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Police impartiality, unfairness

Police impartiality, unfairness Featured

Last week President Edgar Lungu made a very strange admission, or rather confession: “The public confidence in the police service is low, and it is up to the police, themselves, to regain that confidence by their actions. To this end, there is urgent need for the police service to address these public concerns if the people of Zambia are to regain confidence in them.

”It’s very difficult to disagree with what President Lungu is saying. But there’s one very serious omission: the cause of all this loss of public confidence in police.

It’s the abuse of the police by President Lungu and his followers that has, more than anything else, contributed to this state of affairs. They have turned the police into a wing of the ruling party for use against the opposition and other dissenting voices.

Nothing would be more dangerous than to confuse men and women who are responsible for the maintenance of law and order in our country.

Those in government, therefore, must remember that even for their own good, their fellow citizens in the police must be left to deal with the maintenance of law and order in the way they have been trained.

It’s very dangerous for politicians in the governing party to control the police and make it do their bidding.

In any country where law is deliberately twisted to entrap political opponents and in which police officers act as an extension of the ruling party cadres rather than impartial professional law enforcement officers, there can be nothing but tyranny and a mockery of justice. Let them continue abusing the police now, but let them also remember that when they have left the pinnacle of power what may appear acceptable on others now may taste oppressive. In other words, they should remember that while today it is them at the giving end; tomorrow it may be them at the receiving end.

On the other hand, police officers would greatly help to evolve a fair and impartial police, defend the rule of law and constitutionalism and guarantee the success of our multiparty political dispensation and pluralism, if, individually and collectively, they resolved to discharge their policing obligations without fear or favour.

Dr Kenneth Kaunda gave us very good guidance on this score: “First and foremost must come the quality of impartial fair play for I do not wish my policemen to be partisans to the many political and tribal feuds that may emerge in our country, as has happened in others. The worst policeman so far as I am concerned is that man who will not admonish or arrest another because he is of the same tribe, race or political sympathy. Equally reprehensible is the policeman who will not do his duty for fear that because he is of a different tribe, race or political feeling his deeds will be misunderstood. If you should ever find yourselves in a position of compromise against the principles of fair play and impartiality, then be humble enough to seek God’s guidance because neither the present nor the future generation will forgive you for betraying the many people who have died and suffered in the struggle to bring forth this independent land” (Police Training School, Lilayi – April 15, 1966).

Fred M’membe

Meet Comrade Kafwimbi Namutowe

Meet Comrade Kafwimbi Namutowe Featured

Nakonde Central constituency parliamentary candidate comrade Kafwimbi Lunda Namutowe says she joined the Socialist Party “because it promotes mass governance through justice, equity and peace and encourages the young, women and people living with disabilities to participate in leadership and decision-making processes”.

She went to primary school in Chama and Copperbelt, Chinsali, followed by secondary school at Nakonde, and has a certificate in psychosocial counselling.

Comrade Namutowe has worked as a teacher in Morogoro, Tanzania, with the International Institute of Democracy and Conflict Resolution, and also with the Southern Cross Trade Border Association coordinating Muchinga province. She is currently working as a psychosocial counsellor at Nakonde Urban Clinic focusing on gender-based violence issues.

She says agriculture, education, employment, and the problem of early marriages are just some of the issues that need addressing in her constituency.

“We are going to diversify agriculture, not limited to maize, but to include the production of soybeans, millet, sorghum and hot culture, such as fish and animal farming. By so doing, we are going to open people’s minds to other sources of income by selling the produce to East Africa,” she said.

“We have many pressing issues with education. For example, during the enrolment of children, there are a lot of demands that disadvantage the less privileged. The long distances have caused many girls to drop out of school because of teen pregnancies and early marriages as they do weekly boarding. Overcrowding of pupils in classes has disadvantaged many pupils in terms of teacher monitoring and quality education.

“There are no jobs in this area as Zambia is largely de-industrialised. Nakonde constituency is a semi-arid area where people prefer to farm as there are no industries and companies. The Socialist Party will embark on a huge industrialisation programme to create cooperatives, industries and jobs in its three key sectors; agriculture, health and education.

”Comrade Namutowe says Nakonde has what it takes to develop. “However, need a visionary leader who will work with the people to achieve a better Zambia.” She adds that residents “have tried men, but should now trust a woman”.

Meet Comrade Andrew Kalonde

Meet Comrade Andrew Kalonde Featured

Comrade ANDREW Kalonde, parliamentary candidate for the Mpika Central constituency, was born into a family of freedom fighters (Mama Madalena Kalonde and family).

He attended Kenneth Kaunda Secondary School in Chinsali and the University of Zambia, later working for the judiciary as a clerk and carrying out social work. He is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in law with University of Africa.

“Having been born into a family of politicians, I always had a passion to serve the people of Zambia politically. I joined politics in 2001 while I was a civil servant in Kitwe when the late Michael Sata formed the Patriotic Front,” he said. “In 2006, I took a leave of absence to contest the parliamentary seat for Mpika Central but I was not adopted. I campaigned for the candidate and the party and we won the seat for the Hon Kapeya Mwansa.

”Comrade Kalonde says he resigned from the judiciary and attempted to gain selection stand for Mpika Central two more times but without success.

“I joined the revolutionary movement because when Sata formed the PF he was pro-poor – he had a heart for the marginalised. But after his death the party became pro-rich, so for me the only alternative party was Socialist Party, with a true and uncompromised programme for the working class.

“There are many issues affecting the marginalised people in Mpika Central, with education, health and agriculture being the most pressing.

”Comrade Kalonde says his message for the people of Mpika Central constituency, Muchinga Province, and Zambia as a whole, is to vote for the Socialist Party and Fred M’membe as president.

“We have Dr M’membe as the Socialist Party president, the most experienced political figure of all presidential candidates in the forthcoming general election,” he said.

“Zambians need to liberate themselves from the cruelity of capitalism and embrace socialism if they are to see any meaningful development in this country.”

We will not be part of the alliance circuses going on

We will not be part of the alliance circuses going on Featured

The issue of us joining alliances or pacts keeps on coming up. We have explained and explained our position on this issue but it keeps coming up ceaselessly.

For us, it is not about quick and easy political fixes just to enable us win elections. For us, there is no choice between being principled and unelectable; and electable and unprincipled. We should win because of what we believe in.A complex era such as this requires principles more than ever. It requires a lot more awareness. Political deals, alliances or pacts are worthless if they are not inspired by noble, selfless sentiments. Likewise, noble sentiments are worthless if they are not based on correct and fair arrangements.

We have chosen to defend certain principles that are of tremendous value at a time of confusion and opportunism in our country, a time when many politicians are feathering their own nests. We will cooperate with other political players to address problems which affect all of us. But we will not be part of these alliance circuses going on.

Nobody should think that things are going to be easy. We must be prepared to meet difficulties. We have difficulties right now, and we will have even greater ones in the coming days, weeks and months, even if we do things the right way – and we should do them the right way, even if it calls for our greatest efforts. We have to cope with the objective problems of the situation prevailing in our country, the increasing number of restrictive and repressive measures this corrupt, intolerant, cruel and tyrannical regime takes against us.

Nothing great ever came easy; nothing good ever came easy. The struggles, challenges, and obstacles that it takes to succeed in life is what makes success more valuable. Nothing great comes easy, and nothing easy can ever equate to greatness.

Working hard on a goal is really the only way to reach it. The results won’t be overnight, nor would it be easy. Aside from being patient, investing a lot of time and effort is needed. It’s true that nothing great ever came that easy. Often times, it would take so much work and patience in order to succeed. Hard work and focus is the only way to reach a goal.

In most cases, results won’t come easy or happen overnight. It’s true that nothing great ever came that easy. Often times, it would take so much work, patience and dedication. And we shouldn’t give up. The path to victory is filled of obstacles and challenges. We just need to find solutions and keep on struggling.

Lots of hard work and time need to be invested – nothing great ever came that easy. A life of ignoble ease which springs merely from lack either of desire or of power to strive after great things, is as little worthy of a nation as of an individual. I admire a person who embodies victorious effort; who has those virile qualities necessary to win in the stern strife of actual life. It is hard to fail; but it is worse never be have tried to succeed. In this life we get nothing save by effort.

Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much because they live in the grey twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.

The state our country is in calls for not for the life of ease, but for the life of strenuous endeavour. If we shrink from the hard contests where we must win at hazard of our lives and at the risk of all we hold dear, then the bolder and stronger will pass us by and will win for themselves the domination of our country

.Let us therefore boldly face the life of strife, resolute to do our duty well; resolute to uphold righteousness by word and by deed; resolute to be both honest and brave, to serve high ideals, yet to use practical methods. Above all, let us shrink from no strife, moral or physical, provided we are certain that the strife is justified; for it is only through strife, through hard and dangerous endeavour, that we shall ultimately win.

Fred M’membe

President of the Socialist Party

The passing of Bunny Wailer

The passing of Bunny Wailer Featured

It’s with deepest sadness to learn of the passing of one of my most favourite artists, the patriarch and Jamaican music icon, the great Bunny Wailer.

I mourn the passing of this outstanding singer, songwriter and percussionist and celebrate his life and many accomplishments.

The legend, whose real name was Neville O’Riley Livingston, had been the last surviving member of The Wailers, following Bob Marley’s death from cancer in 1981, and Peter Tosh’s murder during a robbery in 1987.

Bunny Wailer played a key role in the development and popularising of reggae music across the world.

Wailer literally grew up with Marley from early childhood: Marley’s mother and Wailer’s father joined households in Kingston, and had a daughter together.

In 1963, Wailer and Marley formed The Wailing Wailers with their friend Peter Tosh. Singers Junior Braithwaite, Beverley Kelso and Cherry Smith joined the group, but departed within a period of months to a few years.

By 1974 both Wailer and Tosh had departed from The Wailers, in part because the music industry seemed intently focused on making Marley a solo star. Wailer’s subsequent hits included the songs “Cool Runnings” and “Ballroom Floor,” as well as his 1976 album, Blackheart Man.

Wailer won three Grammys in the early 1990s; in 2017, he was awarded Jamaica’s Order of Merit, one of his country’s highest honours.May his soul rest in eternal peace!

Fred M’membe

The Wailers, reunited at last!

The Wailers, reunited at last! Featured

Bunny Wailer, 73, reggae pioneer and last surviving member of the Wailers, has died.

The Wailers, which included superstars Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, were Jamaica’s Beatles. They made ska and reggae music known to the world.

They were famous not only for their beats and melody, but for their lyrics. They made music that talked about the ordinary person, the poor, Blacks, and about discontent, personal and social change, rebellion, revolution.

Wailer and others started the band when they were still teenagers. Youth, indeed, is an age of creativity and revolutionary daring.

An author says Tosh was the group’s militant member; Marley, the poetic revolutionary humanist; and Wailer, the spiritual mystic.

“Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our mind.” Powerful words brought together in a lovely but haunting melody. Truly, we have to free our minds so we can free ourselves.

All members of the Wailers have died, but their music won’t die. They will live forever in the hearts of the oppressed and fighting peoples of Africa and the world.

Kyle Haselsteiner

Socialist Youth League

Deputy General Secretary

Meet Comrade Andrew Kapasa Kalulu

Meet Comrade Andrew Kapasa Kalulu Featured

Comrade ANDREW Kapasa Kalulu, parliamentary candidate for Shiwangandu constituency, says he joined the Socialist Party because he believes in justice, equity and peace for all Zambians.

“A just society is a fair society and a peaceful environment for all citizens in our country,” he said. “We all need an equal share of our wealth, equal participation in the governance and politics of our country, equal healthcare and equal education standards, regardless of being poor or rich.

”Comrade Kapasa says the major problems Shiwangandu faces include poverty, illiteracy, bad road infrastructure, poor sanitation and the problem of child marriages.

“We have very few primary schools in Shiwangandu that cannot accommodate the ever-growing population in our constituency. Most of our children are starting school at the age of seven or ten in some places because the schools are very far from their villages. Our children are failing to pass to go to grade eight, grade ten or pass grade 12 because of sub-standard education. This is because in most of our schools we have two or three teachers teaching more than 800 pupils from grades one to grade nine. Our children are not finishing school and those who are lucky enough to reach grade 12 are failing exams. As a result, we are facing a lot early marriages.

”Comrade Kapasa says the constituency has few clinics and health centres and precious few medicines that people cannot afford. Another problem is that soil in the region is very acidic and farmers need expensive fertilisers to grow crops such as maize. Poor Roads and bridges are another concern, with many villages often cut off by floods.

“Regardless of the many economic challenges there is hope for the people this year if they vote wisely by voting a socialist government under Dr Fred M’membe into power,” he said.

“Dr M’membe is a true patriotic Zambian who will look into the equality of the living standards of our people, not only in Shiwangandu, but Zambia at large.”

I am a revolutionary – BARBRA Chekuda Maramwidze

I am a revolutionary – BARBRA Chekuda Maramwidze Featured

BARBRA Chekuda Maramwidze says she is a revolutionary who wants to spur the necessary changes needed in Zambia.

Maramwidze is known to many as an actor in the local opera, Zuba. This time around she is in the news not as an artist; but in the political realm.

It is surprising to see Maramwidze on a political platform but on Wednesday, when the Socialist Party unveiled her as Matero Constituency parliamentary candidate, she provided context to that.

In her speech, she said politics and art were close. “Some of you may be surprised to see me here today and you are asking yourselves what I’m doing here today because you have known me as an artist and not as a political person. But the two are inseparable,” Maramwidze.

“I’m here today as a revolutionary. To help bring the necessary changes needed in our country, the real change needed to get us out of poverty and despair we are in today.

”She indicated her sincere belief that Socialist Party president Dr Fred M’membe, would emerge as the President of Zambia.

Maramwidze urged Zambians, especially women, her friends in Matero and “all of you my fans” to join the struggle.

She said that way, the Socialist party would secure an election victory August 12 this year.

“I did not stand up on my own and say I want to be a member of parliament. Members of the community in which I live, in which I was born, in which I gave birth to my own children, approached me and demanded that I represent them in Parliament this year,” Maramwidze explained.

“After some deep reflection and extensive consultations I agreed.” She said she examined the ideas, principles and outlook of the Socialist Party and its key leadership.

Maramwidze noted that she became absolutely convinced that there was no sensible alternative to what the Socialist party is pursuing.

“I was acting real life situations, the daily realities of our people. Today I join the struggle for the real life realities of our people,” noted Maramwidze.

“Today I give to this struggle all the talents the good Lord gave me and I pledge to work closely with the leadership of our party in Matero and in the whole country to help our peoples struggle – to build themselves a more just, a more peaceful Zambia full of equity.”

Death of a knight errant – Andrew Sardanis

Death of a knight errant – Andrew Sardanis Featured

It is with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Andrew Sardanis.

I send my deepest condolences to the Sardanis family at this difficult time. The nation mourns with you and celebrates the extraordinary life of this remarkable man – a knight errant of our country.

Andrew holds a place in the history of our country as a knight errant, clothed in the armour of intelligence and courage, as well as determination and humility.

As a young journalist, Andrew left Cyprus – the country of his birth – to come to Northern Rhodesia where he immediately associated himself with the leaders of our national independence struggle and the building of the new nation’s economy as permanent secretary in the Ministry of Finance.

We must not tire, we must not give up, we must persist. His legacy will stand as an example to all of us to persist in our pursuit of progress.

Fred M’membe

President of the Socialist Party

The President’s medical care donations scheme

The President’s medical care donations scheme Featured

While we should all welcome anything being done to save the life, or to reduce the pain, of cancer patient Chama Musonda of Kabwe, I think it should be done in a more rational, dignified and humane manner.

Following social media publicity, President Lungu pledged to meet the K60,000 required for Chama’s cancer medication. But is this really the way medical care should be extended to our people by their leaders in government?

Where are the hospitals? Why are they not doing the jobs they were created to do? How many people are ill clad in our homes with similar or even much more worse illnesses than Chama is going through?

Do we really have to wait for social media to highlight the plight of such sick people and move the President of the Republic to do something about it?

We have specialized hospitals created to deal with such diseases as cancer. What are they doing? Where are they?

Is it the new way that we should use to bring the President’s attention to the plight of thousands of our people who can’t get proper medication from public hospitals?

And how deep are the President’s pockets for him to provide medical care to our fellow citizens who are ill and buy expensive buses for some of our public universities?

Does the President have more money than the Ministry of Health or Ministry of Finance?

Can a sitting President really donate instead of directing his ministers do something about situations like this? Again, how deep are the President’s pockets? And are these the same pockets from which Bowman Lusambo draws money to give as donations to marketeers and churches?

Why can’t the President simply put all this money in the Ministry of Health? I wish Chama God’s grace.

Fred M’membe

Meet Comrade Reverend Moddy Chisha

Meet Comrade Reverend Moddy Chisha Featured

Comrade Rev Moddy Nonde Chisha is Socialist Party’s parliamentary candidate for Chitambo Constituency.

Comrade Chisha attended Chimwemwe Primary School, junior secondary at Hellen Kaunda Secondary, and her upper classes at Mindolo Secondary School. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science and a certificate in fashion and design. She holds a diploma in theology, a certificate of psychosocial counseling, and a certificate in literacy teaching and in community work.

Her previous leadership roles include that of being a reverend. Since 2000, she has been pastoring a church.

In terms of what motivated Comrade Chisha to join the Socialist Party, she says: “I was attracted to the party’s progressive policy on women and youth. We have a voice in the party and as a member of the Socialist Party Women’s League, we do appreciate that the recommendations emerging from the women’s league have been taken on board by the central committee.

“In 2021, not less than 50 percent women will stand on the Socialist Party ticket, both at local and parliamentary elections. This is progressive.

“I also joined because I was inspired by the honesty, humility and wisdom of its leadership. I knew with my background in the church that if we joined hands together we could transform Zambia. I was also inspired deeply by our president, Dr Fred M’membe, a patriotic leader who wouldn’t love to see citizens being subjected to the an oppressive capitalist system and ideologies that perpetuates suffering among Zambians.

“The Socialist Party is the answer to Zambia’s problems. Under the socialist government, we will work hard to strive for justice, equity and peace in distribution of the natural resources and the national wealth of our country as outlined in our manifesto.

”Asked what transformation she envisions for Chitambo Constituency, Comrade Chisha says:

“I envision a Chitambo constituency in which all our people have access to healthcare, education, roads and bridges, as well as an improved agricultural sector. At the moment, the situation is bad. There are serious issues around access to education, bad roads, and lack of decent clinics.

“In my constituency, health officers meet the people in makeshift clinics in the bush. There are further no bridges to make life bearable during the rainy season. Those are just some of the huge challenges that people of Chitambo face on a day-to-day basis.

”She says the Zambian people are ready for socialism, “Yes, the Zambian people are ready for a socialist government, for a party that has leaders who lead and allow the people to govern.”

Meet Comrade Augustine Salubeni

Meet Comrade Augustine Salubeni Featured

Comrade Augustine Salubeni joined the Socialist Party because of its manifesto addressing the masses’ problems.

“I believe a better Zambia is attainable if we truly embrace the Socialist Party’s values of honesty, humility, equity and solidarity,” he said.

“The party’s focus on peasant agriculture, health and education are refreshing and I am excited and blessed to be part of this movement.

“The issue-based politics the party is advancing has truly changed the Zambian political landscape. Equally, the party president has demonstrated knowledge, deep commitment, wisdom and leadership that is inspiring.

”Comrade Salubeni said the people of Mufumbwe had suffered enough. “The schools are poorly equipped, there are few hospitals, clinics and no medicines. My constituency also has a poor road network. Day-to-day life is misery and struggle. The solution lies in our hands as a people and collective,” he said.

Meet Comrade Vivian Chunda

Meet Comrade Vivian Chunda Featured

Comrade Vivian Chunda, candidate for Mafinga constituency, went to Kaswanga primary, Samu basic, and Isoka high schools, and later gained a certificate in customs clearing and forwarding at Kitwe Institute of Management. She pursued small-scale farming on a full-time basis at her rural home before joining politics.

Comrade Chunda said the issues in Mafinga constituency included extreme levels of unemployment and poverty, an underdeveloped agriculture sector and shortage of medicines.

She said her desire was “to be close to the people and work with them to socialise important aspects of the Zambian political sector as a means to struggle for justice, equity, and peace”.

She urged women to join the Zambian male-dominated political space. “The future is women. The future is the Socialist Party,” she said.

Money and our politics, elections

Money and our politics, elections Featured

As the August 12, 2021 elections are nearing, we seem to be increasingly witnessing an increase in donations from politicians in the governing party. Why? What are the consequences of these donations on our politics and elections?

There’s no doubt – and I can state it with absolute certainty – we will all pay the price for a political system and elections dominated by money and donations. In truth, these donations are nothing but bribes.

The increasingly skyrocketing cost of running for public office is making it far too easy for those with money to manipulate election outcomes. When a political system is twisted to serve those who can pay the most, the ripple effect is profound. It hurts our multiparty democracy and the political plurality of our nation on every level.

This problem is real and it calls for effective ways to fight the negative effects of money-based multiparty democracy and elections.

If we don’t tenaciously fight this practice the poor of this country will never be able to set themselves political goals and achieve them; the poor will not be able to be elected as councillors, members of parliament or even as presidents.

We need to return the control of our political system to the voters. This can only be achieved if the voters themselves own the elections. I urge all citizens of good will and their organisations to help educate the public on the problem of money in our politics and elections and ways to take action.

There’s need to expose corruption and other abuses of our political system and seek the necessary changes to the way things are done. There’s need for our people to be helped to use their power to counteract the power of money in our politics and elections.

There are real drawbacks to the current interplay between money and politics. Perhaps more than overt corruption, the current system breeds cynicism and apathy – two enemies of multiparty democracy. If Zambians feel like they don’t have a voice, then all sorts of people – potential voters and potential candidates alike – don’t get involved because they don’t think they can matter.

And important policy differences are obscured by the patina of money and donations. And candidates are forced into a never-ending cycle of money which greatly favours incumbents over even the most worthy challengers.

If the Zambians want to get money out of politics, it’s time to take our elections back. Voting is the most powerful form of expression that a single citizen has. When citizens vote, politicians have to listen. We must improve voter turnout and engage within our communities to combat the undue influence of money in our multiparty political dispensation.

There are many things each one of us can do to fight the impact of money in our politics and elections.

Fred M’membe

Meet Comrade Margaret Pikiti

Meet Comrade Margaret Pikiti Featured

Comrade Margaret Kangwa Pikiti is the Socialist Party’s parliamentary candidate for Malole constituency

.Comrade Pikiti was born in Malole, Mungwi, Northern Province. She went to Ituna Primary School in Kasama and attended Lwitikila Girls Secondary School in Mpika, finishing form five in 1978. In December 1978, Margaret went for compulsory military training with Zambia National Service. This was followed by training in Physiotherapy at Evelyn Hone College in Lusaka.

Then in 1993, she obtained a bachelor of science degree in occupational therapy in the United Kingdom. Later, she completed a master’s in business administration with a dissertation that focused on poultry farming in Zambia and Brazil.

Comrade Pikiti is now settled back in Malole where she is working had to revamp farmland, working and interacting with local people, sharing their anxieties, sorrows, hopelessness and desperation on a daily basis.

Malole is a constituency in a province with a poverty level of 79.7 per cent. This is reflected in people’s daily struggles, and lacking the basics in education, health, food, and all the other services required in an organised society.

Comrade Pikiti says: “I was not seeking political office when I joined the Socialist Party. I joined the Socialist Party because the issues close to my heart are core to the party. The plight of the poor being at the centre of it.

“Also, after scrutinising the party’s manifesto, programme, and the leadership under Dr Fred M’membe, I happily joined this party that makes one feel at home. And when my name came up for adoption, and then I was approached by the party leadership to stand as a member of parliament for Malole constituency, I accepted with anticipation and excitement.

“As an individual, what captivates me is seeing joy on the faces of the elderly and children. The kind of transformation I envision for my constituency is accessible health for all, education for all from pre-school, for people to regain their pride and provide jobs.

“Zambia is most definitely ready for socialism. In fact, it is long overdue. A change is needed in aspects of life and governance. Capitalism has failed our people. Suffering is unbearable and it is hard for one to look and do nothing. The values of socialism are what can lift Zambia out of the current pit.

“I am also a writer and my book begins in the Malole village I used to imagine, not the impoverished one today. So here we are. I am now the adopted candidate for Socialist Party Malole constituency.”

Meet Comrade Salungu Handson

Meet Comrade Salungu Handson Featured

Comrade Salungu Handson, parliamentary candidate for Solwezi Central, is seeking to address the challenges facing the humble, the poor and the workers.

He said the Socialist Party’s manifesto “speaks to the challenges we face, and spells out how the SP government will address the challenges”.

“The manifesto is written in simple language that is easy to follow and understand. I was able to connect the issues raised in the manifesto to the broader problems confronting my constituency, including poor roads, poor sanitation and a high level of unemployment.

“Providing clean and safe drinking water, sanitation, constructing roads and job creation all fall under key priority areas.

”Comrade Handson was born in Solwezi district, attending primary and junior secondary schools in North-Western Province, where he obtained his GCE certificate. He has worked in the transportation industry at various levels.

Meet Comrade Mupelwa Siame

Meet Comrade Mupelwa Siame Featured

Comrade Mupelwa Siame, parliamentary candidate for Kantanshi constituency, says he was motivated to join the Socialist Party’s revolutionary movement by the need for a real change in Zambia.

“The challenges in my constituency are many. These include very high unemployment levels with about two-third of the people out of work. The health facilities are ill-equipped with medicine and the sanitation system is disheartening,” he said.

“Revolutionary changes are essential for the betterment of our community, society, and country. Without these changes we will keep going round in circles and go nowhere.

”Comrade Siame said the necessary changes could only be brought about by voting for the revolution-oriented Socialist Party, with Dr Fred M’membe as president.

Meet Comrade Naomi Nanyangwe

Meet Comrade Naomi Nanyangwe Featured

Comrade Naomi Nanyangwe, is the Socialist Party’s parliamentary candidate for Mbala.

Comrade Nanyangwe is Zambian by nationality. Her home languages are Mambwe and Bemba. In terms of her religion, she is a Seventh Day Adventist, and has previously served in various church leadership positions; as a Dorcas leader, a superintendent and choir leader. She has served her community as the savings chairperson.

Comrade Nanyangwe attended Munyezi Primary School, completed tertiary level at Mbala High School and studied early childhood education at the University of Zambia. She has worked as a teacher at Mayanga and at Mbala primary schools.

Asked about what captivates her, Comrade Nanyangwe says, “The inner peace I feel when I help others, when I am of service to others, the joy of being useful to others, to the people in my community.”

And asked why she joined the Socialist Party, she says, “I joined because of its unique vision and language: the ‘Justice, Equity, Peace’ language.

“It was the first time I heard of a party that was concerned about transforming Zambia, about pushing for not less than 50 percent of women’s participation in the party structures, and leadership outside the structures.

“I could also relate to the Socialist Party values of honesty, humility, equity and solidarity that align very well with those of my convictions.

“I equally desire to see a transformed Zambia, a land where everyone feels they belong in all senses in terms of access to education, health, decent sanitation and housing, and a life free from poverty and extreme hunger.

”In terms of the changes she desires for her constituency, she says, “Job creation for a number of youths through embarking on serious industrialisation programmes such as industries for processing goods, building milling plantations, a better system of developing agriculture and building the capacities for our farmers, as well as the roads that are currently bad or non-existent.

”On Zambia and socialism, Comrade Nanyangwe says, “Zambia is ready for socialism because it is the only system that guarantees us real change, real transformation, and this can only come from our party, the Socialist Party.”

Meet Comrade Chiteo Nalishuwa Matindo

Meet Comrade Chiteo Nalishuwa Matindo Featured

Comrade Chiteo Singongi Nalishuwa Matindo, Socialist Party parliamentary candidate for Kalabo Central constituency, has a teaching diploma from Copperbelt Secondary Teachers’ College, a degree in home economics and social studies from the University of Zambia, and is a trained national examiner in home economics at grade 12 level in food and nutrition. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in educational leadership, administration and management with the University of Barotseland.

Comrade Nalishuwa Matindo started work as a secondary school teacher at Kalabo Secondary School and remained there for 14 years in different positions, including head of department and senior teacher.

In 1994 she was promoted to education officer with Kalabo’s district education office, was made head of Kalabo Primary by the ministry of education in 2003, and was promoted to district education standards officer for the Sikongo district executive director board office in 2014. She retired in June this year.

Comrade Nalishuwa Matindo says she chose to run as a parliamentary candidate for the Socialist Party because she believed in the party’s leadership and programme promoting justice, equity and peace.

“Women’s participation in politics is still not embraced openly by a number of people in Zambia, and I mean by both men and women,” she said.

“Actually, when you talk about patriarchy, it resides equally more in women than men in some cases. There is also a general view, and to a large extent a visible practice, where women appear not to support each other in the political arena, an attitude and perception that needs to be changed. It then becomes evident that they shun their fellow women only to support a man. But women have always supported each other in many areas and this should be extended to the political space.

“As a woman going into politics, I need to work hard on these perceptions with fellow women and colleagues to help change the mindsets of both men and women, that it is not the gender of a person that is required to perform, but his or her capabilities.

“For example, I am a mature woman who has served in many administrative positions and have demonstrated my capabilities. Therefore, I am positive I can work with people from diverse backgrounds to bring about inclusive development.

”Comrade Nalishuwa Matindo said she advised women not to shy away from politics.

“I encourage female folk not to shun politics but openly participate in order to have the same sense of ownership that male folk do in the areas of governance in Zambia.

“As women we share the same status as men. We are equal in the eyes of God. Therefore, there is every need to work together with men to bring about development to ourselves”.

Meet Comrade Misheck Njobo

Meet Comrade Misheck Njobo Featured

Nangoma constituency parliamentary candidate Comrade Misheck Njobo says he joined the Socialist Party because he wants to contribute to the working-class struggle for a more just, equitable and peaceful Zambia.

“I am committed to working with the communities in my constituency to address the hardships they have faced since the 1990s,” he said.

“The road network is poor and the poorly constructed bridges are washed away by rains every year. Safe drinking water is also a challenge.

“The solution to these problems lies in the hands of the people themselves by exercising their right to vote wisely.

“The previous and current capitalists’ political parties have neglected Nangoma constituency because of their greed and selfishness.

“This is Zambians only chance to liberate themselves from the struggles they have faced since the 1990s by going the socialist way, pioneered by incoming president Dr Fred M’membe.”

Meet Comrade Siame Humphrey

Meet Comrade Siame Humphrey Featured

Comrade Siame Humphrey, candidate for Ndola Central, says he joined the socialist struggle as a Christian.

“Jesus came to show love for all, but capitalism has really killed Africa, therefore I decided to stand as MP and fight for the voiceless,” he said.

“My constituency has suffered enough. The roads are impassable, there is a lack of safe drinking water, and high levels of unemployment. As member of parliament, I will fight for my people so that work is done effectively.

“Let’s use this chance we have to vote out capitalism and replace it with a socialist agenda. Let’s vote for Dr Fred M’membe for president.

”A widower with six children, Comrade Siame attended primary and secondary school in Ndola. He has a diploma in stores management, stock control, transport and logistics, and another in theology.

Meet Comrade Debby Mwangala Akamana

Meet Comrade Debby Mwangala Akamana Featured

Comrade Debby Mwangala Akamana is the Socialist Party’s MP candidate for the Lukulu constituency. She studied her grades 11 and 12 and sat the Cambridge Secondary School Certificate in Kalabo before attending Military Training Kamitonte in Solwezi.

She holds a primary teacher’s certificate from Mongu Secondary School and teaching diploma in education from the University of Zambia.

Comrade Akamana has taught at both primary and secondary schools in Luapula, Western and Northern provinces, and has also lectured at Lyambai Teachers’ College and Teachers’ Littlewoods Pre-School.

She said she joined the Socialist Party to further the ideals of honesty, humility, equity and solidarity and to focus on justice, equity and peace, “the three issues we need in this country to bridge the deepening gaps between the haves and have nots, to bring stability and to ensure that we build systems that work for everyone”.

“Being a part of the SP has helped me broaden a deeper understanding of my country, of how our problems have evolved overtime. The capitalist system has not uplifted workers despite their immense hard work,” she said.

“My constituency, Lukulu, is located in Western Province with one of the highest poverty levels of 82.2 percent. These are extreme poverty levels by any standards. As such, I count it a joy and blessing to be a part of the SP revolutionary team with a vision to make Zambia a better country that strives to uplift its people, particularly the poor.

”Comrade Akamana said her experience as a teacher, a leader in the community and a single mother has meant she has always worked on issues that affect the less privileged.

“I envision real change in Lukulu with better schools, healthcare facilities, enough food a booming agricultural sector, and decent houses with proper sanitation,” she said.

Meet Comrade Maximo Sinkonde

Meet Comrade Maximo Sinkonde Featured

Comrade Maximo Sinkonde is the parliamentary candidate for Senga constituency in Northern Province.

He studied at Kavumbo Primary and Mambwe Mission Secondary schools winning a place into grade 10 at Mbala High School. He is a graduate of the Pan African School in South Africa and also a trainer in ideology.

He worked as a sales executive at Istikbal in Kitwe and also in the mines with Lunga Resources Limited before being deployed by the Socialist Party to help mobilise Northern Province.

Sinkonde joined the party in 2017, partly on account of its ideology, but also because “it is the only party that will give our people real solutions to lift them out of this quagmire; the destitution, hopelessness, poverty, thuggery, unbridled competition and consumerism, greed and corruption”.

“The Socialist Party puts women and youths at the centre of its programmes and values honesty, equity, solidarity and humility. I believe in equity in teams of access to education, universal healthcare, clean and safe drinking water, sanitation and decent housing, and also in the quality of the leadership of Dr Fred M’membe, Dr Cosmas Musumali, Dr Ngenda Mwikisa, and the many other honest people running the party now,” he said.

“I want to see the country and Senga constituency become prosperous in my lifetime, to see the lives of the poor improve and the children have access to quality education.

”Comrade Sinkonde said the 2021 elections were very important for Zambia.

“If any Zambian thinks changing the faces of presidents without changing the system of governance, without uprooting capitalism, will help this country, then we are going nowhere. We are at a crossroads, but we can’t continue doing the same thing and expect different results, that’s naivety.”

There’s no future for our people under this order

There’s no future for our people under this order Featured

Since 1891 when Cecil John Rhodes and his company, the British South Africa Company, colonised this territory, we have been on the capitalist path.

We have never really veered off from capitalism. Even under the honest and relatively progressive rule of Dr Kenneth Kaunda and UNIP, we were still under capitalism – with some elements of ‘state capitalism’.

We have never experienced anything else other than capitalism. Continuing on this path will not bring a better life to our people. We have a unique opportunity this year to chart a different path and establish a new economic, social and political order. And those who fail to see this will have to answer to history for it. I hope they will accept their responsibility.

We must choose a clear, intelligent, effective solution – not head toward Calvary.

I think we have been struggling uphill long enough. We have suffered not only the torment of Calvary but also that of Sisyphus, who had to keep pushing the boulder up a hill and every time he was about to reach the top, it would roll back down and he would have to start all over again. Our situation is worse than Calvary because Calvary was climbed quickly; we have been climbing our hill for a long time, and we keep on having to start over. Calvary is preferable to Sisyphus’ torment, and we had our Calvary, we should also have a resurrection.

What we want is real change, not just any change; what we want is to find a real solution to the problem, but what will happen is that reactionary forces, those benefiting from the current order will try to deceive our people and prevent real change. They have divided people into petty political parties that brought no guidance to the nation. They will divide the ignorant and mislead people into factions supporting unscrupulous and greedy politicians. They give some little money, bicycles, mealie-meal, salt, sugar, chitenge materials, t-shirts here and there so that each will remain with his or her own Calvary – and not even a Calvary, but with the agonising torture of pushing the boulder up a never-ending hill. But one day the people are going to demand, ‘How much longer do we have to put up with these conditions.’ And they will find real solutions.

I prefer an orderly solution; internal and external unity; and a real, definitive solution for our people’s problems.

Our people are becoming truly desperate. The situation is much more terrible, more desperate and hopeless. I can see this. It’s only a matter of time, because this neoliberal capitalist path we are pursuing is creating an enormous time bomb in our country. Are we going to wait for it to explode before we start thinking about real change, real solutions to these problems?

There’s no future for our people under this order, and I think the politicians and all progressives and democrats in this country have a basic duty to pay it all the attention it requires, or we will all become slaves.

Fred M’membe

It’ll be another ‘Don’t Kubeba’!

It’ll be another ‘Don’t Kubeba’! Featured

Our political opponents or competitors solve everything on a price basis, but we don’t. That is why a revolutionary consciousness, a socialist consciousness, an internationalist consciousness is so necessary to us.

The first thing we did – even before our party was registered – was to set up an ideological school.

We don’t compete with the petty bourgeois parties in the matter of money. They have piled up huge wealth exploiting, robbing the people.

Yes, they have a lot of money for their election campaigns. But we have something more powerful than money and that is consciousness. That is why we are more powerful than them. We are not for sale, we have a conscience while they have money – nothing but money.

They are busy giving bicycles to village headmen in exchange for political support. But these bicycles are being used by these village headmen and their people to do political work for us.

It will certainly be another ‘Don’t Kubeba’.

Fred M’membe

Meet Comrade Mulenga Chiluba

Meet Comrade Mulenga Chiluba Featured

Comrade Mulenga Chiluba is the parliamentary candidate for Kañchibiya constituency in Muchinga Province.

After schooling to GCE level, Comrade Chiluba gained a diploma as a primary school teacher and was also awarded a diploma in pastoring from Calvary University in Kansas City, Missouri. He worked as a volunteer teacher for 10 years, was a director at Mutamba Nshiku Secondary School for three years, served as a peer educator, the secretary of a neighbourhood health committee, and was also a prayer leader at a catholic church for 18 years. He is currently studying for a bachelor’s degree in civic and religious education at the Mpika branch of St Eugene University.

Comrade Chiluba says he was inspired by the determination and achievement of Socialist Party president Fred M’membe.

“I decided to take up the position of parliamentary candidate to serve Kañchibiya constituency,” he said. “I want Kañchibiya to be transformed like other developed communities with things like good roads, bridges, schools, clean water and sanitation, as well as being able to support peasant farmers.”

Comrade Chiluba says 2021 is going to be “a big deal” for every Zambian. “This is our chance to rescue ourselves from poverty, hunger and a poor economy, and to change this nation from capitalism to socialism,” he said.

Meet Comrade Ntazana Mutungwa Musukuma

Meet Comrade Ntazana Mutungwa Musukuma Featured

Comrade Ntazana Mutungwa Musukuma is the parliamentary candidate for Chawama constituency. He was educated at Kamulanga primary and Arakan secondary schools in Lusaka, gaining distinctions in all nine subjects he was studying, and went on to attend David Kaunda Technical High School, also in Lusaka.Comrade Musukuma undertook community service in Chawama and joined Sambo-Kayukwa and Company, where he worked as a Legal Assistant. He was later accepted as a student at the University of Zambia in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.He was elected chairperson on the Council of Hall Representatives at UNZA and received a commendation letter from the UNZA senate for exceptional academic performance after scoring not less than B+ in all his courses. He graduated from UNZA with a bachelor’s degree in public administration, going on to gain a master’s degree in public administration from the university.Comrade Musukuma worked as a research coordinator for various firms, including the Germany International Technical Engineering Consultancy, Foundation for Democratic Process, and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, was appointed part-time lecturer at the National Institute of Public Administration, and founded Nalavwe Academic and Research Consultancy, becoming its CEO.He served as a senior local government officer but “lost interest in public service because of a widespread system indolence marred with corruption, and joined politics to contribute towards the creation of a decent Zambia characterised by hard work, honesty and equity”.“I was disappointed with the poor leadership, corruption, greed, injustice and degradation of Zambians by the Patriotic Front and dumped the ruling party to join the Socialist Party under the able leadership of Dr Fred M’membe,” he said.

