Zambians must never again allow themselves to accept low calibre and mediocre leadership and those in power must know that arrogance and a ‘know it all’ attitude are what led to the fall of regimes, the Oasis Forum has warned.
The Oasis Forum has said Zambia’s political leadership has since independence fallen short of the required integrity and credibility in their conduct of public affairs.
Oasis Forum chairperson Reverend Susanne Matale said successive regimes had abused the authority vested in them by the people.
At a media briefing at the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ) head office yesterday Rev Matale charged that the country had continued to witness a leadership that thrives on abusing power, authority and resources to protect personal and political interest at the expense of the common good.
Reverend Matale said the on-going constitution making process had provided a timely and good case of how an important national governance project could with ease be twisted and rendered to suit the interest of few individuals.
The Oasis forum which is composed of the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ), Non Governmental Organisations Coordinating Council (NGOCC), Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC), Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ) and Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ) said Zambians should not be intimidated as the law was on the people’s side because dictatorships thrive on intimidation in the hope that people will keep quiet and not demand their rights.
“Dictatorships thrive on intimidation in the hope that people will keep quiet and not demand their rights. Remember always that evil prevails when the good keep quiet. The power we have now is to speak and speak freely and continually. Zambia is not a monarchy but a republic and we the people are the government. We are the employers of those in power and they must not think we are their slaves. We are free citizens and we have the right to demand how we should be governed,” Rev Matale said.
Rev Matale said the three church mother bodies (EFZ, ZEC and CCZ) have directed all their churches and parishes to make the constitution making process part of the Sunday sermons stating that the pulpit would be used to sensitise Zambians to continue demanding the immediate release of the second and final draft constitution.
And the government has been reminded that Zambians are more than ever enlightened and clear about the power they possess to change their destiny and that arrogance and a ‘know it all’ attitude is what has led to the fall of regimes
Rev Matale stated that mere rhetoric and half-hearted pronouncements without any matching action would certainly invite harsh reaction from the Zambians against those in power.
And LAZ president James Banda said there were genuine fears that the abduction of the constitution making process by the executive was meant to doctor the contents of the draft constitution and has warned that the lack of transparency would cause Zambians to reject the new constitution.
Banda said it had become clear that government had deliberately avoided a legal framework to protect the process because they knew that it was going to work against their agenda.
He said although President Sata was on record as having said that Zambia did not need a new constitution and that if there were defects in the current constitution, they would be corrected via amendments, the Bill of Rights would compel the holding of a referendum.
Meanwhile, Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia executive director Pukuta Mwanza said the PF government was inducing by-elections because its agenda was to have the advantage of numbers in Parliament so that the constitution could be enacted through Parliament.
“The current regime has shown signs of stubbornness, arrogance and if we take them lightly we shall not have our constitution, hence the need to step up activities and strategies,” said Guess Nyirenda who is the executive director of Operation Young Vote (OYV).