The Oasis Forum has observed that 2017 has been a difficult year for Zambia because of the high poverty levels experienced by many citizens.

And the Forum says Zambians are thirsty for good leadership.

According to a statement issued today by Forum Chairperson Linda Kasonde who is also Law Association Of Zambia President, the difficulties had been exacerbated by insensitivity on the part of leaders in government.

Kasonde wondered what difference Christmas day would make if leaders did not change the way they conducted the affairs of the nation.

“We are in Christmas time with its resounding songs of peace on earth and good will to all people. Christmas brings us a message of hope, power, light and understanding that our struggles though they appear insurmountable can and will be defeated. 2017 has been a difficult year for Zambia because of the high poverty levels experienced by many Zambians and this has been exacerbated by insensitivity on the part of our leaders, who in the face of the glaring poverty of millions Zambians, have seen it fit to spend lavishly, most notably on the forty-two fire engines that were purchased for an extravagant $42 million. The levels of external and domestic debt in our country has reached alarming levels and it is the poor who will suffer the most as a result. It is indeed time that our leaders heed the cry of the poor,” Kasonde stated.

“The Oasis also noted with increasing concern the rapidly increasing political intolerance, police brutality and misconduct and decreasing space for the rights and freedoms that were so hard fought during the independence struggle. This has left Zambians feeling desperate, angry and fearful. As the Bible commands in Galatians Chapter 5 verse 1: “it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery”. To those in positions of political and other forms of leadership, let us worship Jesus in truth and spirit by walking the talk, by affirming and embracing his ideals of peace, righteousness, love and prudent stewardship,” stated.

And Kasonde said Zambians were craving for good leadership at all levels of governance.

“The Forum has long lamented on the degeneration of unity and harmony in Zambia following political differences between the PF and UPND and we dare say the Zambian people are anxious to return to a state of normality where tribe or religious affiliation are no longer a source of tension. The Forum looks forward to participating in the dialogue process. The quest for justice, peace and prosperity is not going to come easily. The people of Zambia are continually being betrayed and disappointed by our leaders at all levels and as a result, Zambians are thirsty for good leadership. But as one social media commentator put it, ‘when there are no leaders to follow, you must become a leader’,” stated Kasonde

“Indeed, Christ implores us all to follow his example by leading from where we are and with what we have. Leadership can be as simple as refusing to take or give a bribe. Having good democracy, having good institutions depends on having good people to occupy them. Creating a better Zambia depends on you and me. Notwithstanding the many challenges that we are facing as a nation, the Oasis Forum wishes each and every Zambian peace, joy and love in this Christmas season.”