Meet Comrade John Zulu

Meet Comrade John Zulu Featured

Socialist Party candidate for the Kasenengwa constituency, Comrade John Zulu, is a local farmer. He attended Chiparamba Primary School in Kasenengwa District and studied higher grades at Anoya Zulu Boys’ Secondary School, Chipata.

Comrade Zulu is a Church of Pentecost member and ordained church deacon and has worked for the Electoral Commission of Zambia as both assistant voter registration officer and voter education facilitator.

He said he joined the Socialist Party partly because he was moved by its ideas and ideologies, the values of honesty, humility, equity and solidarity, that “align well with my Christian faith and beliefs of love thy neighbour as you love yourself”. He was also attracted to the party’s commitment to free education and healthcare and its pledge to revamp the agricultural sector.

“My constituency is in the rural part of Zambia. We depend upon agriculture for our livelihood and I have no doubt that when the Socialist Party takes over government in 2021 Kasenengwa will be a transformed community under the leadership of Dr Fred M’membe,” he said.

“I was driven to join politics because of the dire conditions that the people of Kasenengwa are subjected to every day.”

Comrade Zulu said he was looking for changes in his constituency such as the creation of youth resource centres and developing income-generating activities such as livestock farming and growing cash crops. “The conditions our people are facing are worsening by the day. The debt crisis, falling kwacha and extreme poverty have pushed our people and patience to the limit, 2021 is a big deal for all Zambians. Only the Socialist Party will deliver the change and transformation we seek.”

Meet Comrade Christine Musole

Meet Comrade Christine Musole Featured

Twenty-five-years-old Comrade Christine Nawa Musole is a strong young female Zambian citizen, born March 1, 1996, at Kabwe’s general hospital in Central Province.

Born in a family of three, in which she’s the youngest child, her father passed away when she was a month old. He was a Mbunda/Luvale from Kaoma in Kalumwange, while her mother – a daughter of the late chief Mayankwa – is Lozi from Lukulu. Musole is Christian by faith, and a committed member of the redeemed Christian Church of God.

Musole attended primary school at Imwiko and Senanga basic school, both in Western Province, from 2003 to 2008. In 2009, she was accepted to pursue her secondary school education at Mulambwa Secondary School for her grades eight and nine, and at Kambule Technical Secondary School for her grades 10 to 12. She then pursued higher education at the University of Barotseland in Mongu.

In 2019, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in secondary education, with a major in English and minor in religious studies.Musole loves singing, reading, creating and performing poetry, as well as playing football.

At Kambule Technical School, Musole was head girl, and then served as general secretary of the University of Barotseland Students’ Union for two years. She was appointed provincial representative by the Zambia Association of Musicians NationalCommittee, which she is still a member of. Being involved with ZAMNC has exposed Musole to other platforms organised by international non-governmental organisations, such as Oxfam’s “I Care About Her” programme.

Musole has worked as a sales assistant, and as a presenter on Mongu FM Radio. She is also a graduate of the Pan-African Ideological School, trained both within and outside Zambia.

Since graduating, she has been involved in facilitating ideological training sessions. The school focuses on political education, and targets individuals from across the world, as well as the Socialist Party’s pool of cadres.

Meet Comrade Ambassador Malulungisha

Meet Comrade Ambassador Malulungisha Featured

Comrade Ambassador Danny Malulungisha, parliamentary candidate for the Kasempa constituency, joined the Socialist Party because he says he had already been a socialist for a long time.

“Joining the Socialist Party was the noble thing to do. The people in Kasempa have faced many challenges, ranging from bad roads to poor facilities in schools and hospitals,” he said.

Malulungisha believes the area’s challenges can only be resolved by voting the Socialist Party into power in August. “The people of Kasempa must vote wisely,” he said. “They should vote for Dr Fred M’membe for president, for myself as MP, and for a Socialist Party mayor and Councillors to bring about change.

“We must have better roads, boarding schools, colleges and good health facilities,” he said.

“The Socialist Party will work with its people in the community as we lead and the people themselves deliver.”

Meet Comrade Preston Chinyama

Meet Comrade Preston Chinyama Featured

Comrade Preston Chinyama is parliamentary candidate for Nalolo Constituency. He was born in Kwandwana village in Mwana Mulena Kaiba’s village, the Mwandi area of Chief Mushemi, and was educated at Mwandi Primary School in Nalolo, Kanyonyo primary in Mongu, Limulunga primary in Limulunga Royal Village, Mulambwa primary in Mongu, and Sesheke Secondary School.

He spent 15 years in civil society organisations and joined active politics in 2016, “so I could look at life from a different perspective and serve my people and the nation in another way”.“I understand Western Province and Zambian politics much better because I’m a member of the Socialist Party national media brigade, provincial spokesperson, as well as a coordinator, and a participant in different training schemes.

“The people of Nalolo constituency and Zambia want change and I’m going to be a part of that change. We are going to mobilise with courage, humility, dignity and civility,” he said.

“Among the most critical issues we will focus on in the early days of the Socialist Party in government will be adequate education for all school age groups, adequate healthcare, agricultural revolution, from food security to food sovereignty, and infrastructure development in critical areas of all human endeavors, making Nalolo constituency a humane place to live in.

“Let the working class masses join the Socialist Party because it is the people’s revolution. It is for the good of Zambia. It is for the good of the revolution. As Dr Fred M’membe says, ‘It can be dark at times but the morning comes’.”

‘Honesty is of paramount importance in any leadership role’

‘Honesty is of paramount importance in any leadership role’ Featured

Last week I read something very inspiring from Anglican Diocese of Eastern Zambia Bishop William Mchombo in which he said that “honesty is of paramount importance in any leadership role”.

Bishop Mchombo said leaders must always embrace trust and honesty. “When we are chosen as leaders, we should possess the element of trust. The issue of honesty is very important in our leadership roles. When we come to electing leaders, we want to elect those that are honest,” said Bishop Mchombo.

For us in the Socialist Party, there is no choice between being principled and unelectable; and electable and unprincipled. We should win because of what we believe in.

A new and complex era such as this requires principles more than ever. Political ideas are worthless if they are not inspired by noble, selfless sentiments. Likewise, noble sentiments are worthless if they are not based on correct and fair ideas.

The individual does best in a decent community of people with principles, standards, common aims and values.

“When honesty is lost, then wait for the hour (the day of judgment).” These are the words of Prophet Muhammad. They paint a picture of the time leading up to the day of judgment, when righteous people will be sorrowful due to the lack of honesty around them.

We live in a society today where honesty is both valued and shunned at the same time. We expect people to be honest in their dealings with us, yet we watch and applaud liars, we vote for lying and deceitful politicians.

Without thinking, we teach our children that dishonesty is acceptable. We admonish our children for lying, yet the reality is we have been their teachers. Whether we tell lies or allow our children to live in a world surrounded by deceit, the lesson is learned, and honesty begins to disappear from the hearts of the next generation.

If you are honest, truly honest, you cannot be corrupted.If you are unassuming and have a clear understanding of the worth of people and of yourself, you cannot be corrupted.

The saying that honesty is the best policy is one of the oldest in the proverbial book, but its longevity speaks to its wisdom. We think of it as a matter of morality or ethics, and while it is certainly both, being honest is also a constructive course of action in establishing and building not only a good government but the culture within. Employing dishonesty as it’s convenient may be the tempting path, and maybe even one that some can justify in their own minds as a necessary ill to serve a greater good; after all, what harm could a few lies do in the grand scheme of things?

But dishonesty rarely stops with one or two untruths, and never ends well. Each lie or case of dishonesty is a compromise of one’s integrity that makes the next one easier if one is not careful about holding oneself to a higher standard.

Perhaps the greatest function that honesty can serve in a government is avoiding problems and mistakes that grow into major issues. Indeed, honesty is the foundation of the relationships that we have to build.

Honesty is how we build trust, and trust is necessary if we hope to work successfully with others.

In the hustle and bustle of today’s highly competitive environment, where speed is essential to making decisions, it’s easy to forget two important traits: honesty and ethics.

Sometimes the moral fiber of society and the blind ambition of some leaders will not even consider these attributes.It is said that “if you never lie, you will not have to remember what you said”.

Truth and honesty can be difficult to carry out, because we don’t want to be the bearers of bad news. However, in the long term, honesty carries the day, gains stronger support from the people and allows the right solutions to be applied to resolve problems.

Honesty builds trust, one of the most critical elements of solid leadership activities. Amilcar Cabral said, “Hide nothing from the masses of our people. Tell no lies. Expose lies whenever they are told. Mask no difficulties, mistakes, failures. Claim no easy victories…”

Fred M’membe

Meet Comrade Margaret Sikalonzo

Meet Comrade Margaret Sikalonzo Featured

Twenty-four year old Comrade Margaret Sikalonzo, parliamentary candidate for Luanshya constituency, wants to see a transformed Zambia, starting with her own community.

“In Bemba we say, ‘akachila kambushi kasengula epokekele’,meaning change must start where I am, within, and spread all around,” Sikalonzo said.

“I joined politics under the Socialist Party because of its core values pointing us to justice, equity, and peace, and for its accommodative nature inclusive of women and youth that allows us more space and a sense of belonging. I envision free and quality education, healthcare, and a Zambia where women will no longer have to walk long distances to access healthcare and give birth. Also a Luanshya with proper roads and jobs for all, particularly young people.

”Sikalonzo attended Baluba basic and Luanshya girls’ secondary schools, going on to study for an ICT at Zambia College of Distance Education.

Let UPND members choose their leaders the way they want

Let UPND members choose their leaders the way they want Featured

I have been asked to comment on the UPND’s internal party elections. I have declined.

I don’t comment on processes I don’t know or don’t understand. And moreover, the UPND elections are an intra-party issue that doesn’t really concern me – it’s none of my business.

And I believe that what doesn’t concern me, I should leave it alone. That said, I think UPND members have chosen their leaders in the way they want. And all that remains for me is to congratulate them all for being chosen by their fellow members to lead their party: CONGRATULATIONS!

We have seen leaders in some of our political parties being elected by “show of hands”. And this was found to be acceptable. If this is a legitimate way of choosing leaders then others should also be allowed to have their own ways.

We have seen party electoral processes so often being prostituted to falsify the will and interests of the members and so many times used to put into office the most inept and most shrewd, rather than the most competent and the most honest.

I believe that in an organisation in which harmony truly reigns, democracy can take many forms of expression. The most important thing is that the way a political party chooses its leaders should promote unity within the organisation, if possible. And in a political party in which harmony truly reigns, democracy can take many forms of expression.

We also choose our leaders in a different way and guided by our socialist principles, standards and aims. We elected our party’s national leaders, in our own socialist way, at our party’s first National Congress held September 27 – 30, 2019.

We don’t have the electioneering that characterise other parties – no adverts, campaigns. We socialists don’t aspire for positions, we are nominated or chosen by our comrades to take up leadership positions or deployment. Internally, we don’t engage in those practices that promote the personality cult.

I think and I have always thought that whatever the merits of any individual, any evidence of the cult of the personality must be radically avoided; that no individual, whatever aptitudes he or she may be said to have, will ever be superior to the collective capacity; that group leadership, unlimited respect for the application of criticism and self-criticism, democracy and party discipline, and the inviolability of socialist standards and basic ideas, are the only values that can sustain a truly revolutionary leadership. No member can be above the party, no revolutionary is more important than the revolution; no citizen’s will must ever prevail over that of millions of his or her compatriots.

Fred M’membe

President of the Socialist Party

Dare to struggle, dare to sing, dance, act, paint…

Dare to struggle, dare to sing, dance, act, paint… Featured

The number of artistes joining the struggle led by the Socialist Party is increasing ceaselessly.

We have musicians, singers, dancers, actors and actresses, sculptors, painters and so on and so forth being selected as local government and parliamentary candidates in various parts of our country to stand on the Socialist Party. This is very pleasing.

In the world today all culture, all literature and art belong to definite classes and are geared to definite political lines. There is in fact no such thing as art for art’s sake, art that stands above classes, art that is detached from or independent of politics. Peasant and working class, poor people’s literature and art are part of the whole struggle of the humble by the humble for the humble; they are, as Lenin said, cogs and wheels in the whole revolutionary machine.

Revolutionary culture is a powerful revolutionary weapon for the broad masses of the people. It prepares the ground ideologically before the revolution comes and is an important, indeed essential, fighting front in the general revolutionary front.

All our literature and art are for the masses of the people, and in the first place for the workers, peasants, police officers and soldiers; they are created for them and are for their use.

Our literary and art workers must accomplish this task and shift their stand; they must gradually move their feet over to the side of the workers and peasants through the process of going into their very midst and into the thick of practical struggles. Only in this way can we have a literature and art that are truly for the workers and peasants, a truly poor people’s literature and art.

Our duty is to ensure that literature and art fit well into the whole revolutionary machine as a component part, that they operate as powerful weapons for uniting and educating the people and for attacking and destroying the exploiters, and that they help the people fight the exploiters with one heart and one mind.

In literary and art criticism there are two criteria, the political and the artistic. There is the political criterion and there is the artistic criterion; what is the relationship between the two? Politics cannot be equated with art, nor can a general world outlook be equated with a method of artistic creation and criticism. We deny not only that there is an abstract and absolutely unchangeable political criterion, but also that there is an abstract and absolutely unchangeable artistic criterion; each class in every class society has its own political and artistic criteria. But all classes in all class societies invariably put the political criterion first and the artistic criterion second. What we demand is the unity of politics and art, the unity of content and form, the unity of revolutionary political content and the highest possible perfection of artistic form. Works of art, which lack artistic quality, have no force, however progressive they are politically. Therefore, we oppose both works of art with a wrong political viewpoint and the tendency towards the poster and slogan style which is correct in political viewpoint but lacking in artistic power. On questions of literature and art we must carry on a struggle on two fronts.

Letting a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend should be the policy for promoting the progress of the arts and a flourishing socialist culture in our country. Different forms and styles in art should develop freely and should contend freely. We think that it is harmful to the growth of art if administrative measures are used to impose one particular style of art or school of thought and to ban another. Questions of right and wrong in the arts should be settled through free discussion in artistic circles and through practical work in these fields. They should not be settled in summary fashion.

It is said that an army without culture is a dull-witted army, and a dull-witted army cannot defeat the enemy.

Fred M’membe

February 13, 2021.

Meet Comrade Kepson Zimba

Meet Comrade Kepson Zimba Featured

Comrade Zimba, the parliamentary candidate for the Kabushi constituency, is a student at the National Institute of Business Administration and says he went into politics to make a difference in people’s lives and work with the community in Kabushi to end their suffering.

“I want to serve and speak for the oppressed, less privileged in society, and be the voice of the voiceless,” he said, adding that priority would be given to addressing water, sanitation, and the high level of poverty.

“We have finally found the party of the people by the people,” he said.

“The Socialist Party is our only hope as it has a solution to the challenges we are facing as a country and constituency. Dr. Fred M’membe has the solution and lets us join hands to achieve our revolution.”

Meet Comrade Janet Chingumbe

Meet Comrade Janet Chingumbe Featured

Socialist Party parliamentary candidate Mangango constituency, Comrade Janet Sombo Chingumbe was born in Mangango. She attended Mangango Primary School and Holy-Cross Girls’ Secondary School before going on to study catering at Hushnolding School in Denmark and theology at Rhema Bible College, where she gained a ministerial training major. She is also a qualified pre-school teacher.

Chingumbe says she joined the Socialist Party because of its values; equity, humility, honesty and solidarity.

“The three pressing issues in my community are a lack of water and sanitation, the poor road network and the distance to health centres,” she said.

“My message to my constituency that we can change the situation if we work together.”

Once elected, Chingumbe hopes to help her community by using constituency development funds appropriately, lobby through NGOs, and get local Zambians to set up various industries in the Mangango area to create jobs.

Those who don’t know have a duty to learn, those who know have a duty to teach

Those who don’t know have a duty to learn, those who know have a duty to teach Featured

For past few months I have been writing, publishing or posting articles almost everyday. I don’t do this out of pleasure but to satisfy a revolutionary duty of educating, agitating, mobilising and organising.

I believe that the highest level of political thought was reached when some people became aware that no people and no person had the right to exploit others, and that the fruits of the efforts and intelligence of each human being should reach all others. This is the main essence of the premises of socialism. But raised to its highest expression, socialism also taught us the laws that govern the development of human society and the paths that lead to the final triumph of our species over all forms of slavery, exploitation, discrimination and injustice among human beings. I salute all those who have arrived at these stimulating convictions and I also salute those who, although they do not share these ideas, are honest democrats and progressives, because consistently practiced political honesty is a road that leads a person’s mind and will to the socialist ideal; for if someone said that all roads led to Rome, today it can be stated that all roads of progressive thinking lead to socialism.

In our efforts to try and transform poor Zambia into a prosperous country, we will be confronted with arduous tasks and our experience is far from adequate. So we must be good at learning.
Conditions are changing all the time, and to adapt one’s thinking to the new conditions, one must be ready to study, to learn. Even those who have a better grasp of things and are comparatively firm in their ideological and political stand have to go on studying, have to absorb what is new and study new problems.

We can learn what we don’t know. We shouldn’t only be good at destroying what we don’t like – the current order – we should also be good at building the new.

Now, there are two different attitudes towards learning from others. One is the dogmatic attitude of transplanting everything, whether or not it is suited to our conditions. This is no good. The other attitude is to use our heads and learn those things that suit our conditions, that is, to absorb whatever experience is useful to us. That is the attitude we should adopt.

Nothing should be taken as a dogma no matter how universally applicable it may be. We should regard it not as a dogma, but as a guide to action. Studying it is not merely a matter of learning terms and phrases, but of studying standpoints and methods in examining and solving problems.

If we have a correct theory but merely prate about it, pigeonhole it and do not put it into practice, then that theory, however good, is of no significance. Only then will we not mistake our partial experience for universal truth and not commit empiricist errors.
Reading is learning, but applying is also learning and the more important kind of learning at that.

Our chief method is to learn how to struggle and make a revolution through struggling and making a revolution. A comrade who has had no opportunity to go to school can also learn how to struggle and make a revolution – he or she can learn through struggling and making a revolution. A revolutionary struggle is a mass undertaking; it is often not a matter of first learning and then doing, but of doing and then learning, for doing is itself learning.

Nothing in the world is difficult for one who sets his mind to it. To cross the threshold is not difficult, and mastery, too, is possible provided one sets one’s mind to the task and is good at learning. We must not pretend to know when we do not know. Knowledge is a matter of science and no dishonesty or conceit whatsoever is permissible. What is required is definitely the reverse – honesty and modesty.

Complacency is the enemy of study. We cannot really learn anything until we rid ourselves of complacency. Our attitude towards ourselves should be “to be insatiable in learning” and towards others “to be tireless in teaching”. Those who don’t know have a duty to learn and those who know have a duty to teach.

Some comrades have read a few ideological and political books and think themselves quite learned but what they have read has not penetrated, has not struck root in their minds, so that they do not know how to use it and their class feelings remain as of old. Others are very conceited and having learned some book-phrases, think them terrific and are very cocky; but whenever a storm blows up, they take a stand very different from that of the workers and the majority of the peasants. They waver while the latter stand firm, they equivocate while the latter are forthright.

In order to have a real grasp, one must learn not only from books, but mainly through class struggle, through practical work and close contact with the masses of workers and peasants. When in addition to reading some books our intellectuals have gained some understanding through close contact with the masses of workers and peasants and through their own practical work, we will all be speaking the same language, not only the common language of patriotism and the common language of the socialist ideology. If that happens, all of us will certainly work much better.

Fred M’membe

Meet Comrade Nicholas Mwansa

Meet Comrade Nicholas Mwansa Featured

Kamfinsa constituency candidate Comrade Nicholas Mwansa says he went into politics so he could fight for better policies and wipe out casualisation in the mining labour market.

Raised in the copper-rich mining district of Kitwe Wusakile, Mwansa said the employment hopes of many young people had been dashed with “the greedy capitalist system using technology for its own benefit”.

“People are living in primitive environments in places like Mulenga and Zamtan compounds where there is no proper sanitation,” he said.

“There is no water network system, education is expensive and the majority of school leavers can’t afford to go to college.”

Mwansa attended Nkana primary, Rhokana basic, Samfya and Kwame Nkrumah Pvt schools as well as Commercial Studies College. He has a diploma in business management and industrial administration and a diploma in social work.

