The Oasis Forum has reiterated its deep concern and sadness at the continued spate of verbal and political attacks against the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ), most of which have been directed towards its legitimately elected President, Ms Linda Kasonde.
Oasis Forum has since described as unprecedented height of assault on the rule of law and the independence of the legal profession in Zambia. The statement issued by Oasis Forum Chairperson and Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) Secretary General Fr. Cleophas Lungu said that they also find it to be in bad taste the attempts by some people to demonise, destabilise and silence the critical voice from LAZ that has rightly and consistently exposed the illegality of certain decisions and actions taken by the powers that be, throughout the history of our beloved country. “Whilst the Oasis Forum is not entirely surprised with the misguided and politically motivated agitations against prophetic voices such as LAZ and some private media houses, we are extremely concerned and worried by the issuant of a draft Private Member’s Bill by a PF Member of Parliament, which is clearly bent on replacing the current piece of legislation upon which the establishment of the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) is anchored,” he said. Fr. Lungu added that the existence and critical role played by LAZ in the advancement of good governance and democracy in Zambia cannot be questioned by people who are in their right frame of minds. He also said that Oasis Forum totally agreed with the SADC Law Association that pointedly argued that The independence of the legal profession is a sacrosanct principle upon which the upholding of the rule of law and defense of the constitution stands. “The Oasis Forum sees the recent incidents, including the unlawful demonstration at the offices of LAZ by political cadres of the ruling party (Patriotic Front - PF) who were armed with dangerous objects and called for the removal of the LAZ President, as an affront to the ideals of constitutionalism, democracy and good governance for which we stand. It is very clear to us that the chief aim of those calling for the “disbanding” of LAZ is nothing but the silencing of the critical, credible and relevant voice of LAZ in this nation,” Fr. Lungu said. The Oasis Forum Chairperson also described the actions of aggression directed at LAZ to be but symptomatic signs of a dictatorial agenda aimed at silencing the critical media and the opposition political parties as well as any other prophetic voice in the nation, whether it comes from within or without the Church. This situation is not only worrying but also unchristian, undemocratic and un-Zambian. Therefore, this trend needs to be halted and reversed with immediate effect. The Oasis Forum has since called on all Zambians to embrace and practice the value of unity in diversity in accordance with our national motto: “One Zambia, One Nation.”