Front page of todays edition of the Post Newspaper
Front page of todays edition of the Post Newspaper

The Oasis Forum says it is not only appalled but also greatly saddened by events surrounding the recent closure of the Post Newspaper offices.

The Forum said the events at the Post surely borders on infringement of the freedom of the press and that of expression.

In a statement, the Forum said it strongly believe that the closure of The Post does not augur well with Zambia’s democratic dispensation given that Zambia will soon be holding its general elections on 11th August 2016 and the fact that the electorate need to make some informed decisions based on a wide array of information.

The Oasis Forum further observes that this incident and the questionable conduct of both the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) as well as the Zambia Police is yet another manifestation of a serious breakdown of the Rule of Law and widespread lawlessness in the country.

“Indeed, if a public authority can have the audacity of ignoring a validly issued and legally binding court order, then we cannot but wonder as to where this country is heading. Again, if the law enforcement agencies cannot be seen to fairly, equally, consistently, reasonably and professionally execute their mandate in view of protecting citizens, we wonder as to whom those who feel threatened should run to,” it said.

“Furthermore, if it is true that the ZRA were not collecting the huge and much publicized taxes from the Post Newspaper since 2009, then heads must roll in their rank and file due to their appalling incompetence and neglect.”

“In addition, the Oasis Forum also wishes to register its deep concern and disgust over the brutal conduct of the officers in uniform as well as suspected cadres who arrested the editor of The Post Newspaper (Mr. Fred M’membe), his wife (Mutinta) and Mr. Joseph Mwenda. The Oasis Forum is fully aware of the implications of avoiding or evading tax and that no legal excuse can be given for individuals and institutions who refuse to pay tax. However, the physical violence unleashed upon them was totally uncalled for and is condemned in the strongest terms,” it said.

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

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24 COMMENTS

  1. Let them pay what they are owing ZRA and they shall be reopened, simple. What is so complicated about this? Their Freedom of the Press can only be guaranteed after taxes have been paid. It is law to pay taxes.

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    • “The Oasis Forum is fully aware of the implications of avoiding or evading tax and that no legal excuse can be given for individuals and institutions who refuse to pay tax.”

      “….no legal excuse can be given for individuals and institutions who refuse to pay tax.”

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    • Oasis Forum is full of cowards these days. They had to wait for US to condemn Lungu first….This is not the Oasis Forum I knew in the days of Third Term, Kafupi Must Fall campaign…olo namwe yakunyokolani njala ngati na Christians for Lungu (instead of Christians for Christ/God)..

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    • OKAY. LET THEM PAY AND THEN WE WILL SEE IF ITS POLITICALLY MOTIVATED OR NOT. OTHERWISE SHUT AND LET THE POST REMAIN SHUT TILL IT PAYS. “WHEN YOU PAY IT WILL SHOW”

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  2. when the combatant are among the civilians, there is no distinction when you open fire. the constitutionality of freedom of the press and information must not infringe the obligation to pay tax. it is equally lawlessness not to pay tax. bear in mind that M’embe defaulted the payment in instalments. you cant fail to hung a murder convict just because there is life in him. the case of the Post does not need a rocket scientist to understand it. it is the same oasis forum which did not want a referendum to be done together with general elections. now where will they get the money if Membe cant pay? these are slaves to Donors without a heart for this country.the Post is Western tool to confuse Zambia. Why cant America talk to Egypt where Aljazeera journalists were sentenced to death or…

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    • I love that Ba Kanyela! Simple and straight forward! You tend to wonder why people are trying to raise a storm in a tea cup! Mumembe should just pay!

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    • Govt and police have an obligation to obey a valid court order, even if they disagree with it. That is the essence of ” rule of law”!
      The police shud have gone to court to overturn the order from the Tax tribunal rather than ignore it.

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  3. @ Ka economsit iwe! how many companies are owing ZRA huge sums? Ulishilu kwati ba master bobe ba vodka chakolwa wrungu…VIVA HH 2016

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    • Letter to the ICC, EU, USA, SADC, AU, COMESA for immediate intervention:

      How can there be free and fair election when Lungu:
      1. is killing opposition supporters and celebrates the deaths by taunting the opposition
      2. campaigns on and promotes the unprecedented PF violence and killing machine
      3. preventing opposition campaigning by brutality
      4. ordering Police not to protect opposition who are killed by PF
      5. ordering public media not to cover the opposition
      6. using State resources he lies that his party PF are the ones that funded and constructed infrastructure projects
      7. invades and confiscates of private property Mugabe style. Look at what he has done to shop corridors in Lusaka where he has sold at K400/sq metre to fund his campaigns.

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  4. Ba Oasis fimofimo, stop making noise! If you are so much in love with The Past, help them to clear the debts instead of just making noise! Shaaaa!

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  5. @ ka discourse iwe! you get caught as a thief then you say what about the other thieves am not the only who has stolen

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  6. These people amazes me… Are they dull to read in between the lines or they have just chosen to be cry babies.. Post like any other company has an obligation and should pay taxes even me as an individual I pay taxes and it’s my obligation

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    • For them it forum shopping. Because under secretary for USA affairs opened her anus to Mmembes dik, everybody now is lining up for so called civil society donations. Look at how the same people procrastinated about the constitution. Now that this has past they must find something to make noise on and get money from USA which has let political chaos in Libya, Syria, Egypt, Yemen, Iraq. The list goes on. Imagine the democracy that is in Egypt and Obama is quiet. This what it mean when people of questionable morals do. always side with enemies of government.

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  7. These guys have found their voice again. Where were they? Have they now been funded by their masters. WELLCOME BACK jokers!

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  8. I am happy that the church has woken up. I hope they will educate their members about the truth behind the what is happening at the Post. I hope they will also expose wolves in ship skins from the level of political violence the country has ever experienced so far. The violence we are experiencing is exactly what happened at the Kabwe’s Rock of Authority in the late 2014 where somebody was the sole candidate and everybody who opposed him could not come closer (including dangerous imbwili) for fear of losing their lives.

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  9. These guys have found their voice again after being humiliated over the Constitution. Where were they? Have they now been funded by their masters. WELLCOME BACK jokers!

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  10. Nauseating.

    Shame on the Oasis Forum!

    The OF should now also advocate for the abolition of PAYE in Zambia. Failing this does not provide a level playing field for all Tax Payers.

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  11. I think you will do well in the area of condemning the electoral violence than getting appalled and sad over a straight forward matter. Your statement is rather ambiguous. Before you embark on a journey to open up a business or a print media firm, you pledge to pay tax. Tax first before you embark on championing press freedom. Don’t you guys get it?

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  12. The state of security in Zambia is really becoming worse, more and more Zambians are now thinking of migrating to other countries.

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  13. This OF have they just learnt of the Post news or what? Please spare us your hypocrisy and continue with your usual business. Let us not cheat ourselves. M’membe must pay but offcourse under an agreement instead of closing the company. We can’t afford to off load our brothers and sisters in the streets. Like it or not, there are more indirect workers not to talk of direct ones who are affected by this continuous closure of the post unless you are the current crop of leaders who do not see beyond the nose. Nkongole sibamanga nikulipila pan’gono pan’gono according to the inflow of cash (payment plan).

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  14. This issue has been politicised and misrepreseted in the public media. ZRA can not respond to media reports and complaints about the closure of the post. if someone is really concernend be it an individual organisation or country they should approach ZRA and state their reasons why POST should not pay tax than talking in the air and waiting for people to react.

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