Let’s all forgive Fr Lupupa

Let’s all forgive Fr Lupupa Featured

As a candidate in this year’s presidential elections and leader of a political party that is taking part in this year’s elections at all levels, I was very offended by Fr Latone Lupupa’s homily urging rigging if the Patriotic Front is seen to be losing.
I was also very disappointed with his homily as a Catholic.
But our priest has apologised. He regrets what he said and he has asked for forgiveness, mercy.
What more should we expect or ask from him? To hang himself!
I know very well that accepting an apology can be tough, especially if the person apologising really hurt you.
Like apologising, responding to an ‘I’m sorry’ takes maturity.
It takes maturity and humility to own up to your mistakes and apologise. It also takes maturity and humility to accept an apology after you’ve been wronged.
Accepting an apology and forgiving someone often doesn’t come easily, but still this can be handled with sincerity, mindfulness and grace.
Put simply, apologising requires effort, and if someone seems apathetic, we probably want to take note and try to get it behind us. We shouldn’t let it fester. There are so many things we’ve all done in our lives that we just pray people don’t hold over us. Let’s give our friends breaks when we can.
We shouldn’t continue to dwell on it, because if it’s eating us up, it’s toxic. Moving on is an important part of self-care. It’s not being selfish. It’s about living our best life, which can’t happen when we’re filled with anger or hate. It doesn’t mean we have to be friends again, but we can accept the effort and go on with our lives.
I wholeheartedly accept Fr Lupupa’s apology and forgive him.
Moreover, as Christians we know we are meant to be kind, loving, humble, and respectful to others. And one true test of this is how we handle situations when we believe we’ve been wronged.
We are reminded in
Proverbs 26:4-5, “Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him. Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes.”

Fred M’membe
President of the Socialist Party

Meet Comrade Mwenda Kulilisa

Meet Comrade Mwenda Kulilisa Featured

Comrade Mwenda Kulilisa, candidate for the Sioma constituency, says this year’s election “is an opportunity to set our country on a revolutionary path”.

Kulilia, who says he joined the Socialist Party because it was seeking a more humane society for Zambians, was optimistic that the party’s priority programmes of education, health, and agriculture would deliver justice for all and reduce the high poverty levels.

“Early child marriages are among the biggest challenges affecting young people in my area,” he said. There are also challenges such as a lack of desks, boards, and teachers in schools, but also bad roads and network connectivity issues.”

He said the Socialist Party in government needed to improve healthcare, empower youth, and explore fish pound development, beehives for honey and mukongo trees for natural oil.

Kulilisa was born in Chabukala in Sioma, attending Mutomena Day primary and Sioma secondary schools.

Meet Comrade Womba Nkanza

Meet Comrade Womba Nkanza Featured

Comrade Womba Nkanza, the candidate for Zambezi East constituency, is an activist and feminist who lives in Chitokoloki, North Western Province. She said it was her belief that only the working class could liberate the working class.

“Capitalists will never give us our freedom, we have to grab it through the ballot,” she said.

Key issues in the Zambezi constituency included poverty, water supply and infrastructure.

“Accessibility to the basic things of life, such as education, health, and food, is a right and not a privilege,” she said.

“We are mobilising and coming up with community-based solutions. For example, we have developed village banking groups, are in the process of forming cooperatives, and forming partnerships to run businesses.”

“Whatever we do, the community has to buy into it as we are focusing on collective decision-making and collective work,” she said.

Nkanza stressed that women should prioritise their issues. “As women we have to lead. We have to take politics as a right. We need to question everything, make informed decisions and demand all that we are entitled to.”

Meet Comrade Jeff Chabala

Meet Comrade Jeff Chabala Featured

Comrade Jeff Chabala, candidate for the Roan constituency, says he joined politics because of his love for both his city and Zambia. Chabala attended Roan primary and Twashuka secondary schools in Luanshya and went on to gain a bachelor’s degree in theology and a diploma in world missions and church planning. He is currently pursuing an LLB.

Chabala said there was a lack of infrastructure development in the Roan constituency and people were suffering from a high level of poverty.

“The pressing issues include unemployment due to a dependency on the mining industry and a lack of stability,” he said, adding that there were also issues with sanitation and medical equipment in hospitals.

“The socialist government will diversify the economy to invest heavily in the agriculture sector, education and health, and to create jobs.”

Do we need the intelligence services?

Do we need the intelligence services? Featured

Our intelligence officers – ba shushushu, ba OP – are hated and feared.
Is this the way things should be? The answer is a categorical No!
Do we need the intelligence services? Yes, we do.
From time immemorial, nations, governments and communities have relied on intelligence as an essential guide to statecraft. It is on record, for example, that the Persian Empire, the Moguls of India and the City State of Venice utilised intelligence in a systematic manner as an essential feature of government. They recorded their concepts of intelligence in texts that are available for study today.
It is evident from this history that intelligence techniques have been used in pursuit of different objectives and that statecraft and its instruments are
always a reflection of the culture and value system of a given society.
Some nations believed in conquest and the creation of empires that exploited the resources of their subjects. Others used intelligence as an instrument in pursuit of wars and military supremacy. Still others sought dominance in trade and wealth creation for themselves and their peoples.
With the emergence of modern democratic states – be they capitalist or socialist, a fundamental change has occurred in the nature of intelligence as an instrument of government.
Whereas previously the emphasis was on the security of the state and the survival of the regime, now there is a strong emphasis on human security and
human rights and freedoms.
In our country the Constitution is the supreme law and it enshrines the
principles, culture and values of our multiparty democratic state and people. Our constitutional arrangements are not confined to setting out the distribution of power and the means for the peaceful change of ruling parties, presidents and settlement of disputes. The Constitution also reflects the basic values of our multiparty democracy and the economic and social principles for ensuring a cultured existence for all our people and their diverse political parties.
Unlike many other jurisdictions, our Constitution provides expressly for the setting up of intelligence services as part of the security system in the country – Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) [No. 2 of 2016 81 Establishment of Defence Force and functions Establishment of national security services and functions (3) The Zambia Security Intelligence Service shall— (a) ensure national security by undertaking security intelligence and counter intelligence; (b) prevent a person from suspending, overthrowing or illegally abrogating this Constitution; and (c) perform other functions as prescribed.
There are also statutes that describe in detail the role and functions of the intelligence services – An Act to provide for the establishment of the Zambia Security Intelligence Service, its functions and discipline; and to provide for matters incidental thereto or connected therewith [1st October, 1974]; An Act to provide for the continued existence of the Zambia Security Intelligence Service, its functions and discipline; to constitute the National Intelligence Council and define its functions; to repeal and replace the Zambia Security Intelligence Service Act, 1973; and to provide for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing [24th April, 1998. Whilst operational techniques of covert collection of information are secret, the rest of our intelligence activities should be open and above board. This reflects confidence that our objectives and policies are ethical, honourable and in accordance with fundamental human rights and freedoms.
Our intelligence and other security services are not supposed to be oppressors of the people but protectors of their security and well-being. Hence our services are supposed to
count on the full support of the people. But that is not the case today – our security services are feared and even hated.
The intelligence function comprises the gathering, evaluation and dissemination of information relevant to decision-making, and may include prediction based on such information, as well as planning for future contingencies. In short, intelligence involves the acquisition of information and planning in exercise of all the intellectual tasks required of decision-makers. The relation between the intelligence function and community goals is particularly subtle: although intelligence operates within the frame of authorised goals, one duty of effective intelligence is to appraise these goals in the context of knowledge and, where appropriate, to bring new attention areas, for the purposes of goal clarification, to the focus of decision-makers.
Intelligence is a critical function at all levels of decision-making, yet its very ubiquity seems to have obscured it from visibility to public inquiry.
There is no dearth of historical examples demonstrating the critical importance of reliable intelligence. Napoleon put it to use with devastating effect. Both Stalin and Hitler, in our own day, have shown that the utility of the most accurate and timely intelligence depends upon a decision-maker capable and willing to use it.
What, then, are the ideal intelligence services we are striving for? We
envisage intelligence services that are fully conscious and proud of our multiparty democratic and constitutional foundations. We expect our intelligence
operatives, researchers and analysts to be highly trained and sophisticated.
The main function of our services should be the collection of true and relevant information that can serve as a basis for first class decision-making on security.
Our intelligence services must be seen to be collectors of information both inside the country and abroad, using human resources and the latest modern technology. They must rely on brains rather than brawn. They must be
effective and efficient and deliver quality products superior to those ordinarily available.
Our intelligence services are not and must never be another police service
with powers of arrest. It is true that the modern trend is to use the special methods of intelligence to assist the police in the realm of combating serious
international crime syndicates, but essentially the services must aim at
providing information for decision-makers rather than prosecution or persecution of criminals.
The intelligence services have been given special powers but these powers
must be exercised in accordance with legislation, regulations, guidelines and
rules. It is essential that intelligence services behave in an ethical and lawful manner. In Zambia these matters are considered so important that they are governed by the Constitution itself.
Intelligence services have the particular misfortune of going unnoticed and
unappreciated when they are successful. We wish to record our thanks to and
respect for the Zambian intelligence services and all their members, who
make a significant contribution to the security of our country and people.
Multiparty democracy is founded on every citizen’s right to take part in the management of public affairs. This requires the existence of representative institutions at all levels and, as a cornerstone, a parliament in which all components of society are represented and which has the requisite powers and means to express the will of the people by legislating and overseeing government action.
A multiparty democratic state must ensure the enjoyment of civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights by its citizens. Hence, multiparty democracy goes hand in hand with an effective, honest and transparent government that is freely chosen and accountable for its management of public affairs.
Public accountability applies to all those who hold public authority, whether elected or appointed, and to all bodies of public authority. Accountability has the political purpose of checking the power of the executive and therefore minimising any abuse of power. The operational purpose of accountability is to help to ensure that governments operate effectively and efficiently.
For this reason, no institution, function or act of the state, and no organisation or activity of the government can be exempted from public scrutiny and accountability.
There’s need to strengthen mechanisms of control of our civilian intelligence structures in order to ensure full compliance and alignment with the Constitution, constitutional principles and the rule of law, and particularly to minimise the potential for illegal conduct and abuse of power.
There’s need to review the executive control of the intelligence services; control mechanisms relating to intelligence operations; control over intrusive methods of investigation; political and economic intelligence; political non-partisanship of the services; the balance between secrecy and transparency; and controls over the funding of covert operations.
There’s need to bear in mind the fact that an effective state can contribute powerfully to sustainable development and the reduction of poverty. But there is no guarantee that state intervention will benefit society. The state’s monopoly on coercion, which gives it the power to intervene effectively in economic activity, also gives it the power to intervene arbitrarily. This power, coupled with access to information not available to the general public, creates opportunities for public officials to promote their own interests, or those of friends or allies, at the expense of the general interest. The possibilities for rent seeking and corruption are considerable. We must therefore work to establish and nurture mechanisms that give state agencies the flexibility and the incentive to act for the common good, while at the same time restraining arbitrary and corrupt behaviour in dealings with businesses and citizens.
It’s not the duty of the intelligence services to keep the incumbent president in power and help secure him a third term of office. It’s the duty of the intelligence services to ensure free, fair and peaceful elections and let the best candidates, the most supported and trusted candidates win.

Fred M’membe
President of the Socialist Party

Meet Mildred N’gambi

Meet Mildred N’gambi Featured

Mufulira-based vibrant and energetic Mildred N’gambi, parliamentary candidate for Kankoyo constituency, joined active politics after she was inspired by the Socialist Party’s pro-poor programme in its manifesto, as well as for its exceptional leadership under the guidance of Dr Fred M’membe, passionate about justice, equity, and peace.

N’gambi notes unemployment and a lack of access to safe drinking water as among the many key challenges in her constituency.

“There are high levels of unemployment, and accessing clean drinking water is another challenge in my area,” she said.

“The Socialist Party, through its three key programmes in health, education, and agriculture, is committed to creating jobs, as well as ensuring access to quality clean water and sanitation that should benefit all Zambians.

”Ng’ambi attended Matero Primary School in Chingola, and undertook part of her primary and secondary education at Chalata Secondary School in Mkushi.

They’re attacking us because we’re having impact on the ground

They’re attacking us because we’re having impact on the ground Featured

Aba Bemba say, ‘Nga mule sumwa ne nshimu mwaishiba amuti mulepanda ubuchi.’
These are attacks are coming because we are having impact on the ground.
But what should be our reaction to these wanton, unbridled and uncouth attacks?
We turn to Winston Churchill’s very wise counsel on this score: “You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.”
Everything has it’s time. This is the time for them to attack us. Our time to defend ourselves will also come. But to everything there are limits. There’s need for restraint, self limitation and modesty. Time to account for one’s utterances and deeds always comes – umulandu taubola.
This time of change is bringing us many ‘barking dogs’ to deal with. If we pay equal attention to all of them they will distract us from our revolutionary priorities.
We need to keep focused and on track. Keeping calm in times like these is very important and connecting with what matters most is the first step. Making clear sense of our situation is the second. Knowing which dogs matter, and which do not, is a third.
Knowing the strategies we can use to handle the dogs that we encounter helps us find a way forward with each one. Being clear about our destination, our strategic objective reminds us which direction to face, once we are past the barking dog
We will never reach our destination if we stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.
Remembering this, and knowing which barking dogs to ignore and how to address the ones that matter, is another step to becoming antifragile.
We really need to know which barking dogs to ignore, which to pay attention to, and how to handle them.

Fred M’membe
President of the Socialist Party

Meet Comrade Faston Mwale

Meet Comrade Faston Mwale Featured

Comrade Faston Mwale is parliamentary candidate for the Nkana constituency and says that being “born, bread and raised from a typical working-class family” led him to “search for egalitarian ideas of justice, equity and peace”.

After leaving Mukuba Secondary School, Mwale studied marketing management and accountancy while working at various jobs and is now studying for a BA in development studies at Zambia Open University.

He says Nkana has suffered as a result of “a leadership that is thoroughly disconnected from people’s daily struggles”. Main issues include erratic water supplies, poor sanitation, access to education, and a denial of the transcripts of school results because of the “ugly spectre” of school fees.

“Today, health, basic food, and decent shelter are far-fetched luxuries many cannot afford, yet our leaders and their business associates have accumulated massive wealth on the sweat, blood and tears of the toiling masses.

“The upcoming general election presents an opportunity to elect a leadership that has consistently fought on our side, a leadership that is not driven by a lust for material wealth and prestige. I urge you all to vote for our very own Dr. Fred M’membe,” he said.

Nsingu Day – February 5, the Day of the Ngoni Warriors

Nsingu Day – February 5, the Day of the Ngoni Warriors Featured

On this date – February 5 at dawn – in 1898 commander
in-chief of our Ngoni warriors Nsingu was executed by Cecil John Rhodes’ forces after a mock court-martial the previous day.

Today it is 123 years since that very sad, very painful and barbaric murder of our innocent leader. What was his crime? Refusing to handover our land and minerals to Rhodes and his companies. He was guilty of mobilising an army of 10,000 young Ngoni warriors armed with the asegai to defend our land, our minerals, our heritage, our dignity against Rhodes’ better resourced army – armed with Maxim-guns and Seven-pounders.

After taking colonial possession of this territory, now constituting the Republic of Zambia in 1891, Rhodes felt all our land and minerals were now his and he could prospect and mine minerals in any part of it as he pleased. Rhodes believed there was gold in the Cipeta area occupied by the Ngonis. This was because south of the Cipeta, in a territory under Lobengula, in what is now Zimbabwe, Rhodes had found gold. He believed even the Cipeta should have gold. And he wanted to prospect for and mine minerals in this territory without the consent of the Ngonis. Our people and their leaders decided to defend their land with all they had – their lives.

Today, 12 decades later, we the new Ngoni warriors rise to honour their sacrifices, their courage, their dignity, their patriotism.

If we win the August 12 elections and the new, the 21st Century Cecil Rhodes decide to attack us in December as they did in December 1897, they will find not 10,000 young Ngoni warriors but a whole nation of warriors, of patriots ready to defend their homeland, ready to die standing than to live on their knees.

Our struggle is a continuation of the struggle started by our Ngoni ancestors. It’s their heroic spirits inspiring and guiding our struggles and the work of the Nsingu Elections Campaign Brigade.

Aluta continua! The struggle continues!

Victoria acerta! Victory is certain!

Nsingu lives in us!

Fred M’membe
President of the Socialist Party

Political leadership can easily dehumanise us and turn us into jackals

Political leadership can easily dehumanise us and turn us into jackals Featured

Our party manifesto makes it very clear that our intention is to radically transform how Zambia is governed. It won’t be business as usual.
And we understand very, very well that in a hyper-kinetic world, inward-looking and self-obsessed political leaders are a liability.
We also understand very, very well that as political leaders we are susceptible to an array of debilitating maladies, including arrogance, intolerance, myopia, and pettiness. And when these diseases go untreated, the nation itself is enfeebled. To have a healthy nation, we need political leaders with healthy minds.
As human beings we have certain proclivities — not all of them noble. Nevertheless, as political leaders we should be held to a high standard, since our scope of influence makes our ailments particularly infectious.
Even our Socialist Party, noble as its intentions and values may be, is an apparatus: a hierarchy populated by good-hearted, but less-than-perfect souls. In that sense, it’s not much different than other apparatus. We need eternal vigilance. We have to be very strict, very demanding with ourselves.
For this reason we have to constantly strive to improve and to grow in rapport and wisdom, in order to carry out our historic mission of transforming this country into a more just, fair and humane nation. And yet, like any body, like any human body, we are also – even as socialists espousing very noble values – exposed to diseases, malfunctioning, infirmity.
We are also open to diseases and temptations which can dangerously weaken our effectiveness and that of our revolutionary party. The disease of thinking we are immortal, immune, or downright indispensable, and therefore neglecting the need for regular check-ups.
A political leadership team which is not self-critical, which does not keep up with things, which does not seek to be more mentally, morally and intellectually fit, is a sick one. A simple visit to Leopards Hill, Memorial Park and other cemeteries might help us see the names of many people who thought they were immortal, immune, and indispensable!
It is the disease of those who turn into lords and masters, who think of themselves as above others and not at their service. It is the pathology of power and comes from a superiority complex, from a narcissism which passionately gazes at its own image and does not see the faces of others, especially the weakest and those most in need. The antidote to this plague is humility; to say heartily, ‘I am merely a servant. I have only done what was my duty.’ Why seek to have an illegal, unconstitutional third term of office at any cost?
It is very easy for political power to make us lose our human sensitivities. And we start having a heart of stone, we become stiff-necked. We have seen political leaders who in the course of time lose their interior serenity, alertness and daring, and hide under a pile of papers, turning into paper pushers and not men and women of compassion. It is dangerous to lose the human sensitivity that enables us to weep with those who weep and to rejoice with those who rejoice! Because as time goes on, our hearts grow hard and become incapable of loving all those around us. Being a humane political leader means having the sentiments of humility and unselfishness, of detachment and generosity.
In the Socialist Party we attach great importance to collective leadership. And collective leadership calls for extensive coordination. It’s impossible to achieve collective political leadership where there’s poor coordination.
Once political leaders lose a sense of community among themselves, the body loses its harmonious functioning and its equilibrium; it then becomes an orchestra that produces noise: its members do not work together and lose the spirit of camaraderie and teamwork. When the foot says to the arm: ‘I don’t need you,’ or the hand says to the head, ‘I’m in charge,’ they create discomfort and parochialism.
We often see a lot of what one would call “leadership Alzheimer’s disease”. It consists in losing the memory of those who nurtured, mentored and supported us in our own journeys. We see this in those who have lost the memory of their encounters with the great leaders who inspired them; in those who are completely caught up in the present moment, in their passions, whims and obsessions; in those who build walls and routines around themselves, and thus become more and more the slaves of idols carved by their own hands.
There’s too much rivalry and infighting in our politics – the disease of rivalry and vainglory. When appearances, our perks, and our titles become the primary object in life, we forget our fundamental duty as political leaders – to “do nothing from selfishness or conceit but in humility count others better than ourselves.” As political leaders, we must look not only to our own interests, but also to the interests of others.
I am saddened by the amount of idolising of political leaders that I see and hear everyday. This is the disease of those who court their political superiors in the hope of gaining their favour. They are victims of political careerism and opportunism; they honour persons rather than the larger mission of the political party. They think only of what they can get and not of what they should give; small-minded persons, unhappy and inspired only by their own lethal selfishness. Political superiors themselves can be affected by this disease, when they try to obtain the submission, loyalty and psychological dependency of their subordinates, but the end result is unhealthy complicity.
There’s too much indifference to others in our politics. This is where each political leader thinks only of himself or herself, and loses the sincerity and warmth of genuine human relationships. This can happen in many ways: when the most knowledgeable person does not put that knowledge at the service of less knowledgeable colleagues, when you learn something and then keep it to yourself rather than sharing it in a helpful way with others; when out of jealousy or deceit you take joy in seeing others fall instead of helping them up and encouraging them.
Today, more than ever before, our political leaders, especially those in government or power, are accumulating a lot of wealth – far more than they need to live comfortably – in a very short time and are not scared or shy to flaunt it.
They seem to suffering from the disease of hoarding.  This occurs when a political leader tries to fill an existential void in his or her heart by accumulating material goods, not out of need but only in order to feel secure. The fact is that we are not able to bring material goods with us when we leave this life, since “the winding sheet does not have pockets” and all our treasures will never be able to fill that void; instead, they will only make it deeper and more demanding. Accumulating goods only burdens and inexorably slows down the journey!
Then we have a problem of
closed circles, where belonging to a clique becomes more powerful than our shared identity. This disease too always begins with good intentions, but with the passing of time it enslaves its members and becomes a cancer which threatens the harmony of the political party and causes immense evil, especially to those we treat as outsiders. “Friendly fire” from our fellow soldiers, is the most insidious danger. It is the evil which strikes from within. As it says in the bible, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste.”
Lastly: we have the challenge, the disease of extravagance and self-exhibition. This happens when a political leader turns his or her service into power, and uses that power for material gain, or to acquire even greater power. This is the disease of persons who insatiably try to accumulate power and to this end are ready to slander, defame and discredit others; who put themselves on display to show that they are more capable than others. This disease does great harm because it leads people to justify the use of any means whatsoever to attain their goal, often in the name of justice and transparency!
Comrades and friends, these diseases are a danger for every political leader and party and they can strike at the individual or party.

