2013, 14:01 CAT

MMD spokesperson Dora Siliya says the MMD has heeded President Michael Sata's call for unity and wants to continue to engage the PF on various issues to better the lives of Zambians.

She said MMD, as the immediate past ruling party, could not afford to be irresponsible, which was why her party heeded President Sata's call for unity.

"Our challenge to the PF is that we want to see the call for unity translate into tangible results and the ball is in the court of the PF to translate the call of unity into tangible results so that Zambians can benefit without so much tension," Siliya said in her independence message.

She challenged President Sata to ensure that his call for unity during Independence Day celebrations translated into tangible results for the benefit of all Zambians.

Siliya said boycotting events such as Independence Day celebrations was doing a disservice to those who fought for it.

She said by calling for unity, President Sata had taken a bold step to admit that something was wrong in the country and was mindful that his party could not work alone but needed other players such as political parties, the Church and NGOs, among others.

And Siliya said while the PF was in government, Independence Day belonged to every Zambian and should therefore be celebrated by all.

"Obviously, it does not mean that we agree with the government on everything. We know it's the PF in government but Independence Day is for everybody. We as MMD also reserve the right to boycott if we believe that the PF is not listening," she said.

"But we think that this year, we want to give the PF the benefit of the doubt because the President has called for national unity, and we think this is the first step to admitting that there is something wrong. The onus is on the PF; they have called for national unity and we are ready to engage on issues of the Constitution, the Judiciary, hunger in the country, accusations that 80 per cent of Cabinet is Bemba. These are issues that we want to take the government on."

Siliya said currently, there were a number of contentious issues such as the Constitution, the public order Act and the right of citizens to freely assemble, the Judiciary, budget expenditure and many others.
She said many citizens were asking why the prices of various commodities were going up and why there were shortages of antiretroviral drugs.

Siliya said the MMD wanted to engage the PF leadership on issues affecting the country so that they could find solutions to them.

She said problems would not be resolved by political parties not talking to each other.

"As a party that was also in government, we do not have the privilege of being irresponsible but engage the government on national matters," said Siliya.

UPND president Hakainde Hichilema last week urged Zambians to shun Independence Day celebrations, saying there was nothing to celebrate when the majority of people were suffering.

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