Oasis Forum chairperson Linda Kasonde says unity is under threat in Zambia and people must do everything possible to ensure that it does not disintegrate.
In a statement on behalf of Oasis Forum members; Council of Churches Zambia today, NGOCC, Law Association of Zambia and the Zambia Council of Catholic Bishops, Kasonde said there was need to restore nationhood.
“Unity Day was meant to celebrate the coming together of the different peoples of Zambia who are a melting pot of different tribes, races and religions. That unity is under threat and we must all do what we can to ensure that our unity does not disintegrate. And yet we see funerals become political battlegrounds instead of places of solemn reflection and prayer as we bid farewell to loved ones; we see self-expression quashed in furtherance of political goals; and we see the seeds of disunity sown amongst the men and women of the church as well as traditional leaders. This does not bode well for our nation. Our for-bearers fought for all the tenets of human dignity; equality before the law, freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom of assembly. Are the heroes of our independence struggle forever fallen in vain? These are questions we must all ask ourselves if we are to restore nationhood,” Kasonde stated.
“As we celebrate Heroes and Unity Day, the Oasis Forum calls for all Zambians to remember the biblical parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37. We must love our neighbours regardless of tribe, race, gender, social status or political affiliation. We must love our neighbours as we love ourselves. To do that, we must summon the spirit of courage, tenacity, empathy and solidarity from within ourselves. Only then will we once again be able to celebrate true unity in our country.”
She described modern day heroes as all of those struggling to get by and make the country a better place.
“The origins of Heroes and Unity Day stem from Zambia’s struggle for independence. Out of the struggle heroes were made in the pursuit of independence and national unity. But what is the relevance of these holidays in modern times? Our present-day struggles are for economic empowerment, adequate health and education and the freedom to pursue our dreams unfettered from any shackles. Who are our modern day heroes? They are the grandmothers struggling to clothe and feed their families; they are the parents who are trying to make ends meet to raise their families; they are the teachers and doctors that are trying to serve our people in difficult circumstances. They are you and me struggling to get by, trying to strive where we only exist. Our leaders too are called upon to do their part to make Zambia a better place; and they can do that if they put the people of Zambia first,” stated Kasonde.