Fred M’membe

They are on a very dangerous path

They are on a very dangerous path Featured

Mr Bowman Lusambo is saying that “whatever it takes we are winning the general elections”. What does this mean?
The other week his boss, Mr Edgar Lungu, was saying those who want to takeover from him as presidents of Zambia should wait for 2026 or 2031. How should this be interpreted?
We shouldn’t also forget that early in his presidency Mr Lungu warned Zambians that he would crush like a tonne of bricks anyone who tried to stand in his way.
This desire to win or retain power – have a third term of office – at any cost by Mr Lungu and his disciples is dangerous and frightening.
From my very limited military studies and experience, I learned that victory at any cost is dangerous. We were taught that victory must be measured by its sustainability over time. Overcoming a foe, joined by many enraged citizens — whose survivors would only regroup with hardening resolve to carry on the war — doesn’t constitute a true victory.
Winning, it can be argued, isn’t quite all it’s cracked up to be. Despite our preoccupation with victory, winning is often a double-edged sword.
I am surprised to see the “win-at-all-costs” attitude applied to our politics by Mr Lungu – who I expect to have some reasonable military knowledge and experience. Causes, campaigns and crusades are fueled by self-righteous enthusiasm in the struggle against those who we assess as wrong-headedly seeking to oppose us. ‘If they can’t be convinced,’ we think, ‘they must be defeated. If in defeat they refuse subjugation, they must be destroyed. At all costs, we must win.’
Though the exact nature of our political problems might be unique, it’s certainly not the first time in Zambian politics that we find ourselves in a place where it’s much easier — and a more certain path to electoral victory — to destroy one’s opponent rather than attempt to find common ground, or at least mutual respect. We still remember how Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe and UPP were treated, detained in prisons and their party banned by the UNIP government.
Of course, some things are worth fighting for — at critical moments in our history, we’ve had winners and losers. The fatal trap is that an objective of “destroying” your political opponent is absurd. A functioning multiparty democracy not only has, but needs more viable political parties, not a triumphant victor and an opposition left hopelessly vanquished.
Checks and balances are needed to defend ourselves from our own worst instincts. Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. Total victory or catastrophic success can be the worst of calamities. There’s a point in the “fight” when we must understand that effective negotiation and compromise is not only the best course of action — but it’s the only one that could possibly maintain a political environment where future multiparty governance is possible. In politics, as in war, every decision must be taken with an eye to the future — remembering that the next issue must be adjudicated by respected and respectful opponents.
This regime of Mr Lungu needs to moderate its push to destroy the opposition because it runs counter to our natural inclination, felt in the heat of combat, to demonise or belittle the foe. In the short term, it seems to unite us against a common, hated enemy. But when you seek to delegitimise your foe, you’re actually inviting your own delegitimisation. To be sure, it’s a precarious balance. It’s important to “fight” for one’s beliefs, but there is a point at which “fighting” erodes underlying foundations. In politics, at its hyperbolic end, the losing party is outlawed and its leaders jailed on trumped up treason charges. And historically, the prevailing party, absent the moderating influence of a loyal opposition, soon runs off the rails.
At the best of times, what you’ll leave behind is a generational divide. If people forget the protagonists involved, what they’ll remember is what crushing the enemy, or being crushed, felt like. They’ll tell their children, and their children’s children, who to trust and who to malign.
Soon, the independence ideals that harked in our multiparty democracy will wisp away, like the wind. The moment of apparent conquest can be the time of greatest vulnerability. Grasping for total victory can be our undoing.
It’s tempting to want “strength” in these tumultuous times, but the job of building and repairing our country has to come from a collective leadership. Our leaders won’t look the same; they won’t always agree with one another; and, as with any collective, it won’t make everyone happy at all points. That’s what compromise, and living in a functioning multiparty democracy, looks like. What will define this collective leadership is their stance towards those who may think a little different from themselves — who may have a different order of priorities and way of doing business. Don’t look out for these leaders as being the women and men with the loudest voices, or the most zealous convictions. Instead, they’ll be the ones willing to let go of the side of the pool, so that they can swim towards the middle.
It is a big task of those who would step forward. There are few parades for the modest moderate and endless criticism from the frenzied fringes on both sides. Instead, these true heroes must take quiet satisfaction that their contributions will enable possibilities further in the future than most people look. And even when that future arrives, there will be loud complaints about the traffic from the vocal experts who rail on, oblivious to the selfless labour and thoughtful compromises that created the roads they take for granted.
Still, those leaders are among us. We cannot wait for them to rise one-by-one only to be pummeled down by a cacophony of intolerance and tyranny. It is up to us to encourage, support, and celebrate those who will serve and lead. When they stand, we must stand with them.

Fred M’membe

Mkaika residents welcome adoption of Phiri

Mkaika residents welcome adoption of Phiri Featured

The Socialist Party (SP) in Mkaika constituency in Katete district in Eastern Province have commended the party leadership for adopting Martin Phiri to contest as a member of parliament in the soon coming 2021 general elections.

And Lukweta ward chairlady Charity Banda said the adoption of local people like Phiri would guarantee development that is responsive to the people’s aspirations.

She said the people from all the nine wards of the constituency have pledged to work with their own son, Phiri ahead of the general elections.

However, Banda expressed concern that unlike the Socialist Party, other parties were adopting non-indigenous candidates.

“Here in Lukweta ward we are very much ready to work with Martin Phiri as he has grown up from here so he understands the challenges we are going through here in Mkaika, there is no way we can reject our own son, he is our son and we are giving him our vote,” she said.

Meanwhile, Mnyamanzi Farms Chairperson Tobias Daka has appealed to Phiri to quickly address the water challenges affecting the people in the area since independence.

He expressed confidence that Phiri would address their pressing social issues.

“No one has visited us here, you are the only one to came here since Zambia got independence, no wonder we are saying you are our own child and you understand our problems,” Daka said.

And in response, Phiri expressed disappointment that people in the area still walk more than 15 kilometers to find drinking water, which they shared with domestic animals.

He has appealed to the people in the area to vote for people who could easily resonate with their challenges.

“The Socialist Party is a party for the poor and for the humble, we will try our best to work together with you here and address some of the challenges together with you, as development I cannot bring it here alone, I need your support and you also need our support, vote for the right people and voting for the Socialist Party, you will not be disappointed,” said Phiri.

Let’s learn to do things the right way

Let’s learn to do things the right way Featured

We need to quickly learn how to do things the right way even if it calls for our greatest efforts.
As a nation, we have been battling with COVID-19 since March last year but up to now we are behaving as if the pandemic is new – something that has just sprung up.
With the experience that we now have and the world has, we should be in a position to come up with concrete measures and contain the spread of this deadly virus and there save lives. However, everything has been politicized and ‘corruptised’. Just after the first wave had been contained, our technocrats met with the donor community in October to discuss preparations for the second wave. All their recommendations were discarded for political expediency.
Instead of getting donor support in terms of receiving enough testing kits, personal protective equipment, oxygen, ventilators and PCR testing machines, the Ministry of Health opted to get financing from the treasury which is broke so that it could do its own procurement. As if that was not enough, the old Levy Hospital in Lusaka was closed and put under renovation amidst a pandemic just to give a construction contract to someone. Consequently, today, there isn’t enough bed space, hence some wards at UTH have been turned into isolation centres.
A couple of days ago, the New Maina Soko Hospital was hurriedly opened  to meet demand without putting everything required in place, hence the increase in numbers of deaths.
Despite being aware that 80 per cent of the COVID-19 patients have to rely on oxygen, our oxygen purity fall below the required standard set by the World Health Organization (WHO) of minimum 80 per cent. Strange enough, our oxygen purity is between 45 per cent and 50 per cent which is 30 per cent to 35 per cent below WHO recommendations. As if that is not enough, sometimes there is no oxygen at COVID-19 centres leading to loss of lives. Last week, eight people died when there was power failure at Maina Soko Hospital and the oxygen machines went into self protective mode.
And when it comes to adherence to COVID-19 rules, politicians in the ruling party have not set the right example to our people as they do not practice social distancing, sanitize or wash their hands and avoid large clouds. Today, the President himself has gone into a full campaign swing and thereby becoming a possible mass spreader of COVID-19. I am not a scientist but I suspect this is what has increased the COVID-19 cases in rural areas.
Worse still, our front line workers have not been incentivized in terms of risk allowances for putting their lives at risk. Besides, personal protective equipments are not well stocked. At one point last year medical staff were given two surgical masks per week. The situation has not yet improved. Where has the K600 million given to the Disaster Management Unit to curb COVID-19 gone? In a nut shell, the government has shown lack of capacity to deal with this crisis. Our health system has collapsed!

Fred M’membe

Sata was real, so real…

Sata was real, so real… Featured

The enemies of Michael Sata accuse me of putting him and the Patriotic Front in power in 2011. They are not right; they are wrong.
I don’t deserve that much credit. It wasn’t possible for me to make Michael win those highly contested elections. Michael’s political journey started long before I was born. He was a top trade union leader, freedom fighter, businessman, councillor, governor of Lusaka, minister of state, minister of local government, minister of health, minister without portfolio, secretary general of MMD without any participation or influence from me. Michael started the Patriotic Front without me. How can one sensibly try to credit me with making Michael, making him president of the Republic of Zambia? Michael was destined to be president of this country – it was just a matter of time.
For me the story of my association with Michael isn’t difficult or hard to tell because it isn’t fiction. It isn’t something I have to make up; it is my reality. I was insulted, humiliated and abused with him by people who are today enjoying the power he won for them.
When something comes from the heart, it has to be real.
The Michael I knew was a decent human being whose stance on various issues was known. He had a good sense of self image that’s why he would relate with people from all sorts of backgrounds. He was also able to make decisions right or wrong. He was not vengeful and made peace quickly. He didn’t claim to be what he was not – no posturing, pretence or hypocrisy. He showed his emotions whenever he was angry or happy. You didn’t have to guess about him. He was a real human being – with all the defects or frailties of a normal human being. He was real, so real – so creative. I miss him.
If supporting him, being his friend and brother was wrong, then I don’t want to be right!

Fred M’membe

Message of condolence on the death of Chief Chibesakunda

Message of condolence on the death of Chief Chibesakunda Featured

It is with a deep sense of sorrow and sadness that I have learnt of the untimely and tragic death of chief Chibesakunda (Bob Luo) of Chinsali.
Our beloved chief died from COVID-19.
And just the other week, Lubemba lost chief Mukukwile to COVID-19.
His departure from our midst, at the prime of his life and at a time when our country needed real change, revolutionary change, has robbed us of one of the most eminent representatives of the generation of traditional leaders who are actively involved in the struggle for more just, fair and humane nation and in the efforts to achieve a better life for all.
He belongs to the lineage of a proud and outstanding ancestry whose exploits in defence of our land, our dignity and our very being will forever remain etched in our proud history of resistance to colonialism.
Chief Chibesakunda was a wise, humble and respected leader in the Muchinga Province and across the length and breadth of Lubemba. We shall always remember him as an outstanding patriot.
On behalf of the Socialist Party and on my own behalf, I extend my heartfelt condolences to the Royal Family and to the people of the Great Lubemba. Though I will, regrettably, not be able to be with you at the funeral, be assured that I am with you in spirit in this period of mourning.
As he departs to commune with the heroes of yore, I am certain that his message of a dignified and prosperous Lubemba will fill the ancestors’ hearts with joy.
May chief Chibesakunda’s majestic spirit rest in peace!

Fred M’membe
President of the Socialist Party

We are sitting on a time bomb!

We are sitting on a time bomb! Featured

Zambia’s population of 17,426,623 (July 2020 est.) will double in 15 years time.

At the current population growth rate of 2.89 per cent (2020 est.) in 15 years Zambia will have not less than 34 million human beings to feed, house, educate and provide health services, water, sanitation and all the services required in an organised society to.

Despite having a very high death of 11.6 deaths per 1,000 population, a very high maternal mortality rate of 213 deaths per 100,000 live births (2017 est.) and infant mortality rate of 56 deaths per 1,000 live births and a low life expectancy of 53.6 years (2020 est.) our birth rate of 35.733 (2020 est.) is still high enough to give us a very high population growth rate of 2.89 per cent.

Rapid population growth at rates above 2 per cent acts as a brake on development. Up to a point, population growth can be accommodated. But the goal of development extends beyond accommodation of an ever larger population; it is to improve people’s lives.

This doubled population of Zambia in 15 years will need all these services a modern human being can’t do without – food, education, health, housing, water, sanitation, and so on and so forth. How are we going to provide these services at these very low economic growth rates we are experiencing?

What are our leaders doing to prepare our country and our people for this future that appears so sombre?

There’s need for our leaders and our people to realize that the Zambia of the future, of 15 years time, will not be built in the future, in 15 years time but on the threshold of what we do today.

The future is not built in the future; it is built on or by what we do today. I think that the future nation is the most important and most noble idea that a serious leader, a revolutionary can harbour.

Revolutionaries have always fought, struggled, worked for the future. Commander Nsingu, the old man Mpezeni – his father, and those 10,000 young Ngonis fought for the future. When Commander Nsingu was executed at dawn on February 5, 1898 by Cecil John Rhodes’ capitalist and imperialist forces he knew he was dying for the future. They were all fighting for the future.

To fight for the future, to struggle or work for the future does not mean to avoid doing everyday what must be done for the present. These two ideas must not be confused. It is possible for our country to devote a great part of its efforts to that struggle for the future.

The consequences of not struggling, working, planning for the Zambia of 15 years time will be disastrous. Hunger, riots, falling governments, and chaos are all potential consequences of ignoring the future.

If we don’t then we shouldn’t cry in 15 years that we didn’t see it coming. We are sitting on a time bomb!

Fred M’membe

Mopani: a deal for political survival and third term

Mopani: a deal for political survival and third term Featured

Our strategic objective as a socialist party is public ownership of the key means of production.
But achieving this in a world economy dominated by capitalism is not an easy undertaking. It calls for a tenacious, intelligent struggle. And it is this struggle that defines the process of “socialist construction”. It is a process because it is not a one off act or transaction. It’s not a single act of nationalisation and the following day you have a socialist society in Zambia.
The last 60 years of observing nationalisation in the world have taught us something, has made us a bit more wiser about what works and what doesn’t. It has taught us to be cautious and patient.
Moreover, it is said that there are many ways to skin a cat. Similarly, there are many ways to achieve our public ownership of the key means of production without engaging in very complex and unnecessary business and political deals.
Accordingly, the Socialist Party will not nationalise these troubled copper mines with limited economic lives remaining – ranging from 8 to 40 years.
And what is under exploitation now is just about a third of our mining potential – we still have two-thirds of our mining potential to exploit.
Without belittling anyone, we simply don’t have the capacity to run these financially troubled and technologically complicated mines. We don’t have enough mineral scientists, mining engineers, mining economists, lawyers with adequate mining knowledge, the financial expertise to mobilise capital for our mines and market the minerals we have mined.
What the Socialist Party in government will do is to ensure that it collects fair taxes from the mines to pump into education, health and peasant agriculture. And also make the transnational mining corporations pay for the training of our people in various mining skills. With such well trained people we will be able to exploit the remaining two-thirds of our mining potential on our own or under more beneficial joint ventures with others.
We will certainly not do what this government of the Patriotic Front and Mr Edgar Lungu is doing. What is the benefit to our people of the Mopani deal?
The main issue at Mopani has been the cost of production which is around $4,000 per tonne and the high costs of running the mine – ranging between $40m and $60m per month. In the face of low commodity prices, the mine has some challenges. In an attempt to reduce the cost of production, Mopani recently sunk three new shafts – two in Kitwe and one in Mufurila – at a cost of $4.5 billion. They were supposed to invest a further $450 million to take the shaft a bit further down just before government indicated that they would do away with VAT and instead introduce sales tax. Unlike in North Western Province where they do not need to sink a shaft, at Mopani you need a shaft of between 1.5 km to 2 km in order to maximise value for money. The previous shaft was sunk in 1975.
Mopani has copper reserves of between 38 to 40 years before activities come to a close. However, that needs about $1.5 to $2 billion investment in mine development. Why would we commit 80 per cent of our future copper production to pay off this debt when we will need between $40m and $60m on a monthly basis to run by this mine? Which banker is going to give us a credit facility under these circumstances?
We think this Patriotic Front government of Mr Lungu has messed up big time on this issue. They know that they do not have the ability to run this asset to the optimal levels that could bring a reversal of mining fortunes to Kitwe and Mufulira. In a worse case scenario, we would rather have Glencore place the asset under care and maintenance, knowing very well that as copper prices continue to improve, they would eventually begin operations within 8 months. Now, we have lost a credible investor and we are likely to see a decline in production from the mine, like we have seen with KCM, notwithstanding the type of investors we had there. Even if ZCCM-IH manage to run the operation successfully with a strategic partner, they will be constrained to expand production as they have the yoke of paying off the debt of purchase price for at least a decade.
Clearly, the decision to sale Mopani was based on political survival instincts of Mr Lungu and his colleagues in the Patriotic Front government. Understandably, they were scared of the consequences losing 15,000 jobs in an election year. This decision has nothing to do with
any strategic business formula – it’s all about political survival and a third term of office for Mr Lungu.

Fred M’membe

Free, quality education a must

Free, quality education a must Featured

No young person should be excluded from attending school because they cannot afford to pay school fees. No one should be sent home from school or refused results of tests or exams if fees have not been paid. All our young people must be entitled to a free, quality education.

When any young person fails to acquire the basic skills needed to function as a productive, responsible member of society, society as a whole – not to mention the individual young person – loses. The cost of educating our young people is far outweighed by the cost of not educating them.

Adults who lack basic skills have greater difficulty finding well-paying jobs and escaping poverty. Education for girls has particularly striking social benefits: incomes are higher and maternal and infant mortality rates are lower for educated women, who also have more personal freedom in choices.

Dr M’membe

Loss of trust in politicians

Loss of trust in politicians Featured

There’s a very serious decline of public trust in our politicians. Our politicians are generally known to be liars, crooks out to enrich themselves and their families.

