Secretary-General Patricia Scotland yesterday received Hakainde Hichilema, leader of the main opposition political party in Zambia, who paid a courtesy call on her at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London. The Secretary-General and Mr Hichilema discussed the Commonwealth-facilitated political dialogue in Zambia as it moves to the next stage. The Secretary-General reassured Mr Hichilema of the Commonwealth’s continued commitment to the process and underscored that its success hinged upon the continued political will and commitment of all stakeholders, especially the main political leaders.
The Secretary-General reiterated the importance of the process being owned and led by Zambians with the Commonwealth only playing the necessary facilitation role.
The Secretary-General once again commended both President Edgar Lungu and Mr Hichilema for the trust and confidence in the Commonwealth, their unequivocal commitment to the dialogue process and the warm reception accorded to her Special Envoy, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, during his scoping visit to Zambia last month. She added that Professor Gambari is scheduled to return to Zambia to progress the process and outline next steps.
Mr Hichilema reaffirmed his commitment to the political dialogue and thanked the Commonwealth Secretary-General for her assistance.