Oasis Forum condemns violence

UPND Mandevu Constituency tour disrupted by unruly PF Cadres, June 16th 2016
UPND Mandevu Constituency tour disrupted by unruly PF Cadres, June 16th 2016

 The Oasis Forum says it is extremely disturbed ,appalled and greatly saddened by the increasing  incidents of politically motivated violence in the run up to the August 11 General Elections.

This is contained in a statement made available to ZANIS in Lusaka on June 16,2016 by Oasis Forum Chairperson Cleophas Lungu.

Father Lungu said this is despite the commitments political parties pronounced at the Indaba on political violence held at the cathedral of the Holy Cross on 29th March 2016.

He said the resolutions of that Indaba have been thrown to the wind and the political leaders are once more letting the country down.

Father Lungu noted that the wise counsel of the church and other stakeholders in the governance of the country has not been heeded by the authorities responsible for maintaining law and order.

He said consequently, political violence has been on the rise at a very alarming rate.

Father Lungu said the Oasis Forum  has observed that the incidences of political violence are symptomatic of a serious breakdown of law and order in the country  and are a threat not only to the holding of free, fair and credible elections but to the existence  as a sovereign state.

He said the Oasis Forum has registered its deep concern over the conduct of the Zambia Police Service who have continued to fail to discharge their statutory functions and to act impartially in maintaining of law and order.

Father Lungu said in the past, the Oasis Forum made repeated calls to the Zambia Police and other law enforcement agencies to act decisively and bring all perpetrators of violence to book as a way of preserving peace in the country.

He said no legal excuse can be given for citizens taking the law into their own hands, even on account of failure by the police to objectively and professionally administer the Public Order Act (POA).

Father Lungu has since appealed for calm and maximum restraint from especially the members of the Patriotic Front (PF) and the United Party for National Development (UPND).

He said it is incumbent on all Zambian to do or say anything that might worsen an already volatile situation.

Father Lungu also called on the youths to desist from being used by political actors to intimidate other political players who have the same right to belong to a party of their choice and hold divergent political opinions.

He has also called upon leaders in the country across the political divide to show genuine leadership by promoting the rule of law, respect for human rights, good governance and unity in the nation for the benefit of all Zambians.

The Oasis Forum includes the Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ), the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ), the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ), the Non-Governmental Organisation Coordinating Council (NGOCC) and the Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC).