Oasis Forum calls for an end to political violence in Zambia.


Oasis Forum LogoThe Oasis Forum says it is extremely disturbed, appalled and greatly saddened by the increasing incidents of politically motivated violence in the run-up to the August 11 General

Oasis Forum Chairman Fr Cleophas Lungu PNG
Oasis Forum Chairman Fr Cleophas Lungu

Elections. The Forum says this is despite the commitments political parties pronounced at the Indaba on political violence held at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross on 29th March 2016.

It said it is disheartening that the resolutions of that Indaba have been thrown to the wind and our political leaders are once more letting the country down.

The Oasis Forum includes the Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ), the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ), the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ), the Non-Governmental Coordinating Council (NGOCC) and the Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC).

Forum Chairman Fr Cleophas Lungu said the wise counsel of the Church and other stakeholders in the governance of the country has not been heeded by the authorities responsible for maintaining law and order. Fr Lungu observed that political violence has been on the rise at a very alarming rate.

“The Oasis Forum observes that the incidences of political violence are symptomatic of a serious breakdown of law and order in the country and are a threat not only to the holding of free, fair and credible elections, as expected in August 2016, but also to our very existence as a sovereign state which has enjoyed relative peace on the African Continent for over fifty years. Something drastic needs to be done sooner than later,” Fr Lungu said.

He said the Oasis Forum also wishes to register its deep concern over the conduct of the Zambia Police Service who continue to fail to discharge their statutory functions and to act impartially in maintaining law and order.

“In the past, the Oasis Forum made repeated calls to the Zambia Police and other state law enforcement agencies to act decisively and bring all perpetrators of violence to justice as a way of preserving peace in the country. However, we are deeply shocked by the apparent impotence of the police when the unruly cadres from the ruling party take the law into their hands and commit abominable acts in their face.”

He added. “And yet, the same police will apply excessive force when confronting members of the opposition. On the other hand, the behaviour of some cadres from the opposition leaves much to be desired. Indeed, no legal excuse can be given for citizens taking the law into their own hands, even on account of failure by the police to objectively and professionally administer the Public Order Act (POA).”

Fr Lungu has since appealed for calm and maximum restraint from especially the members of the Patriotic Front (PF) and the United Party for National Development (UPND).

“It is incumbent on all of us not to do or say anything that might worsen an already volatile situation. The Oasis Forum also calls on the youth to desist from being used by political actors to intimidate other political players who have the same right to belong to a party of their choice and hold divergent political opinions.”

http://zeccatholic.blogspot.com/2016/06/oasis-forum-calls-for-end-to-political.html

Our Mission Newsletter Edition No 8 – South Africa


MISSIO LogoHi dear friends of OUR MISSION!

The annual General Assembly of all the National Directors of the Pontifical Mission Societies (Missio) took place in Rome from 30 May to 4 June 2016 and was well attended by the majority of the 116 National Directors, (representing many more countries as some of the directors represent more than one country) unfortunately some few directors were unable to attend because of visa issues.

The Assembly grants a wonderful opportunity to share experiences, challenges and the realities of the specific countries in which we work. It is so special to meet those who represent Catholic life and mission in countries which normally receive less exposure like: East Timor, Taiwan, Indonesia, Iran, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Kazakhstan, amongst others. It opens one’s mind to the amazing universality of the Church and its particular mission activity in places where Catholics and other Christian churches are often tiny minorities.

We are thankful to the Lord that this year once again, through the generosity and sacrifices of the faithful throughout the world we were able to distribute in a just manner help for thousands of projects originating in over 1150 dioceses mostly in Asia and Africa. The challenge that we are facing over the past few years is the reality of a constant decrease in funds from donations and an ever increasing need by young Churches for help to properly train local priests, Religious and Lay leaders to evangelise the people as well as to provide much needed help in the precarious situations of the local people in these regions.

General Assembly of all the National DirectorsOur biggest challenge is to promote the Universal Missionary activity of the Church in such a way that all the faithful feel involved, enthusiastic and committed and realise the urgency of the evangelisation process throughout the whole world and the need for their active participation and collaboration.

All, without exception, are called to be involved in this missionary activity whether they are from so-called donor countries or from young churches. The Catholic Church in Africa and Asia are going to have to become ever more protagonists in the missionary activity of the Church as increasingly European and other so-called developed countries become more and more secularised and their people declare themselves as belonging to no faith.

The Church in Africa urgently needs to become ever more self-supporting and self-reliant—we need local clergy and Religious. We also need to become truly missionary by sending Priests and Religious as missionaries and by supporting financially the new mission territories of the world. The time is ripe for the Catholic Church in Southern Africa to take up the challenge and live her Missionary responsibility!

Fr. Gordon Rees mccj, National (Missio SACBC) PMS Director – South Africa, Botswana & Swaziland.

Click here to open the PDF file of the magazine.