The Oasis Forum has added its voice in calling for the resignation of Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba together with his Defence counterpart Geoffrey Mwamba following corruption allegations for which they are being investigated.
Oasis Forum Conveners namely the Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC) through its Secretary General Fr Cleophas Lungu, the Council of Churches in Zambia through it General Secretary Reverend Suzanne Matale, the Law Association of Zambia through its president James Banda and the NGOCC through its Chairperson Beatrice Grillo, have demanded that the two ministers step down so they can be investigated without the impediments of the government positions.
They say Kabimba’s insistence to be interviewed in the presence of PF cadres by the Anti Corruption Commission is a scheme to block the ACC doing its professional job free of intimidation.
They state that this is an act of intimidation to the institution and that the behaviour exhibited by Kabimba did not befit a government minister, adding that it was a circumvention of justice.
And the Oasis Forum says the concerns raised on the budgetary allocation to the Office of the First Lady are genuine.
They say that while First Ladies have public functions by virtue of their association with the Presidency and occasion legitimate expenses that should be borne from the National Treasury, it is also true that the functions of the First Ladies are not independent but auxiliary to those of the elected head of state.
The Oasis Forum say the finances therefore earmarked for their functions should be inherent in the budget that covers the functions of the President.
They argue that as of now, the First Lady in Zambia cannot function as a controlling officer and has no mandate to authorise public expenditure.
On the budget line for the construction of President Michael Sata’s retirement house, the Forum says government should have taken into account the financial situation of the country and also prudent prioritisation.
They question the inclusion of the serving Head of State in the estimates for 2013 having been just over one year in office and not yet retired, when there are several retired Heads of State on the waiting list.
The Oasis Forum has also demanded for a clearly stated policy over the ownership status of the presidential retirement properties, whether they remain property of government or they are given as gifts to the families of the retired presidents.
The Forum has also castigated media bodies in apparent reference to the compromised Post Newspapers who are in the habit of unfairly disparaging,labelling and even insulting anybody who questions governance practices.
They says democracy in Zambia has to date survived not because of one person or institution but due to the collective efforts of Zambians in different measures.
The Oasis Forum says it does not auger well for media bodies to appoint themselves defenders of government even when government actions need to be questioned, assuring the public that such futile behaviour from some media bodies will not stop the Forum from speaking the truth.
The Post Newspaper has assumed the role of an unofficial government mouthpiece defending all actions that the general public has question by President Sata. It mostly gives coverage to those that parrot the PF agenda while disparaging leaders and citizens that are challenging President Sata’s style of leadership.