AFRICA/ZAMBIA - After 50 years of independence a proper Constitution focused on popular sovereignty is needed

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Lusaka (Agenzia Fides) - A "self-centered" political leadership has undermined the development of Zambia. This is the harsh indictment launched by the Oasis Forum, in a message sent to Fides Agency for the 50 years of independence (1964).
Oasis Forum is an association for civil rights which also sees the participation of the main Christian denominations in Zambia (Zambia Episcopal Conference, Christian Council of Zambia, Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia).
"Politicians have to clearly understand that the Zambian people are more than ever enlightened and clear about the power they possess to change their destiny", warns the message. "Arrogance and a know it all attitude are what lead to the fall of regimes. Therefore, the politicians in power (and even those in the opposition) have to be clear that Zambians shall never allow them to take them on a roller coaster ride and expect a positive result on election day".
Oasis Forum, which has long opposed the constitutional amendment that provides for the possibility for the incumbent President to run for a third term, also points out that "it is unacceptable that successive ruling regimes have stylized their selfishness and undemocratic behaviour by always engineering constitutional review processes deliberately geared to fail in delivering a people-centred and people-driven constitution".
The message urges people not to be intimidated: "Dictatorships thrive on intimidation in the hope that people will keep quiet and not demand their rights. Remember always that evil prevails where the good keep quiet". For this reason, the three Churches that are part of the Forum dedicate a few minutes every Sunday to reflect on the urgency of the Constitution reform. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 09/01/2014)