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OASIS FORUM PRESS STATEMENT DATED 4TH JANUARY 2018 ON THE RESIGNATION OF HARRY KALABA AND THE NEED TO RECLAIM ZAMBIA FROM THE SCOURGE OF CORRUPTION.

A new year brings with it the promise of a new and better start in life. Over the past year, Zambia has seen an increasing and unmitigated level of corruption and abuse of public resources. Two days ago, Zambia witnessed the resignation of a senior member of the Cabinet, Harry Kalaba, for the first time over twenty years on the basis of alleged corruption and mismanagement of public resources. This was precedented by the dismissal of another top Minister of government, Lucky Mulusa, who made similar allegations. For the Oasis Forum, this signals the fact that corruption and abuse of public resources in the country has reached new alarming and deplorable levels. It is literally stealing food from the mouths of our many needy and hungry children.

We question the prudence of the purchase of forty-two fire engines for US$42 million; we question the purchase of ambulances at an exorbitant cost; we question the sale of land in a water catchment area that feeds Lusaka for residential purposes; we question the police brutality on unarmed Copperbelt University students rightfully demanding their meal allowances; and we question the sale of our precious mukula trees. We keep questioning and are left begging for legitimate answers.

We, the Oasis Forum, call upon government to arrest the situation and to reflect on how it can best address the needs of the Zambian people by providing meaningful development in a prudent manner. We equally call upon all men and women of integrity in all leadership positions to say no to corruption.

The Oasis Forum believes that it is only through having strong institutions that our leaders will be held accountable for the manner in which they are governing this country. The Forum applauds the work that the gallant men and women of strong institutions such as the Financial Intelligence Centre Agency are doing to defeat the scourge of corruption and crime in Zambia. We strongly condemn those that are attempting to interfere with their commendable work. There are very few Zambians that are willing to stand up to impunity where it arises. Such Zambians should be supported and protected at all costs by all well-meaning Zambians.

The Oasis Forum equally applauds the efforts of individual citizens who are calling attention to the ills of leadership and governance in the country, often at risk to their own personal safety. Civic activists, such as musician Pilato and political commentator Sishuwa Sishuwa, have even received threats for their efforts. In the case of Sishuwa Sishuwa, he has received from both ruling and opposition party supports. This is extremely lamentable as in a democratic country such as Zambia, where market place of ideas should be allowed to thrive. One should be able to agree or disagree with any view point without the threat of violence. It is only through the competition of ideas that the best ideas can win for the benefit of all Zambians whatever their political, social, economic or religious persuasion.

As we commence this new year, we call upon all Zambians to reflect upon their personal contribution to the development (of) this great nation. We are mindful of the wisdom from the Bible in Proverbs Chapter 29 verse 2 which says, "When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people groan". In addition, we must heed the counsel in 1 Corinthians Chapter 12 verse 12 which says, "For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ". And so it is with a nation. Each and every Zambian has a duty to work for the benefit and prosperity of the nation. One Zambia, One Nation!

Signed: Linda C. Kasonde
CHAIRPERSON - OASIS FORUM

Issued On 4th January, 2018 in Lusaka on behalf of Conveners:

1. Fr. Emmanuel Chikoya - General Secretary (CCZ)
2. Ms. Linda Kasonde - President (LAZ)
3. Ms. Sara Longwe - Board Chairperson (NGOCC)
4. Fr. Cleophas Lungu - Secretary-General (ZCCB)

Signed Copy here: http://caritaszambia.org/index.php/publications/general/file/122-oasis-forum-press-statement-dated-4th-january-2018

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CARITAS Zambia is a Catholic Organization that is an integral structure of the Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC). The Episcopal Conference (or Bishops Conference) is a permanent grouping of Bishops of a given nation or territory that jointly exercises certain pastoral functions on behalf of the Christian faithful of their territory. This they do to promote the greater good which the Church offers humankind

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