Wherever I have been, I have been asked not to do what other politicians do – Lie!

I tell them I am not a politician to do what the politicians are doing – I am a revolutionary. But this mistrust doesn’t seem to be limited to politicians. I see declining levels of trust in the country, whether it is public confidence in government and elected officials or their trust of each other. I see declining levels of trust in our religious and traditional leaders, in our school teachers and indeed among family members.

I believe that the interplay between the trust issues in the public and the interpersonal sphere has made it harder to solve some of our country’s problems.

However, my greatest worry is that the capacity of leaders to implement policies depends crucially on trust. Without trust in politicians, governments and institutions, support for the necessary revolutionary changes becomes difficult to mobilize, particularly where short-term sacrifices are involved and long-term gains might be less tangible. The sharp decline in trust in politicians and government is serving to underline that trust is an essential, yet often overlooked, ingredient in successful policy making.

A decline in trust can lead to lower rates of compliance with rules and regulations.Citizens and businesses can also become more risk-averse, delaying investment, innovation and employment decisions that are essential to regain efficiency and jump start growth. Nurturing trust represents an investment in revolutionary transformation and social well-being for the future. Trust is both an input to revolutionary changes – necessary for the implementation of transformative measures – and, at the same time, an outcome of revolutionary changes, as they influence people’s and organizations’ attitudes and decisions relevant for economic and social well-being. As a result, trust in politicians and government by citizens and businesses is essential for the effective and efficient policy making both in good times and bad. Investing in trust should be considered as a new and central approach to restoring economic growth and reinforcing social cohesion.

The biggest challenge is how to restore public trust in our politicians and their governments or how to make progress without this trust. If we don’t quickly restore public trust in our politicians, the result will be ineffective and illegitimate government, and declining social and economic well-being. Therefore, whoever wins the August 12 elections must address this problem as a matter of urgency.

Without trust we have diminished capacity to meet complex, long-term challenges. Weakening political trust erodes authority and civic engagement, reduces support for evidence-based public policies and promotes risk aversion in government.

This also creates the space for the rise of authoritarian-populist forces or other forms of independent representation. Bridging the trust divide between citizens and politicians is no easy task.

Clearly, the connection between the Zambian people and their politicians is hanging by a rather tenuous thread. What needs to be done to reverse the decline?

My simple approach has been to ask our people what they would do if they had to deal or work with people they don’t trust.

You don’t leave them on their own; it’s tight marking. I also remind them that leaders lead, the people govern. They have allowed politicians to lead and govern. This time around they must govern. What they can’t do for themselves nobody will do it for them.

I tell them that revolutionary democracy is a growth in the confidence in the power of ordinary people to transform their country, and thus transform themselves. It is in the appreciation of people organizing, deciding, creating together. It is a growth of fraternal love and trust.

Fred M’membe

Socialist Party Press Statement on the engagement of Highgate Advisory Ltd as the GRZ communication advisor for the debt management process

Socialist Party Press Statement on the engagement of Highgate Advisory Ltd as the GRZ communication advisor for the debt management process Featured

The hiring of Highgate Advisory Ltd by GRZ to advise on debt restructuring related communication with all creditors and stakeholders is shameful, a waste of the taxpayers money and is symptomatic of our clueless PF government.

The Socialist Party had in May 2020 criticized the unnecessary USD 5 million hire of the French Company, Lazard Freres. This company was contracted to provide advisory services regarding liability management for Zambia’s debt portfolio. Our Party had consistently given GRZ free advice on debt restructuring. We warned of the immense hardships the masses of our people were going to face as well as the damage to the international reputation of our country if no urgent action was taken. In the typical arrogance and parasitic behavior of the PF government, this advice fell on deaf ears.

The Socialist Party views the hiring of foreign companies for debt restructuring services as corrupt, wasteful and retrogressive. Senior Officers in the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Zambia have over the past 10 years provided valuable options on how debt sustainability could be achieved. Several workshops have been held, study tours conducted, econometric models developed and a policy framework suggested. However all these efforts were thrown away and rubbished because the PF leadership did not want a systematic structure and process for debt management. Transparency and accountability was never a top priority. This is a government that thrives on chaos and disorganization. They deliberately created conditions under which debt contraction could allow high-level corruption.

Today, GBP 333,403.54 from the taxpayer is going to be spent senselessly on Highgate Advisory Ltd! This company is by all standards a briefcase one and whose owner has a questionable background. The picture emerging is that we have a cartel of former French graduates, who went through the corrupt, elitist Grande Ecole university system, worked in the finance and prime ministers offices, then went on to work for a number of dubious state actors that found themselves in a debt trap, such as in Greece and Ukraine. In vulture like style, this cartel has found out that corrupt, clueless governments whose economies are dying under a debt burden are the easiest victims. Such governments are ready to dish out millions of dollars to any “healer” who promises success without them being accountable to the citizens.

The Socialist Party calls upon all people with a heart for this country to strongly condemn this open theft and wasteful use of public resources.

Issued by:
Dr. Cosmas Musumali
General Secretary/Socialist Party
Industrial Area office/Lusaka

We have entered a second wave of coronavirus infections

We have entered a second wave of coronavirus infections Featured

It seems we have entered a second wave of coronavirus infections.
The number of COVID-19 cases detected in the country in the past two weeks seems indicate that a second wave of the outbreak has begun.
The country is at risk of losing many lives.
We are in a potentially difficult phase of the COVID-19 resurgence.
And accessing the hope offered by the arrival of the vaccine is still some time ahead.
Our health system is certainly not coping.
As the pandemic continues to evolve across the country, there is a need for the government to re-evaluate, re-strategise, and re-invigorate its COVID-19 response activities to ensure its prepared to handle this second, and potentially third wave of cases.
In an effort to limit transmission and achieve pandemic control, we need to remain vigilant.
We should adapt or adopt best practices, strategies, guidelines and recommendations proposed by the World Health Organization, aimed at limiting transmission. But whatever measures the government takes should strike a balance between saving lives and minimising the impact of the pandemic on the economy and social wellbeing of citizens.

Fred M’membe
President of the Socialist Party

Statement of the Socialist Party on a National Response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Statement of the Socialist Party on a National Response to the COVID-19 pandemic Featured

Humanity has been subjected to the COVID-19 for more than a year now. Soon, more than a 100 million people would have been infected and 2 million of those infected would have died! Yet the end of the pandemic is not near. The global frenzy with inoculations may help to bring down the infection rates – and may be even make our world safe from COVID-19.
However we should brace ourselves for a long haul – more especially in the periphery capitalist countries such as Zambia.
The demand side of the pandemic is complex enough.  High poverty levels, an extremely high burden of existing communicable and non-communicable diseases, low levels of hygiene, poor access to clean water and sanitation, crowded and poor housing conditions, illiteracy and poor health seeking behaviour are all factors that severely compromise health outcomes.
Similarly, the supply side is pathetic. We observe the presence of a weak and poorly resourced health system, rampant corruption at all levels of governance, the sheer absence of a science-led approach, heavy dependence on external partners that are themselves struggling to meet the health needs of their citizens, frightening incompetence in managing the COVID-19 pandemic as well as sluggish GDP growth.
The class character and implications of the pandemic are also apparent. Those able to travel abroad – the well off, initially introduced the COVID-19 pandemic into Zambia! Further, the high-income bracket of society often frequents the upmarket places such as shopping malls, restaurants and nightclubs that continue to fuel the epidemic. The youthful Zambian elite is notoriously uncompromising when it comes to consummating “leisure” even if this entails driving the entire country into a death trap. Yet the biggest losers of the pandemic will be the poor people without jobs and without proper access to health care. They will perish in great numbers!
The Socialist Party is drawing insights from the failure of the globalised capitalist system in managing the pandemic. It is also keenly following the success as well as the underling principles embedded in the national responses of the socialist countries. In coming up with our national response for Zambia, we are cognizant of the fact that there is no single solution that responds to the needs of all countries. The Socialist Party leadership is innovative, flexible and thinking outside the box:
1.     A total mobilisation of the masses of our people and all their national institutions will be the centrepiece of the response. We find ourselves at war with an invisible enemy. Any day lost to procrastination entails 100s of lives lost. We will immediately declare a month-long State of Emergency upon getting into power! This will enable us to effectively mobilise each adult Zambian and help put COVID- 19 on top of the political, social-cultural and economic agenda. The State of Emergency would greatly help the health system to catch up with contact tracing and slow down community level transmission.
2.     A war situation calls for exceptional decisions. We estimate to divert 10% of our entire GDP in order to provide effective health communication, institute mass testing, provide adequate medical supplies, medicines, PPEs, bed space, requisite equipment and an expanded workforce that will enable us halt transmission, provide quality care (including long term post-infection care and support) and therefore preserve thousands of Zambian lives.
3.     COVID-19 will not be the last global pandemic. We have to be prepared for more vicious pandemics in the years to come. Our routine surveillance system needs strengthening. Our response time and quality have to be exceptional. We need a highly health literate population. Pandemic management and the standard treatment guidelines need an interface and our poor capacities for multi-sectoral coordination should be a thing of the past.
4.     COVID-19 is a disaster for humanity, but it also exposes the pre-existing social and economic malaise in society: Job insecurity, vulnerabilities of small scale businesses, the negative consequences for frontline heath workers – who are poorly equipped, protected and remunerated, the increase in patriarchal violence (gender based violence) during the quarantine periods, and political discrimination of opposition political parties under the pretext of pandemic control measures. As a socialist party, our mandate is to these vulnerable groups in society. We have begun a process of consultation that will inform concrete policy and action and help the masses of our people to emancipate themselves from these forms of injustice and inequity as we face this global pandemic.
The Zambian people can and MUST rise up to the challenge posed by COVID-19. The neoliberal capitalist approaches in managing society and heath are a death sentence for the masses of our people. The immediate task of our masses is to vote out neoliberal capitalism from our homeland. The lumpen and petty bourgeois leadership has caused enough harm and is directly responsible for the senseless deaths through the pandemic. Voting them out of power has become synonymous to voting out COVID-19 from our lives.
 
Statement issued by
 
Dr. Cosmas Musheke Musumali
Socialist Party
General Secretary/First Vice President
Lusaka Industrial Area Office

President Lungu’s Copperbelt visit was a disaster

President Lungu’s Copperbelt visit was a disaster Featured

President Edgar Lungu’s working visit on the Copperbelt was a disaster in many ways.

This was the President’s first visit to the Copperbelt Province in 2021. The province has been a bastion of PF support over the past years. Being the first trip, it was planned to provide a good start for the President’s and his Party’s campaign towards the August 2021 elections.

However things have changed. The people of the Copperbelt need change. President Lungu and the PF are now becoming history. People were not willing to attend Presidents Lungu’s meetings. His ministers and cronies had to resort to bribes to mobilise a resemblance of presence and support. This effort didn’t work in Mufulira and it ended up being a huge embarrassment for President Lungu and the PF establishment.

As a Socialist Party we are today the fastest growing political power on the Copperbelt. Increasingly, more people see in us the alternative to the failed experimentation with neo-liberal capitalism that has sent thousands of workers jobless on the street and is today failing to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

Secondly, the trip came at huge cost to the Zambian taxpayer. The entourage was big – involving hundreds of vehicles from Lusaka and the Copperbelt. Three choppers and the presidential Jet were also assigned. The defence and security deployment was massive. The habit of dishing out brown envelopes continued. Its is an extremely reckless way spending the taxpayers money at a time that millions of Zambian lives are at stake due to the pandemic and with a health system that is poorly resourced.

Thirdly, the trip also reminded us of the retrogressive role played by the Civil Aviation Authority and our Zambia Airforce. The two institutions have in the past been used to constrain political opposition leaders’ air travel during election campaigns. We are in January – still a distance from the official campaign period, but this form of rigging and intimidation has already begun! We are cognisant of the immense difficulties the two institutions work under. However short term political appeasement has eroded the confidence of the masses of our people in these two key national institutions. The Zambian people have to win back these two institutions; President Lungu and the PF must go! The damage they are causing is irreparable.

Condolence message to the Diocese of Monze by the SP

Condolence message to the Diocese of Monze by the SP Featured

It’s with great sadness that we convey our heartfelt condolences to the Catholic Diocese of Monze and the entire Catholic Church in Zambia on the loss of Right. Rev. Bishop Moses Hamungole who lost his life after battling Covid-19.

He will be remembered for the many years of selfless service he dedicated to the people of this country in general and as Shepherd of the Diocese of Monze.

Rest In Peace Right. Rev. Bishop Moses Hamungole.

Fred M’membe

President of the Socialist Party, on behalf of the Politburo of the Socialist Party

We need an efficient, effective and orderly military

We need an efficient, effective and orderly military Featured

The recent recruitment of officer cadets for the Zambia Army, Zambia Airforce and Zambia National Service raises many very serious concerns. Military recruitments and promotions are supposed to be very transparent, well advertised and fair. Military recruitments and promotions should be matters of great public interest.

There’s a current recruitment of 600 officer cadets – shared 200 each for the Zambia Army, Zambia Airforce and Zambia National Service.Over 64,000 applications were received for the 200 Zambia Army positions. Most of these positions have been taken by relatives of the country’s top politicians. And the best but not well-connected applicants have been turned away. They are being told they failed medical tests so that it becomes difficult for them to question their being left out.

We need to increase the number of officers being recruited and trained every year to sufficiently cater for deaths, retirements and the growth of our military. You build your army in peace times and not when you are under attack. We shouldn’t be cheated or cheat ourselves that we don’t need a big and strong military. It’s very highly needed not only for basic military purposes but also for economic and social development. We need to pay sufficient attention to the development and maintenance of our military. Even in the most peaceful of times, we will still need to develop and maintain our military to the highest possible levels of efficiency and effectiveness.

Of all of the forms of power that determine the level of power enjoyed by a country, none is more obvious than a country’s military power. For one, a country with a strong military typically enjoys a higher degree of security and stability than a state that is militarily weaker than its neighbours and potential rivals. Likewise, a country with an advantage in terms of military power has the ability to seize or reduce another state’s power in many other areas, including economic, political- or resource-based power.

For many states, it was the development of their military power that proved to be the catalyst for their rise to great power status. For others, a lack of military power proved to be the undoing of states that were either once great powers or who had capability to rise to great power status, but failed to do so. History is littered with states whose ultimate downfall came on the battlefield, even if it was a decline in other aspects of power that resulted in their eventual military defeat.

The great wars of the past few centuries have taught us that having strong and reliable allies is a major boost for a country’s military power and its odds in a conflict with rival powers. This calls for increased collaboration and exchanges with other militaries in terms of training and exercises. We need to increase our military’s training and exercises with other countries both for officers and soldiers. We used to have training and other exchanges with other militaries – UK, Ireland, India, Sweden, North Korea, Iraq, among others – that we are today not fully utilising. But to develop and maintain our military to good levels requires a supportive economy. Simply put, a country needs the economic means to afford the high costs and technological developments associated with the development and maintenance of a high degree of military power.

For now, a country needs a large and healthy population of young adult males and increasingly females to provide the manpower needed to sustain an efficient, effective and orderly military, although automation may one day make this a moot point. A country’s level of political strength and stability is reflected in the strength and stability of its armed forces, while a unified political leadership can provide a clear focus for a country’s military efforts.

A good educational system is also very much needed. Throughout history, states that have been able to develop technologies that add to their military capabilities have emerged victorious in conflicts against their less-technologically-developed rivals.Clearly, a country’s military power also plays a key role in its development of these other factors of power. A state that can protect its territory, resources and trade routes has a major economic advantage over others that are unable to do so. Furthermore, military power can be a catalyst for economic growth, if applied properly. A state with a relatively high degree of military power has the capability to protect its population and to allow for its population to grow at a healthy pace. A strong military allows a country to protect its environmental and resource wealth.

For better or worse, armed forces have played a major role in determining the level of political stability in states throughout history. When political-military relations are strong and stable, a country is able to achieve a higher degree of political power. The armed forces have been the catalyst and the source for many of the major technological achievements reached throughout human history and are likely to remain so for the foreseeable future. Many states throughout history have used their advantages in terms of military power to achieve great power status.

But we shouldn’t be irrational in the development and maintenance of our military. We shouldn’t forget that while some great powers built their foundations on military power, other great powers were undermined by this same power. Some states focused too many resources on their militaries, thus undermining other aspects of their power. Examples of this include the latter Roman Empire, 16th-17th century Spain, and, more recently, the Soviet Union itself. Other great powers failed to invest enough in their armed forces, and thus undermined their ability to fend off rival powers. For example, the Byzantine Empire’s military weakness allowed for the Arabs to seize most of its territory in the 7th century, while China’s military decline opened the door for the Mongols to seize control of China in the 13th century. In more modern times, France’s inability to match German military power cost that country its leadership position in continental Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries.

This is why the Socialist Party in its manifesto states, among other things: “Defence is too great an assignment to leave in the hands of an ill-equipped army with an inappropriate doctrine. In order to enhance military capacity, we will undertake a review to assess the emerging threats confronting the Zambian masses, including hybrid and cyber warfare. We will; (i) ensure that our armed forces are properly equipped and resourced to respond to wide-ranging security challenges; (ii) the Socialist Government will commit to effective UN peacekeeping, especially within the context of Pan African peace-keeping missions; (iii) commit to a procurement process that supports job creation and the growth of the Zambian defence manufacturing industry…”

Fred M’membe

President of the Socialist Party

Garden Compound, Lusaka

In defence of my friend and all those who preach the good news

In defence of my friend and all those who preach the good news Featured

Of late retired Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu has come under a lot of attacks from leaders, cadres and supporters of those in power.
I must point out from the outset that I don’t like Archbishop Mpundu – I love him. He is an exceptionally very intelligent, humble, honest and religious man. Material possessions, luxuries don’t move him. He’s incorruptible.
But why is this nice friend of mine so hated by these people? My own and only explanation is that genuine goodness is threatening to those at the opposite end of the moral spectrum.

Preaching is increasingly getting a lot tougher. Today even words like kindness
seem to have political implications.
Should our preachers and their congregations seek to transcend politics or is that an impossible or even illegitimate goal? Is there a difference between being political and being partisan?

Preaching is being complicated by the fact that politics has now come to mean any contemporary issue on which people might disagree. In times such as these, the preacher’s task is to remind the congregation that the basic tenets of our faith – grace and mercy, radical hospitality, love of neighbor – go beyond politics but have political implications.
Can we call our preachers and their congregations call themselves followers of the Prince of Peace and not condemn injustice, intolerance, violence and corruption born of bigotry, hate and greed? Likewise, I don’t see how they can read the story of Jesus welcoming the children and not have something to say about the children suffering on our streets, not going school, not accessing healthcare and food.

In these polarizing times, it’s easy to vilify our preachers and their congregations. Good preaching in divisive times reminds people of the importance of nuance. It also reminds news-weary preachers that their faith claims mean something about how they live in a country in which being a good person is directly connected to our political systems and structures.

My prayer is that even as we disagree, we’ll stay true to the gospel call to welcome and to love.
One might expect the obligatory nod to the challenge of of preachers preaching in our polarized climate – except for the fact that their congregations are comfortably partisan and have been engines of polarization, not some lingering holdout against it.

We don’t want to avoid being predictably partisan by falling prey to the illusion that the gospel is politically “neutral.” If some partisan stands align with biblical concerns for justice, we shouldn’t soft-pedal biblical themes just to avoid appearing partisan. Here’s a way the lectionary is a gift.

These biblical themes confront us. Preaching isn’t dictated by the pet priorities of a party but by the worldwide curriculum of the body of Christ at worship. And some days, by grace, that Word will come as a challenge to our own preferences.

Nor does the unique “politics of Jesus” give us license to sequester ourselves in alternative communities. Policy is how we love our neighbors, and purity doesn’t release us from the Great Commandment. The illusion of being nonpolitical is a luxury of privilege that only leaves the vulnerable exposed.

The problem with the Christian political imagination today is not simply that it is predictably partisan but that it has ceded its elasticity and expectation to the here-and-now. We are all functional utopians who overexpect from the present and underexpect God’s sovereign grace. But the kingdom of God is something we await, not create. And while we hope for policy that bends the systems of society toward justice, we won’t legislate our way to the Parousia.

