referendumThe Oasis Forum has called on the PF government to quickly find resources for the holding of another referendum as the failed referendum was was due to the inopportune timing of it and the lack of awareness as of the importance of having an enhanced bill of rights by the public.

Speaking at a media briefing this morning, Oasis Forum Chairperson Fr Cleophas Lungu noted that the unfortunate series of events that has rocked the country in the last few weeks exemplifies the need for the introduction of an enhanced bill of rights to address some of the shortfalls in our current constitution.

He said the Forum strongly believe that the said referendum must be people driven and avoid any contention of spear heading a partisan agenda.

“There is an urgent need for enactment of the enhanced bill of rights we believe as Oasis Forum that the unfortunate series of events exemplifies the need for the introduction of an enhanced bill of rights to address some of the shortfalls in our current constitution such as the lack of the right against arbitrary detention which is evident currently, the lack of the right to media freedom and the right to freedom of information.

“Whilst we are aware that the referendum on the proposed and enhanced bill of rights was not successful we believe that this was due to the inopportune timing of it and the lack of awareness as of the importance of having an enhanced bill rights. We can cannot stress enough how crucial it is to the welfare of the Zambian people that the resources be found to conduct another referendum as soon as possible. We strongly believe that the said referendum must be people driven and avoid any connotation of spear heading a partisan agenda,” he said.

The Forum also bemoaned the gauging of the media by the PF government and the recent police brutality on opposition UPND.

“We believe as Oasis Forum that violence of this nature has no place in a Christian democracy such as ours. We recall the intimidation of the post newspaper and Muvi TV, these attacks appear to be an attempt by government to diminish descenting voices of citizens to achieve their own end.

“The republic of Zambia is still a constitutional democracy, democracy to thrive besic human rights such freedom of expression, freedom of religion, freedom of movement and freedom of association must allowed to exist without impediment this allows the free flow of information to the Zambian people as well as examine government who will subsequently be in a better understanding of what it is that the Zambian people need and want.

“Democracy also demands that everyone should be heard whether their views are in tandem with the status quo or not. All people are created equal therefore their views whether we agree with them or not must be heard and accommodated in a democratic dispensation,” he said.

Fr Lungu also said the fine tuning of the constitution should be done so as to make the drafting of the constitution clearer and in line with the will of the people as expressed in the technical committee as opposed adding or removing Articles from the amended Constitution.

The Oasis Forum is a consortium of NGOs and Church Mother bodies in the country.

 

Below is the Original Statement

PRESS STATEMENT BY THE OASIS FORUM DATED 19TH OCTOBER
2016 ON THE RISING INTOLERANCE AGAINST FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND ASSOCIATION IN ZAMBIA

1. POLITICAL INTIMIDATION

The Oasis Forum is becoming increasingly alarmed at the trend of political intimidation and physical attacks against citizens and members of the private media, most recently against Komboni Radio and Prime TV and generally the violation of human rights on Zambian citizens. We welcome the apology of the Republican Vice-President over the unfortunate remarks that the assault of journalist Lesa Nyirenda was warranted as we believe that violence of this nature has no place in a Christian democracy such as ours. We recall the intimidation of the Post Newspaper and the Muvi TV. These attacks appear to be an attempt by government to diminish dissenting voices of citizens to achieve their own end. The Republic of Zambia is still a constitutional democracy. For democracy to thrive, basic human rights such as freedom of expression, freedom of religion, freedom of movement and freedom of association must be allowed to exist without impediment. This allows for the free flow of information to the Zambian citizens as well as the Zambian government who will subsequently be in a better position to understand what it is that the Zambian people need and want. Democracy also demands that everyone should be heard whether their views are in tandem with the status quo or not. All people are created equal and therefore their views, whether we agree with them or not, must be heard and accommodated in a democratic dispensation.

