OASIS Forum chairperson Fr Cleophas Lungu says it is very clear that those calling for the disbanding of LAZ have a dictatorial agenda.
The OASIS Forum comprises of NGOCC, Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ) and the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ).
In a statement today, Fr Lungu observed that the aggression towards LAZ was unChristian, undemocratic and was aimed at silencing critical media and other prophetic voices in the country.
“The Oasis Forum sees the recent incidents, including the unlawful demonstration at the offices of LAZ by political cadres of the ruling party (PF) who were armed with dangerous objects and called for the removal of the LAZ President, as an affront to the ideals of constitutionalism, democracy and good governance for which we stand,” Fr Lungu stated.
“It is very clear to us that the chief aim of those calling for the “disbanding” of LAZ is nothing but the silencing of the critical, credible and relevant voice of LAZ in this nation. We also see these actions of aggression directed at LAZ to be but symptomatic signs of a dictatorial agenda aimed at silencing the critical media and the opposition political parties as well as any other prophetic voice in the nation.”
He said there was need for Zambians to worry about the current affairs in Zambia.
“This situation is not only worrying but also unChristian, undemocratic and un-Zambian. Therefore, this trend needs to be halted and reversed with immediate effect. This is indeed the unprecedented height of assault on the rule of law and the independence of the legal profession in Zambia,” Fr Lungu stated.
“We also find it to be in bad taste the attempts by some people to demonise, destabilise and silence the critical voice from LAZ that has rightly and consistently exposed the illegality of certain decisions and actions taken by the powers that be, throughout the history of our beloved country.”
The OASIS Forum further observed that PF sponsored Kasama member of parliament Kelvin Sampa to move a Private Member’s Bill targeted at dissolving the law on which LAZ was created.
“Whilst the Oasis Forum is not entirely surprised with the misguided and politically motivated agitations against prophetic voices such as LAZ and some private media houses, we are extremely concerned and worried by the issuant of a draft Private Member’s Bill by a PF Member of Parliament, which is clearly bent on replacing the current piece of legislation upon which the establishment of the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) is anchored,” Fr Lungu stated.
The OASIS Forum reminded President Edgar Lungu to honour his promise on building national unity as he pledged in his state of the nation address.
“We also wish to take note of the words of President Edgar Lungu on patriotism and national unity in his recent address to Parliament: ‘Patriotism and national unity should speak to the heart and soul of every Zambian in our quest to sustain our sovereignty and build a better country for ourselves and future generations. We therefore challenge him and his government not to merely pay lip service but embark on concrete and deliberate programmes that will translate these words into visible actions,” Fr Lungu stated.
He called on all citizens to recognise that Zambia was for all Zambians.
“The Oasis Forum is calling on all Zambians to embrace and practice the value of unity in diversity in accordance with our national motto: ‘One Zambia, One Nation’. We also urge all leaders to recognise that Zambia is much bigger than anyone of us; it belongs to everyone and the future generations. Therefore, all leaders in the country, traditional, religious and civic, must always endeavour to come together and transcend whatever differences they may have and reaffirm that above all else, we are Zambians,” stated Fr Lungu.