We need to recover a wide-eyed Augustinian realism to counter cultural Pelagianism. Our utopianism is nourished by an overconfidence in our own powers and a blinding self-righteousness, coupled with a generic belief in the goodness of human nature (at least our human nature). The result is a political outlook that does not expect—or know what to do with—disagreement and disappointment, charging ahead with the frightening scowl of someone with good intentions.

Whenever we deploy words, especially in the service of God, we are acting politically. There is no such thing as nonpolitical language, especially when that language is bold to assert itself theologically, homiletically, or ecclesiologically. The church is a praying, singing, preaching, witnessing body. We witness to the in-breaking of God’s reign of love, justice, beauty, and abundance in time and space. We lament brokenness, evil, and violence. We proclaim that these dastardly realities are ending even as we groan and press toward God’s redemption of humanity and all of creation. Our prayers, songs, sermons, and testimonies are acts of political speech.
Servants of the church who claim that they are not political are indeed political. However, they are often servants of a politics contrary to a Christian understanding of God’s reign.

Our speech is political because it is the speech of God’s new creation. The church’s language is not spectator language. It does work, and it has work to do. The church’s language has the ambitious agenda of making all things new. And that is political.

The goal of a preacher should never to be nonpolitical. They bear witness through language and action that the God they serve is the author of the politics of abundance. There is more than enough of the physical, economic, and spiritual requirements for human flourishing in this nation and the world.
We cannot transcend politics. The gospel is a word that was used to declare the birth of a new emperor. Our speech heralds a new ruler, one hated by the Caesars and Herods who continue to kill innocents and crucify dissidents in an attempt to hold onto their power and thwart God’s reign.

Our preachers must be bold to advocate the politics of God’s realm in the church and outside of the church. We can afford good, free and socialised education because God requires it. We can afford good, free and socialised healthcare because God requires it.

We can pay a living wage because God requires it. The church has often abandoned these politics for access and power. Like Jesus they shouldn’t fear to live and to die for the politics of God’s reign. If these politics do not animate their prayers, songs, sermons, and testimonies, their speech is reduced to sounding brass and tinkling cymbals.

Their faith stands in judgment of our nation’s political leaders – of whatever ideological stripe – when they fail to uphold the values implicit in the gospel demands for justice. But our preachers should always view criticism of their preachings as an invitation for deeper dialogue and relationship, rooted in the divine gift of unity that binds us together as followers of Jesus. If we don’t talk about politics in the church setting, they are giving their congregants permission to compartmentalize their lives. Jesus Christ is Lord of all of life, including our political life, and that includes the decisions we make in the voting booth.

Fred M’membe
Garden Compound, Lusaka

Fire all corrupt ministers and permanent secretaries now!

Fire all corrupt ministers and permanent secretaries now! Featured

If President Edgar Lungu really wants to prove he is serious about tackling corruption, he must fire all ministers, permanent secretaries and other public officials involved in corruption and financial malfeasance, and fast track their prosecutions.
Cabinet ministers and all public representatives whose departments are implicated in acts of corruption and wasteful expenditure must be fired.
Mr Lungu must show decisive leadership and genuine commitment to addressing the corruption, maladministration and incompetence that is stifling the performance of his government by firing ministers who are in breach of their oath of office.
Dismissing Dr Chitalu Chilufya from his post as Minister of Health is a positive thing, but it is not enough.
Mr Lungu must now turn his attention to other corrupt ministers and other public officials who have betrayed their mandate to serve Zambians.
Throughout his presidency Mr Lungu has always, shielded his appointees by turning a blind eye to their infractions.
Money looted from government has cost individuals, families and communities dearly and has affected service delivery in some of Zambia’s poorest areas.
The mass anarchy that has come to characterise his government must end, millions of our people’s lives and jobs depend upon it.
And there’s need for expeditious criminal prosecution of all the culprits.
If Mr Lungu was serious about fighting corruption he must act now by closing the loopholes in the state tender system.

Fred M’membe

Garden Compound, Lusaka

Long Live Kampyongo

Long Live Kampyongo Featured

A large number of social media posts have expressed desire that home affairs minister Stephen Kampyongo doesn’t recover from COVID-19.
Of course, you can find people on either side of politics, or any disagreement, who sometimes feel retribution is appropriate. They believe it is acceptable, or even right, to make one person suffer if they have made others suffer.
All actions have multiple effects — and rarely are these always positive.
Don’t wish Mr Kampyongo dead no matter how much you hate him. It is wrong, evil, inhuman and unChristian to hope that someone dies.
To some extent, this is understandable: Mr Kampyongo is a terrible human being who has done a lot to wreck this country. He is bad. Many people don’t like him.
Death, however? A dead Mr Kampyongo is not a victory for those who don’t like him, his opponents. Death silences the enemy rather than defeat him. In other words, Mr Kampyongo wants us dead, whether literally or figuratively – and he probably doesn’t care which, as long as we shut up. And for him, that’s fine, because he doesn’t stand for anything beyond himself.
We, however, stand for something more: morality, honesty, reason, sacrifice, justice – virtues in opposition to everything Mr Kampyongo has attempted over the last five years. And if we’re going to profess faith in those virtues, then we must take death off the table.
This is not to say we should allow Mr Kampyongo to go unpunished – if we believe in justice, then his punishment is a necessity.

Fred M’membe

Garden Compound, Lusaka

Press Statement of the Socialist Party on the termination of appointment of Dr. Chitalu Chilufya as Minister of Health

Press Statement of the Socialist Party on the termination of appointment of Dr. Chitalu Chilufya as Minister of Health Featured

The Socialist Party views the termination of Dr. Chitalu Chilufya’s appointment as Minister of Health by President Edgar Lungu as an action that was long overdue.

At the centre of the current corruption scandal in a procurement of USD 17 million worth of fake medicines, leaking condoms and gloves. Apart from the immense amounts of money involved. Thousands of lives of our citizens are endangered by this act of greed and impunity.

The termination of Dr. Chilufya’s appointment is however not sufficient. All the money spent on this procurement must be paid back to the people of Zambia. Criminal prosecution must also be initiated against the entire team that was involved in this procurement. This includes the suppliers of the fake medicines and defective supplies.

This procurement scandal is just one of the many involving the Ministry of Health. Easier access to donor funding, a glaring lack of internal controls, a compromised role of the Ministry of Finance and an Office of the President that has continually been co-opted in a parasitic relationship with the Ministry of Health have all contributed towards the never-ending decay of this key Ministry.

The issue at hand therefore goes beyond Dr. Chilufya. We are dealing with a government agency, like many others, that has nurtured corruption and made it part of its culture. The newly appointed Minister of Health, Dr. Jonas Chanda, will end up the same way. The greediness and individualism embedded in neo-liberal capitalism compromises the chances for accountability and a leadership that is answerable to the masses of our people. It creates arrogant and little monsters out of would be leaders.

Statement Issued by:Dr. Cosmas Musumali

Socialist PartyGeneral Secretary,

Nahubwe Area, Itezhitezhi

Together we can transform Nsingo Ward – Chirwa

Together we can transform Nsingo Ward – Chirwa Featured

Socialist Party Nsingo ward aspiring councillor in Luangeni Constituency of Eastern Province Emmanuel Chirwa has pledged to work with the people once voted into office.

Speaking at a mobilization meeting in his ward, Chirwa said Nsingo ward had been neglected for so many years and yet people had been entrusted with leadership positions to develop the area.

Chirwa assured the people of Nsingo ward that once voted into office he would consult with the constituents on the priority areas for development.

“A good leader should seat with his or her people from time to time and see which things are supposed to be worked on and find a solution together with them,” said Chirwa.

Chirwa also bemoaned lack of markets for the farmers’ produce in the area.

“People face two major problems: one they walk long distances to find markets to sale their farming produce, and two, the roads are in a deplorable state, so all those need to be addressed by the leaders who were voted into office but that is not working,” he said.

Chirwa said the answer lied in the Socialist Party, Dr Fred M’membe and his team to deal with all these challenges.

“Some of the roads which we need to work on are, Msipazi-Makwe road, Kafweteka-Mwami road and Jenda-Kayeka rural health center road,” he said.

The Socialist Party has been in Nsingo Ward of Luangeni Constituency mobilizing the party.

Have a head for figures

Have a head for figures Featured

It’s crass dishonest to claim that President Edgar Lungu is a blessing and has brought good to Zambia.
This claim is wrong because it agrees neither with facts over the years of Mr Lungu’s presidency, nor with the social facts, statistics so far known to us.
The rural poverty under Mr Lungu’s reign is 76.6 per cent. The three poorest provinces of our country – Western, Luapula and Northern provinces – have poverty levels of 82.2 per cent, 81.1 per cent and 79.7 per cent respectively.
Our maternal mortality rate is 213 deaths/100,000 live births; infant mortality rate stands at 56 deaths/1,000 live births; our physicians density or doctor ratio is 9 doctors/100,000 population; and we have a death rate of 11.6 deaths/1,000 population. Is this the good, the blessing Mr Lungu has brought us?
Let’s learn to argue with facts, figures; let’s learn to have a head for figures. That is to say, we must attend to the quantitative aspect of a situation and make a basic quantitative analysis. Every quality manifests itself in a certain quantity, and without quantity, there can be no quality. To this day many of our politicians still do not understand that they must attend to the quantitative aspect of things – the basic statistics, the main percentages and the quantitative limits that determine the qualities of things. They have no figures in their heads and therefore cannot help making mistakes and wrong conclusions.
The truth is the history of humankind is one of continuous development from the realm of necessity to the realm of freedom. That is what dialectics teaches us. And this process is never-ending. In any society in which classes exist class struggle will never end; and the struggle between truth and falsehood will never end.
Zambia’s problems are complicated, and our brains must also be a little complicated.
Today our population is 17,426,623 (July 2020 est.) and at our current population growth rate of 2.89 per cent (2020 est) in the next 15 years our country’s population will more than double. What will life be like for doubled Zambian population in 15 years in terms of food, water, sanitation, housing, education, health, transportation and so on and so forth?

Fred M’membe

Garden Compound, Lusaka

We have very dangerous security inefficiencies

We have very dangerous security inefficiencies Featured

IT is always very important to do things the right way, even if it calls for our greatest efforts.

If things were done the right way, it wouldn’t have required four days for the police to give the President a report on the shooting and killing of two innocent and unarmed people.

If things were done the right way, the report on it would have been instant – 24 hours at most.

If things were done the right way, all the commands up to the shooting would have been documented.

I have not been in the police but I believe the procedures for crowd, riot, or protest control are similar to those followed by military units.

No field commander disperses a crowd without a written order. When that order is given, snipers are chosen, usually one per platoon. These are the only soldiers with live ammunition. And the number of bullets each sniper is given is recorded. No one just jumps out of a troop carrier and starts shooting. The crowd is told using loud speakers to disperse. They are intimidated in all sorts of ways.

The unit responsible for dispersing the crowd should also have a banner clearly instructing the crowd to disperse.

If that fails, the field commander should seek further orders about the next move. The order to shoot and disable the ringleaders, who have been identified in the crowd, should come from on high. All these orders are well recorded.

The snipers will be given specific orders by the field commander to shoot. When the crowd had been dispersed, the unit is regrouped to take stock of the arrests and injuries or deaths on both sides. And each sniper accounts for the ammunition given to him. In this way it is not difficult to know who fired his gun and how much ammunition was used.

Crowd dispersal of that magnitude could not, therefore, be a low-level command issue.

What is also shocking in this case is that the shooting took place in front of the police headquarters and ministries of home affairs and defence. And this is where the Vice-President’s office is and where the chief of military intelligence works. What was his report to the President?

What did the army commander, who is the chairman of the Joint Security Committee, know and tell the President?

What did the chief of intelligence know and tell the President?

We have all pointed fingers at the Inspector General of Police, but what about all these other people, including the Minister of Home Affairs, who had been issuing so many “orders” and statements in relation to the issue?

The picture that emerges here is one of an inefficient, ineffective and disorderly security system – veritable chaos.

And to top it all, the Minister of Home Affairs tells the nation that an opposition party brought in mercenaries to disturb the country’s peace and should have left or been arrested. What madness is this? Why were they not arrested if they were there? This is a very cheap and poor way of trying to divert public attention from the regime’s crimes.

But those with responsibility for these killings shouldn’t kid themselves that the matter is over. This will come back to haunt them in the future. These are very serious human rights violations, which can cause someone to be rejected as an ambassador to some countries. This happened to former Inspector General of Police Mateyo, who was rejected as ambassador to Germany in similar circumstances. There are also some officers from our security agencies who have been rejected by the United Nations for various postings on similar grounds.

They can be protected today, but that protection won’t last forever. One day they will have to account for their part in these killings and human rights violations.

This is a matter of great public interest and the President must release the report of the findings to the public. He can’t simply sit on it. All, especially the families of the two innocent citizens who were killed, deserve to know what really happened and who were responsible for those deaths.

Fred M’membe,

Garden Compound, Lusaka.

Inequality impeding economic growth, increasing suffering

Inequality impeding economic growth, increasing suffering Featured

During Covid19 pandemic the poor have become poorer. Prices have substantially risen. Many people are pushed to extreme poverty.

But also this time many millionaires or billionaires have increased their wealth excessively.

In Zambia, a trend was noted while millions of poor children have missed out on education, those from affluent families learnt online or were able to access e-learning on different platforms,including, Whats App.

We as a country need to build a better, fairer, equitable and just society. Poverty levels are high. Northern Province has 79.7 per cent poverty levels. Some areas of Zambia have even higher than this.

The fight against inequality requires the involvement of people at grassroots level. No doubt about this. In some areas of Zambia, we can see passion and proactive attitudes of people to change their lives. But they don’t know how.

So why grassroots involvement?

This is where people need to work collectively and organize themselves to bring about change with good leadership in place to support them. Letting people use their Voices and be heard. How else can they be served without being heard? They had to be a stop of weakening voices of the ordinary people let them be heard. Let them govern.

Inequality is not just hindering growth of our economy by causing poor production from the vast number of poor Zambians, and therefore results in no excess for agro-processing and/ or export to bring money into country, it also exacerbates poverty.

Its making societies/ communities less healthy. Zambia is 4th hungriest country in Africa. Poor diet leading to stunted growth, poor school performance, and families hungry will produce less. Poor production, leading to poor rural development and again poor health and an economy non performing continues in a viscous cycle. The poor get poorer in every way. This unacceptable cycle continues. 

Inequality has also created mistrust. People failed over and over again and they don’t trust government and politicians. Hope is reduced, and this affects production, they get even poorer , with everything which  goes with this persisting.

Inequality to the poor additionally hampers vital action to climate change which in turn affects rain and production and economy at large. In many rural areas you drive around trees cut for either “Chitemene” system of cultivation, or for charcoal. How do you tell these people to stop without replacing with an option . Like lime supplement instead of cutting trees and burning. And it’s any tree cut until it runs out locally.

Addressing inequality will also reduce corruption. It’s rampant and down the line it’s the poor and economy which suffers more. 

As a country enhancing power of all our people is critical. Supporting communities, women, youth , children’s education, cooperatives, finance and marketing of products. Let people be heard at every level.

From grassroots, strengthening big numbers of people to come together and build their communities with support from government.

There has to be redistribution of wealth, equity, through government funded actions and accountability to the public and to the nation. Accountability to all and to the poor, to break the viscous cycle of inequality and poverty.

Let’s struggle together as a nation for our nation. You have to plough to get crops they won’t just appear. We have to plough at inequality factors until it concedes and we have a harvest.

As Zambians, strong, organized revolutionary actions together with good honest leadership, can transform our nation.We can transform lives of people and economy. We can give hope to generations, better peace and better lives.

Margaret Pikiti

Socialist Party parliamentary candidate for Malole Constituency.

Wasting the lives of our children

Wasting the lives of our children Featured

Today it doesn’t hurt our political leaders if a Zambian is hungry, if a Zambian child has no doctor, if a Zambian child suffers or is uneducated, or if a family has no housing. It should hurt us even though it’s not our brother, our son or our father. Being Christians demands that of us; human solidarity and decency demands that of us; beings socialists entails commitment to solidarity.

Good political leaders, Christians, socialists should know that the life of a single Zambian is worth millions of times more than all the property of the richest or the power of most politically powerful man in this country.

Today Zambia is fourth hungriest country in Africa after the Central African Republic, Chad and Madagascar. It is the fifth in the world after the Central African Republic, Chad, Madagascar and Yemen. The Central African Republic and Chad are deserts or semi deserts – they don’t have the rains, water and good agricultural soils we are blessed with. Madagascar has had devastating natural calamities. Yemen has been destroyed by an unending civil war.

Hundreds of thousands of children in Zambia are today impacted by hunger. This is what it means for our children to be the fifth hungriest country in the world.

Hunger affects children’s physical and cognitive development prenatally, perinatally, during early years, and some of the effects continue through adolescents and adulthood. Some of the physical effects of hunger are malnutrition, stunted growth, wasting, babies born prematurely, low birth weights, and in extreme cases infant and child mortalities.

Other effects are poor health, physical symptoms such as stomachaches and headaches, signs of worry, anxiety, and behavior problems. Cognitive effects of hunger include babies who are born with smaller brain size, poor performance on measures of infant cognitive development, lower scores on both IQ and achievement tests, likelihood of impaired mental and intellectual delays, and inability to engage fully in school.

How can valuable life be wasted in this way and our political leaders go to sleep peacefully and waste money in the way they are doing?

Fred M’membe

Garden Compound, Lusaka

Sinda Residents praise SP for the agriculture programs

Sinda Residents praise SP for the agriculture programs Featured

Residents of Sinda constituency in Eastern Province have praised the Socialist Party for training small scale farmers on how to produce organic fertilizer.

Speaking to Socialist Party media team immediately after the training Paul Mbewe of Chiwuyu ward said the promotion of organic fertilizer would impact, particularly small scale farmers.

Mbewe said the party has really shown the people of Sinda and the country that it is really standing for the poor.

“At first when we were told through a meeting that the party offers free trainings on how to produce organic fertilizer we thought it’s a joke, as many political parties coming here have just been lying to us. A week later, the Socialist Party sent a team to train us on how we can come up with organic fertilizer, thanks to Dr Fred M’membe and the Socialist Party in Eastern Province for considering us for such a beautiful programme,” said Mbewe.

Mbewe has since urged Zambians to fully support the party as it has already started demonstrating its ability to work for with the people.

“We want to assure you that you have our 100 percent vote here in Chiwuyu Ward. This is the type of politics we need, not politics of name calling and insults. You have given us full knowledge and no one will steal this from us, you have our vote, yes I mean it, you have our vote and support,” he said.

Another resident Betina Phiri commended the Socialist Party for introducing the small scale farmers to sustainable methods of farming.

Phiri said she has never seen a political party offering such progressive programs to the voters since she was born.

“Where were you all this time? why did you let us suffer like this at the hands of people who don’t care about our life, about our farming, such programs should continue and we promise to campaign for you in all corners of eastern province because this is what we need, not always giving us chitenge materials which are not even strong. From today we are SP and we pledge our support,” said Phiri

Phiri has also urged the people of Sinda constituency to vote wisely and vote for a developmental oriented party such as Socialist Party.

“Don’t go and cast your votes because of the chitenge material look for the parties which have the manifesto to benefit us. A good example is the Socialist Party which has just train us on how we can make organic fertilizer,” she said.

Meanwhile John Zulu who was facilitating and who is also Socialist Party Kasenengwa member of parliament candidate urged farmers to apply the knowledge on fertilizer making in their fields as this will help them in reducing the cost of buying fertilizer.

Zulu assured the people that the Socialist Party would continue training farmers as Eastern Province is an agriculture hub.

“We as Socialist Party will continue offering such programs to the people of Eastern Province and we will train more members so that we can cover the whole province. Together we can change this country. Look, the agricultural sector no longer viable due to high prices of fertilizer and maize seeds,” said Zulu.

And Socialist Party Mkaika Constituency candidate Martin Phiri has thanked the people of Sinda for welcoming the program in the area.

Phiri said the Socialist Party would change the political system of the country as other political parties are just there to give handouts and not offering solutions to the challenges the people are going through.