2. URGENT NEED FOR ENACTMENT OF THE ENHANCED BILL OF RIGHTS

We believe that the unfortunate series of events exemplifies the need for the introduction of an enhanced Bill of Rights to address some of the shortfalls in our current Constitution such as the lack of the right against arbitrary detention which is evident currently, the right to media freedoms and the right to freedom of information. Whilst we appreciate that the referendum on the proposed and enhanced Bill of Rights was not successful, we believe that
this was due to the inopportune timing of it and a lack of awareness as to the importance of having an enhanced Bill of Rights. We cannot stress enough how crucial it is to the welfare of the Zambian people that resources be found to conduct another referendum as soon as possible. We strongly believe that the said referendum must be people driven and avoid any connotation of spearheading a partisan agenda.

3. PROPOSED REFINEMENT OF THE 2016 AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION

Regarding the proposed refinement of the 2016 amendments to the Constitution, we must emphasise that any refinement of the Constitution must be done in order to make the drafting of it clearer and always in line with the will of the Zambian people as expressed in the Technical Committee’s Final Report of October 2014. We therefore believe that the process of refinement should not include the removal or addition of any clauses in the Constitution which are contrary to what the will of the people is, as expressed in the stated Technical Committee’s Final Report and without consulting the people of Zambia. We also believe that the terms of reference for the process of refinement should be guided and protected by a statute to ensure that the process is free from political interference.

4. PROPOSED COMMISSION OF INQUIRY ON PRE AND POST ELECTION VIOLENCE

The Oasis Forum also believes that there is no need for the proposed Commission of Inquiry with regard to violence before, during and after the August 2016 General Elections. In our opinion, the reasons behind the said electoral violence are well known and include having a deficient Public Order Act as well as the biased application of it, the lack of an independent and impartial Police Service and the lack of allowing the citizens freedom of expression and freedom of association, use of hate speech and playing of the tribal tag, as well as allowing cadres mainly from the ruling party to manage and control public places such as bus stations and markets instead of the Local Government. Thus, those who have been entrusted with the instruments of power must be seen to be addressing these cardinal issues in a fair and unbiased manner. We believe that our national resources could be better spent on more productive activities.

5. CONCLUSION

In conclusion, we urge the government to refrain from taking any action or making any utterances that may undermine the image and reputation of the country as a beacon of democracy and the rule of law. It is quite evident that Zambians are currently divided on political lines. We urge the government and all citizens to help foster a spirit of genuine dialogue, reconciliation, peace and unity in the nation. United we stand, divided we fall.

Fr Cleophas Lungu

CHAIRPERSON – OASIS FORUM

Issued on 19th October, 2016 in Lusaka on behalf of Convenors

1. Rev. Suzanne Matale – General Secretary (CCZ)
2. Ms Linda Kasonde – President (LAZ)
3. Ms Sarah Longwe – Board Chairperson (NGOCC)
4. Fr. Cleophas Lungu – Secretary General (ZCCB)

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25 COMMENTS

  1. The country has more serious issues to deal for now. Referendum can wait for another 5 years. UPND thought they were smart to reject their own rights. Dull chaps led by U5.

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    • Lungu has consistently ignored the Constitution. A new referendum is of no consequence if Lungu will toss it into the bin.

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    • @1. Monk Sq Analysis,

      I totally agree with you, in fact we need to debate the matter for at least 5 years so that people can understand it.

      Otherwise if the government stats the process again, the UPND will again tell people to vote against it and due to lack of knowledge some will vote against it, others will refrain from voting and it will fail again.

      So this term of office PF can let people discuss, debate and understand it. Then after 2021 elections, we can table the matter again.

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  2. Sad development that same people who fought against this issue avfew months ago want us to waste more resources on this exercise. My Africa!

