UNITED Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema’s hand shake with President Edgar Lungu has nothing to do with reconciliation, says UPND spokesperson Charles Kakoma.

During burial of veteran politician and former minister Daniel Munkombwe on Wednesday in Choma, Mr Hichilema, National Democratic Party consultant Chishimba Kambwili and other opposition leaders shook hands with President Lungu, a gesture applauded by Vice President Inonge Wina, church leaders and other political party leaders.

Mr Kakoma told the Daily Nation in an interview that it was normal practice for Zambians to greet one another at funerals and the gesture had nothing to do with reconciliation and the much anticipated inter party dialogue.

He said the road to settling differences was a different one and many issues needed to be ironed out before real reconciliation saw the light of day.

“There is nothing strange about Mr Hichilema and other opposition leaders greeting at a funeral, as Zambians we respect the dead and the gesture has nothing to do with inter party dialogue and reconciliation,” Mr Kakoma said.

He said the hand shake should not be misconstrued for agreement on both issues of policy and political matters.

Mr Kakoma said the two political party leaders were yet to make a real handshake if ever the inter party dialogue was held and yielded positive results.

And Mr Kakoma rubbished reports that the UPND’s mayoral candidate Chileshe Kangwa was imposed by Mr Hichilema, saying such reports were fake.

Mr Kakoma said Mr Chileshe was democratically adopted by party structures in the province, adding that the selection was on merit.

“Which clandestine meetings are people talking about? Mr Chileshe was adopted on merit, his adoption was never at night, it was in broad daylight and it was clearly democratic,” he said

Lusaka Times

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