Good Morning.

Yesterday, an umbrella of Civil Society Organisations and Church Mother bodies plus the Law Association of Zambia ( LAZ) relaunched the Oasis Forum.

The current members are the Law Association of Zambia ( LAZ), Council of Churches in Zambia ( CCZ), Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia ( EFZ), the Non Governmental Gender Organisations’ Coordinating Council ( NGOCC) and the Zambia Council for Catholic Bishops(ZCCB).

The Zambian Whistleblower welcomes back the Oasis forum because for some time now, it has only been us, the Our Civic Duty Organisation ( OCIDA) through Mr. Brebner Changala and Archbishop Emeritus Telesphore Mpundu, some few other voices like that of Constitutional Lawyer John Sangwa State Counsel and Accademician Sishuwa Sishuwa to offer checks and balances on Constitutionalism and the Rule of law.

With the coming on board of the Oasis forum, we are satisfied that we now have extra voices and ears to make the United Party for National Development ( UPND) accountable to the electorates.

In welcoming back the Oasis Forum, we will be failing in our duties if we do not talk about two main issues that the Oasis Forum will find very important as they roll out their national programmes and we are certain some individual members of this organisation already know.

1. It is worth noting that the UPND government has been applying the tactic of divide and rule in order to quell any grouping that can make them accountable to the people. This is exactly what they have done to OCIDA. We urge the Oasis Forum leadership not fall prey of the UPND’S strategy of destroying oversight institutions and organisations through tribalism or regionalism. Chances are extremely high that those leaders from the now commonly known as the Zambezi region will be approached by State and UPND party operatives to cause confusion in the forum. They should resist this temptation and stay away from people like Bishop John Mambo who was previously one of them. What we are talking about is exactly what has happened in OCIDA. Mr. Leslie Mbula and his group have completely abandoned the true agenda of offering checks and balances to the central government purely on tribal and regional reasons. Mr. Mbula and his team think the current government under the leadership of President Hakainde Hichilema is perfect and does not need any counsel anymore We believe that is a decision made from Naivity and as Zambian Whistleblower, we have actually lost respect for such Oldmen and women because they do not mean well for the country. Hunger and bad governance knowns no tribe. We hope the Oasis Forum will not fall in this trap. Only time will tell.

2. Maximising use of our Minerals to eradicate poverty.

The second point that we would like the relaunched Oasis Forum to take note is that no matter how much they work hard and roll out National programmes, the livelihoods of the people of Zambia will never change until the government is made to change the taxation policies on the mining industry. The Zambian Whistleblower believes that God gave us minerals to help us as a country to alleviate poverty and so far, our mineral resources have continued benefiting foreign mining companies and selected few individuals mainly politicians who come up with deliberate tax policies that favour investors than Zambia

In case this topic is not on their agenda, we humbly request the leadership of the Oasis Forum to put this on the Agenda. The only gateway to social and economic development of Zambia is Maximising tax revenue collection from the mines that contribute 70 percent to our Foreign exchange earnings and as long as we as a country are not in firm control of this sector, we shall continue struggling to offer quality livelihood to our people.

The Oasis Forum should therefore take keen interest in making sure that Zambia collects the correct revenue through favourable taxes from our minerals.

With collection of correct taxes, we do not think the current government would be celebrating to transfer the national debt burden to our unborn Grandchildren up to 2053 when they know that probably non of them would be alive by then.

Since two thirds of the composition of the Oasis Forum is from the Church, it is important that our leaders understand the formula God gave us to flee Poverty, Hunger, Disease and many other vices. As Zambian Whistleblower, we are more than certain that our escape route from poverty is underground and what comes from underground must be harnessed. We repeat, the Oasis Forum should take keen interest in what is happening in the mining industry including at Mopani and Konkola Copper Mines. Zambians will not eat a good Constitution but Zambians can benefit from their natural resources.

Once again, we welcome back the Oasis Forum and as Zambian Whistleblower, we stand ready to offer our expertise in the media industry for the betterment of mother Zambia. The relaunch of the Oasis Forum is Testament on its own that the current government is losing the National Campus.

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