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  3. Monk Sq, I concur with you. We have more argent and pressing matters such as addressing the cost of living for the majority poor to throw some more money in the referendum which was deliberately botched by the same Muppets in the UPND. Let them continue being detained, next time they will know not to mess around with national interests.
    The PF government should ignore all these loud mouthed NGOs who didn’t bother to campaign for the referendum, despite receiving donor money for same and they now want to hijack an issue they didn’t champion. Cleophas, please find something else to champion!!!

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  4. 5 years wait. Budget of 2022. This serves as punishment for NGO’s and UPND that encouraged people to spoil their ballots. Balancing Economic performance first.

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  5. THESE GUYS ARE BACK AGAIN!! THEY FEEL we should ALWAYS BE TALKING SAME ISSUES to show THEIR RELEVANCY! The issue of the REFERENDUM was HANDLED DURING ELECTIONS AND RESULTS ARE KNOWN!! Are they telling us that IF UPND CAMPAIGNED LIKE PF the result would have been what it is now?? IT IS THE SAME RIGHT OF FREE EXPRESSION AT PLAY THAT UPND USED TO KILL IMPROVEMENTS TO BILL OF RIGHTS!! What MORE DO THEY WANT?? They also need to DIFFERENTIATE FREEDOM and DEMOCRACY from ANARCHY and LAWLESSNESS! They should also DIFFERENTIATE ENFORCEMENT OF LAW and ORDER from DICTATORSHIP! How RELEVANT are THEY if they DO NOT WANT TO KNOW WHO WAS BEHIND ETHNIC VIOLENCE??

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  6. You can see the rigging even from the Referendum results:-

    High number of rejected votes from UPND areas (Western, Southern, N/W, Central & Lusaka). That’s how ECZ reduced HH’s lead.

    These elections were a sham, a disgrace & a shame to the Zambibwe.

    In 1911, the British made a big mistake to join N/W Rhodesia to N/E Rhodesia. Our great nation (NWR) is now choked with NER economic refugees majority of them living in shanty compounds. Just take a walk in Lsk. These filthy black-shine with blood-shot-eyes, NER youths are dirty, rude, pompous & if u r a lady wearing a skirt above the knees, it’s certain they’ll strip u naked.

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    • imagine NWR with Harry Mwanga Nkumbula as its 1st president.
      1. No nationalization of industries, chasing of whites.
      2. Population of just 4million, GDP would be like that of Botswana.
      3. All the mines on Copperbelt, Solwezi & power stations at Kariba & kafue gorge.
      4. Low crime without our thieving crooked brothers from NER
      5. Stable democracy without our tribalistic brothers from NER
      6. Plenty food to go round without our lazy, non-farmer brothers from NER

      We seriously need to break away from these drunken f00ls

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    • @7 maloza you are lost! UPND and some NGOs campaigned against the referendum. HH himself was saying it was not important! How did you expect the referendum to win? NER and NWR … you are better of finding your space in Zambia rather than living in wishful thinking. Even the British who created the two Rhodesia’s you keep referring to and later on the then Northern Rhodesia which became Zambia have no appetite to divide the country! You may choke with hate and envy because those you hate will keep living with free minds knowing that they have no hatred for any ethnic group and will proudly be living freely with fellow Zambians!

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    • Rejected vote is due to lack of knowledge if voting by the voter. It has nothing to do with ECZ.

      In fact it is the monitors and observers who check and verify that a vote is rejected.

      So since the UPND cadres chased other parties, or is it only PF, from participating in monitoring it is the UPND that created the rejected votes for their stronghold.

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    • @Bwafyaa, why don’t u go back & develop northern, eastern or muchinga? Why do u like to settle in other peoples home areas & insult them like Popolyongo has done? You have brainwashed yourself that Lsk, CB is your home.
      Everywhere in the world, no one wants migrants:
      – In Europe, they want Syrians & West Africans out.
      – Donald trump wants Mexicans gone.
      – RSA wants Makwerekwere out.
      – Bots wants Zimbos to go back.

      One day the momentum will build up bcoz the persecution, police brutality, insults, election rigging, from NER are just too much. I may be alone who is thinking in these lines but soon NWR will open their eyes.

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    • @7.6 Maloza,those foreigners you are talking about came from other countries and in SOME CASES are just USED AS SCAPEGOATS BY SOME FAILURES in host countries! Even the little development you are talking about in Lusaka,CB,NW much of it is owned by outsiders! HOW MANY RICH “NWRs” do you know and WHAT DO THEY CONTROL of GREAT VALUE in ZAMBIA and even in your own “NWR”? EUROPE,AFRICA and other parts of the world are talking about GROWING BIGGER AND STRONGER by COMING TOGETHER,you are talking about SHRINKING!! DON’T CHEATED,THERE IS NO POOR PART OF ZAMBIA,EXCEPT SOME ARE BETTER DEVELOPED,the potential of some the parts you hate HAS YET To BE REALIZED, just wait…

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  7. Oasis forum, are you serious? This is utter rubbish!
    We in Zambia are discussing with IMF to rejuvenate our economy for the benefit of our people, and you spew rubbish.
    WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR RIGHT NOW IS MONEY FOR THE ECONOMY. If we had the money to waste on a second referendum we would not be engaging IMF would we?
    Right now we are finalising our national budget. And you donkeys a.k.a. Oasis Forum don’t seem to know that everything has a season do you? Hiho hiho hiho hiho, get out, seleniko tubombeko.

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  8. And you donkeys listen and listen good. Criminals will face the wrath of the law and get locked away safely so that we the majority law abiding citizens enjoy our human rights. It is the accepted civilised norm and human order. Criminals including Mmembe and his Past news, Muvi, and even other donkeys like Oasis will be locked if they break the law. Don’t equate breaking the law with freedom and human rights you DONKEYS in sheep skin, hiding behind religious collars.
    And what is the role of that chief pastor for HH, that donkey Suzane Matata? She is licking her wounds for declaring the elections free and fair according to the PVT of church monitoring group? We should have known better!

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  9. Oasis Forum yaliko akale, not these donkeys led by some stooge ati Father Cleophas Lungu. First you gave us the defective constitution and you did not even want it to be fine tuned, ati it is the people’s will, have you seen what it has done to HH. It has reduced the “brilliant zambian economist” from a donkey to a pure cabbage.

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  10. I totally agree with you, in fact we need to debate the matter for at least 5 years so that people can understand it.

    Otherwise if the government stats the process again, the UPND will again tell people to vote against it and due to lack of knowledge some will vote against it, others will refrain from voting and it will fail again.

    So this term of office PF can let people discuss, debate and understand it. Then after 2021 elections, we can table the matter again.

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  11. Twalya again is the motive here. Find resources? From where? Lungu told you that it was cheaper to kill two birds with one stone, but opposed.

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  12. Oasis forum, you need to admit your own mistake 1st together with UPND before you start making unrealistic demands. You & UPND were so full of ego & selfish motives that you placed your own personal interests above those of the country. Had you not been selfish the country would’ve had a modern bill of rights. You cant erase or modify history by pretending that referendum failed for other reasons. It was you & UPND. The greatest betrayal of the nation in the history of this country so far. Think about how many vulnerable children you’ve denied free education! Now you want GRZ to clean up your mess @ cost to the nation. God will surely judge you.

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    • Well said. They have no issues to talk about now so they are just hallucinating so that some donor money can keep flowing in their accounts.

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  13. Correct me if I am wrong, if my understanding of the constitution is correct, once a referendum fails you cannot have it again until a period of time has elapsed. At least that is what I have read about Brexit. So you donkeys in Oasis, are you suggesting that we break tge law which you made yourselces? But anyway I will check the constitution of Zambia today. But fact is that referendum failed because of HH and Oasis. HH rejected it and Oasis donkeys are quite about it, has he paid you some pieces of silver, rather has he paid you some grass to eat? Donkeys eat grass not money.

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