“Am urging other political parties to do issue based campaigns and stop politics of insults and handouts, we in the socialist party we will train our people in many ways and together with our communities will achieve our goals,” said Phiri.

Lying, bullying and bribing people

Lying, bullying and bribing people Featured

As we approach August 12 lies will increase from our politicians. As they always do during election periods, attempts will be made to deceive and manipulate our people with mealie-meal, salt, sugar, cooking oil, soap, chitenges, t-shirts and some little amounts of money. This is the way they try to buy votes cheaply. But the Zambian people shouldn’t forget Michael Sata’s great teaching on this score: Don’t Kubeba – take whatever they bring, and even ask them for more, but don’t vote for them! Don’t let them fool you, instead fool them.
Remember: liars promise heaven but can’t deliver even purgatory.
For us, socialists, we say ‘the people will deliver to themselves justice, equity and peace’. It’s not anyone else but yourselves delivering to yourselves all these things. What you can’t do for yourselves, no one will do it for you. Leaders lead, the people govern.
They will tell you that if you vote for us we will give you this, deliver you this, bring this and that. Do they bring it? Do they deliver it?
For us, we always bear in mind that the people are not fighting for ideas, for the things in anyone’s head. They are fighting to win material benefits, to live better and in peace, to see their lives go forward, to guarantee the future of their children.
We believe in telling our the truth and not lies and in exposing lies whenever they are told. We must hide nothing from the masses of our people. We must not mask difficulties, mistakes or failures. And we should claim no easy victories. That is what believe in and teach ourselves.
A socialist should have largeness of mind and he or she should be staunch and active, looking upon the interests of the people as his or her very own and subordinate his or her personal interests to those of the masses.
Every comrade must be brought to understand that the supreme test of the words and deeds of a socialist is whether they conform with the highest interests and enjoy the support of the overwhelming majority of the people. At no time and in no circumstances should a socialist place his personal interests first; he should subordinate them to the interests of the nation and of the masses. Hence, selfishness, slacking, corruption, seeking the limelight, and so on, are most contemptible, while selflessness, working with all one’s energy, whole-hearted devotion to public duty, and quiet hard work will command respect.
Socialists must be ready at all times to stand up for the truth, because truth is in the interests of the people; socialists must be ready at all times to correct their mistakes, because mistakes are against the interests of the people.
Socialists must always go into the why’s and wherefore’s of anything, use their own heads and carefully think over whether or not it corresponds to reality and is really well founded; on no account should they follow blindly and encourage slavishness.
Socialists should set an example in being practical as well as far-sighted. For only by being practical can they fulfil the appointed tasks, and only far-sightedness can prevent them from losing their bearings in the march forward. Socialists should be the most farsighted, the most self-sacrificing, the most resolute, and the least prejudiced in sizing up situations, and should rely on the majority of the masses and win their support.
We socialists are like seeds and the people are like the soil. Wherever we go, we must unite with the people, take root and blossom among them. We must be able to integrate ourselves with the masses in all things.
Socialists must listen attentively to the views of people outside our party and let them have their say. If what they say is right, we ought to welcome it, and we should learn from their strong points; if it is wrong, we should patiently explain things to them. This is what we demand of ourselves and all our members and not going around telling lies, bullying and bribing people.

Fred M’membe
President of the Socialist Party

Garden Compound, Lusaka

Statement of the Socialist Party on the Mumbwa floods disaster

Statement of the Socialist Party on the Mumbwa floods disaster Featured

While we welcome the quick response by the government and its agencies to the Mumbwa floods disaster, we think more needs to be done.

This disaster is not small. It calls for more effort and resources. It calls for a far much bigger response. There’s need to call for international assistance.

Flooding is increasingly becoming the most common environmental hazard in this country. And it appears to be occurring ever more frequently, intensifying in some areas and also spreading into new regions of our country. It’s not difficult to predict that the number of people affected by flooding countrywide will continue to rise annually in the course of this century.

Apart from the loss of human lives and increased health risks, the impact of flooding on our people’s economic livelihood has also been a major issue, especially in rural areas, where agriculture makes up a high proportion of household income.

While we cannot prevent natural causes like rain, we can stop the manmade causes like breaking of dams, poor drainage system, installing warning systems and more.

Fred M’membe

President of the Socialist Party

Garden Compound, Lusaka

SP in government will repeal the public order Act

SP in government will repeal the public order Act Featured

The first law the Socialist Party in government will pass is the repeal of the public order Act.

And there’s no going back on this. There will be no but…

It will not be replaced by any other Act. There will simply be no public order Act or any such other laws. The Constitution has enough protections for public order. We don’t need any other additional laws. We have seen how from the colonial authorities successive governments of this country have abused the public order Act. The worst one being this current regime of the Patriotic Front and Mr Edgar Lungu.

And we don’t want to be part of such injustices and abuses. We believe that the freedom of peaceful assembly enables individuals to express themselves as part of a collective, including by engaging in public marches, protests, pickets and demonstrations. Assemblies can be platforms to advocate for change and for people to raise awareness about the issues that matter to them, whether it relates to human rights or otherwise. Assemblies often also have symbolic importance, such as in commemorating particular events or marking significant anniversaries.

The Socialist Party in government will have an obligation to ensure that the right to freedom of assembly is fully protected, including when those who assemble protest against its policies and challenge it. The Socialist Party in government will not interfere with the right to peaceful assembly simply because it disagrees with the protesters’ views, and will ensure that the right is enjoyed equally by all groups, without discrimination on any ground.

Effective protection of the right to freedom of peaceful assembly will not weaken the Socialist Party’s government; we believe that it will actually strengthen it. It helps foster a culture of open democracy, enables non-violent participation in public affairs, and invigorates discussions on important issues. Public assemblies also help to promote good governance by providing opportunities for the public to hold to account people and organisations with power.

As I have consistently stated, we believe that the exercise of power must be a constant practice of self limitation and modesty. The Socialist Party does not fear criticism because we are socialists, the truth is on our side, and the basic masses, the workers and peasants, are on our side. We have the Marxist-Leninist weapon of criticism and self-criticism. We can get rid of a bad style and keep the good.

Conscientious practice of self-criticism is still another hallmark distinguishing our Party from all other political parties. As we say, dust will accumulate if a room is not cleaned regularly, our faces will get dirty if they are not washed regularly. Our comrades’ minds and our Party’s work may also collect dust, and also need sweeping and washing. The proverb “Running water is never stale and a door-hinge is never worm-eaten” means that constant motion prevents the inroads of germs and other organisms. To check up regularly on our work and in the process develop a democratic style of work, to fear neither criticism nor self-criticism, and to apply such good popular maxims as “Say all you know and say it without reserve”, “Blame not the speaker but be warned by his words” and “Correct mistakes if you have committed them and guard against them if you have not” – this is the only effective way to prevent all kinds of political dust and germs from contaminating the minds of our comrades and the body of our Party.

If we have shortcomings, we are not afraid to have them pointed out and criticized, because we serve the people. Anyone, no matter who, may point out our shortcomings. If he is right, we will correct them. If what he proposes will benefit the people, we will act upon it.

As we Zambian socialists, who base all our actions on the highest interests of the broadest masses of the Zambian people and who are fully convinced of the justice of our cause, never balk at any personal sacrifice and are ready at all times to give our lives for the cause, can we be reluctant to discard any idea, viewpoint, opinion or method which is not suited to the needs of the people? Can we be willing to allow political dust and germs to dirty our clean faces or eat into our healthy organisms?

At this time of the year in 1898 over 10,000 young Ngonis laid down their lives in our interests, defending our land and minerals from that bandit Cecil John Rhodes and his companies, and our hearts are filled with pain as we the living think of them – can there be any personal interest, then, that we would not sacrifice or any error that we would not discard?

We must constantly criticize our shortcomings, just as we should wash our faces or sweep the floor every day to remove the dirt and keep them clean.

It is hard for any political party or person to avoid mistakes, but we should make as few as possible. Once a mistake is made, we should correct it, and the more quickly and thoroughly the better.

Fred M’membe

President of the Socialist Party

Garden Compound, Lusaka

Electoral bribes

Electoral bribes Featured

All of a sudden the Patriotic Front and its government have so much money to throw around to the Zambian voters.
Where is this money coming from in a government that is embarrassingly failing to meet its debt servicing obligations?
And why this sudden benevolence? All of a sudden people are being given all sorts of handouts and gifts! What has happened?
It’s not what has happened that we should set our eyes and ears on but what is going to happen on August 12 that we should focus on. They are trying to buy our votes with money and ‘gifts’! But are we so gullible? Can these bribes blind us from seeing reality and make us vote for them despite the enormous damage they caused to our country?
Are these really people we can trust to continue presiding over our destiny?
Our country is broke because of the reckless way they have been spending public funds.
Something in the way that they have been handling public money isn’t working. Our issue isn’t just that our country doesn’t have enough money, but that when we got the money, they spent it recklessly. And they spent it on anything.  Truly, 99 per cent of the troubles that we as a nation have with money isn’t that there isn’t enough of it, but in that, we spend it recklessly once we actually get it!
What prompts a voter in Zambia to cast her ballot in favour of a candidate or political party? Typically, her choice would be influenced by the candidate’s identity, outlook, performance or ethnicity.
Cash bribes to voters are also widely thought to influence the voting choices of the poorest and most vulnerable voters.
Trying to buy votes with cash and other gifts in the run up to elections by the ruling party is not unusual in Zambia. One main reason is that politics has become fiercely competitive. The margins of victory are getting smaller and smaller.
Our elections have also become volatile. Our ruling parties do not control voters as well as they once might have done.
Our ruling parties and candidates are more uncertain about results than ever before, and try to buy votes by splurging cash on voters.
But our national experience is that bribing voters in general elections may not necessarily fetch votes. It works much more in by-elections but not in general elections.
Competitive elections prompt the ruling party to distribute handouts – primarily cash and gifts in kind – for strategic reasons. While knowing that handouts are largely inefficient, they end up facing a prisoner’s dilemma, when each prisoner’s fate relies on the other’s actions.
But as we saw in 2011
cash handouts and other gifts influenced a miniscule number of voters. Michael Sata’s ‘Don’t Kubeba’ worked! The voters have become astute, having realised that it was near-impossible for candidates and their political parties to “monitor” their voting behaviour. So they pocketed the cash and betrayed even the most generous candidate.
But there seems to be an overwhelming belief in our ruling parties that they can buy votes of poor people. That’s why they bribe voters.
Bribing voters could have a cultural explanation. There’s a feeling that our poor voters appreciate wealthy or generous candidates. And that in a highly unequal society, cash bribes and gifts create a sense of reciprocity. We have a long history of patronage politics.
Our voters have been made to expect feasts or handouts from candidates – tulyemo! Our electoral politics are increasingly being articulated in the traditional idiom of patronage. The donor-servant relation is increasingly becoming the basic formula through which people exchanged things, exercised power and related socially.
In specific historical contexts bribery may make elections less predictable, dissolving the existing ties by which the electorate are already bound to those seeking office, rather than reinforcing them.
Bribery may be considered an evil because of secondary, knock-on affects. The need to bribe implies the need to raise money. This may take place by corrupt means, or may produce financial and/or political debts, which corrupt the behaviour of politicians when in office. It may be a way in which people outside the political process, whether legitimate businessmen or criminals, such as gangsters and drug-barons nowadays, seek to control it. If pursued on a vast scale, bribery may have unfortunate political consequences by dangerously expanding credit. Moreover, if bribery is prevalent in elections, this will affect the perception of politics both by office-seekers and those who elect them. Office-seekers may come to despise the venality of an electorate, which may, unknown to them, be exercising a considerable degree of independent judgement; the electorate for its part may deduce from the bribes that it is offered, that those pursuing public office are merely self-seekers who are not concerned with the general interest of the public.
This is the reality we have to confront as we head towards August 12.

By Fred M’membe

Garden Compound, Lusaka

From a mad 2020 to a very difficult 2021

From a mad 2020 to a very difficult 2021 Featured

The past year – 2020 – was a mad year, a very difficult year.

But 2021 is likely to be even harder if we don’t work very, very hard and wisely so.

We therefore need to deeply reflect upon 2020 while looking ahead to the future’s possibilities. Time has arrived to bid farewell to the by-gone year – of gassing, COVID-19, political intolerance, economic collapse, extrajudicial killings, attempts to rape the Constitution, and so on and so forth – and to welcome new opportunities and new hopes of revolutionary change.

It gets dark sometimes but the morning comes. Let’s make the necessary changes in 2021; let’s usher in a new government and make a new start.

Going through the many difficulties and challenges of 2020 was never an interesting experience. It is a solemn year when many of us found it difficult to laugh, play, celebrate or even smile at beautiful scenery around us. The sad thought that situations around our lives will not be the same again was enough to cause anxiety.

Having survived all these difficulties and challenges to live through another year is enough to be thankful for.

2020 was a year of great sacrifices for most of our people, and thank God we have pulled together through an historically difficult year. In 2021, we must stay vigilant as we were during last year’s gassing attacks and COVID-19 spreads.

Elections are coming on August 12 despite the present challenges and difficulties we face. A new, more responsible and progressive government can be put in place this year with your vote.

Your wise vote will be a key to our recovery and revolutionary changes needed in 2021. It is said that only in hard times can wisdom, courage and perseverance be manifested.

Fred M’membe

President of the Socialist Part

M’membe Literacy program extends to Kasenengwa constituency

M’membe Literacy program extends to Kasenengwa constituency Featured

The Fred M’membe literacy program has elated the people of Kasenengwa constituency in Eastern Province.

And the communities in Kwenje and Mpunza wards in the constituency are excited at the fact that they would now be able to comprehend documents presented to them, including reading and writing.

The Socialist Party in Kasenengwa has launched the Fred M’membe adult literacy classes.

Speaking at the launch of the programme, Socialist Party Mpunza ward aspiring councillor Acklas Phiri said it was empowering for those recruited to undertake the programme as they would also minimize incidents of being swindled by unscrupulous people.

Phiri said a lot of people have been swindled in many ways as they have been signing on things that they don’t know or understand.

“These classes will reduce the swindling in our area and many people will also start following current affairs. When people from outside introduce projects they use English language and as such our members end up accepting things they don’t know or understand,” said Phiri.

He also called on the teachers to be dedicated to the work they have welcomed to start teaching elder people in the area.

“Am appealing to elder people to come in numbers and register to take part in these literacy classes as they are very beneficial to our community and the country,” he said.

And one of the learners, Mary Ngoma has commended the Socialist Party MP candidate for Kasenengwa constituency John Zulu for coming on board to reduce illiteracy levels in the two wards.

“My fellow elder people let’s take part in this wonderful program so that no one should cheat us to do what is not right for our families and our future, let me also take this opportunity to say thank you to Dr Fred M’membe through our able candidate John Zulu and the Socialist Party for answering our prayers,” said Ngoma.

She said a lot of adults in the areas had no opportunity to learn how to read or write and yet an opportunity had been presented to them.

Meanwhile, SP Kasenengwa MP Candidate John Zulu has called on members of the Party not to stop anyone from attending the classes. He said the classes are for everyone regardless of their political affiliation.

“Let’s all learn, the lessons are free and they are open to everyone regardless of their political affiliation, yes the program is from the Socialist Party but it’s for the community. Together we can eradicate illiteracy in Kasenengwa counstitucy,” said Zulu.

He emphasized that no one should be told to pay as the party has already provided teaching and learning materials.

Politics of Ideas Possible – Not Pangas and Screw Drivers

Politics of Ideas Possible – Not Pangas and Screw Drivers Featured

Today, Zambia stands at a crossroad of a growing culture of violence and intolerance. While the majority of us bury our heads with an illusion that we are a peaceful country, there is a growing well-resourced, well-organised system that has put young people at the centre of the politics of pangas and screw drivers. Increasingly, we as a country are being placed on the world map for the wrong reasons.

We note with sadness that existing political parties have made little effort to none to inculcate idea and value-based politics to equip young people with a deeper and more complex understanding of politics and ideology in a fast-changing world. So far, the Socialist Party stands out in pushing for idea and value-based politics that if emulated could contribute to a truly transformed and exciting political landscape in Zambia. However, the Socialist Party’s journey to push for politics grounded in ideas has not been without challenges.

In 2018, the General Secretary and First vice president of the Socialist Party, Dr Cosmas Musheke Musumali appointed an interim leadership of the Socialist Youth League (SYL). I was assigned the task of General Secretary of the Youth League. That year, I spent most of my free time cris-crossing different compounds in Lusaka along with senior comrades. We mobilized, formed branches, ward and constituency structures. All the while, my fellow young comrades and I were just happy and often clumsy participants. During that period, we had one task, to learn!

In July of the same year, senior party comrades decided that we had learnt enough, and it was time for us to get on the ground, to mobilize the youth and coordinate at a National Level. The Socialist Party president, Comrade Dr Fred M’membe asked us to draft a youth program which we would use for the next couple of months. That cloudy and windy day in July could easily pass for the first day of the summer. Excitement was definitely an understatement. In our minds, we would go on to build a youth movement that would have left the grass root organizers of Chachacha days red with envy. Armed with socialist ideology, patriotism and flirtations with pan Africanism, we were convinced that we would win over the majority of Zambia’s youth. That together, we would build a better country and continent for ourselves. As the Youth Collective then, we were convinced we would achieve our objective of building sustainable structures of the Youth League across all provinces within the space of five (5) months.

To this day, I am not sure if that goal was simply ambitious or the naivety of the teenagers, as we were then. But what we also know from history and our liberation is that young people in those movements were equipped ideologically to independence.

In August 2018, we began our work. We made our phone calls, and only one constituency was ready to start working with us immediately. That month, we formed our first youth structure in Kanyama, Chibolya Compound to be specific. It was a very interesting experience. As the months wore on, we gained momentum. We formed more structures; these were not void of challenges and mistakes but we kept moving.

In 2019, we set out to carry on our first titanic task that would be our vision to contribute to politics of ideas for a better Zambia. We were going to start a free tuition program for our members who were writing their Grade 12 or GCE Examinations. Our education system is designed in such a way that many pupils in government schools don’t have sufficient hours to learn, not enough teachers, often empty libraries and several other factors that make it hard for the pupils in government schools to pass their exams. We were determined to make sure the members of the Youth League from humble backgrounds would all clear their GCE or Grade 12 examinations.

That August we initiated our pilot project in ward 10, Kanyama. We convinced two of our senior comrades, who were also teachers, to give up a few hours of their weekends to teach these classes. We secured one white board from our Party offices. A Comrade offered their home for our activity. We asked another for money, to buy some markers, another comrade offered some more money, which we spent on water for the teachers and participants. We drew up a program. That first Saturday of August, we gathered our young members and the program kick started with lesson 1 in Mathematics. That first day was a proud moment for us. We left our Kanyama youth coordinator in charge, and decided to not visit the next class and instead get a report the following weekend.

The next weekend, I received a call from our Kanyama coordinator telling me he had dispersed all learners. He told me some of our comrades had been attacked by Cadres and it was not safe, before I could ask any questions he hang up. I called him back severally, his phone went unanswered. My heart sank. Worse off, I had no idea what was going on and who was hurt. A couple of hours later he called and told me that the attack wasn’t on the young comrades, instead, senior comrades were having an unrelated but quiet meeting in a different part of the constituency. He explained that some cadres from a different party heard of the meeting, and decided to disrupt it. They arrived in typical disappointing cadre fashion. In a bus, drunk, armed with pangas, screw drivers and machetes. They arrived where our senior’s comrades were meeting and disorganized their meeting. They broke windows, knocked heads and stabbed a few of our senior comrades with screw drivers. They had blocked the entrance; senior comrades were forced jump over the wall fence and run for dear life.

Needless to say, our pilot project was immediately cancelled. We were promptly informed that if some cadres from that party found out that we were running such a program in that area, they would put a stop to it with pangas before it gained attraction of the community. Cancelling this noble cause of ideas broke our hearts to but we soldiered on. Before that fateful day, I thought the politics of pangas and screw drivers was nothing but senseless clashing between overzealous and foolish youth. I would later learn that it’s a well-oiled, heavily funded and calculated system. A comrade who used to be a Commander in some party would one day sit me down, and explain this complex system to me. From the dispatch of weapons, to the flow of cash. There is a hierarchy, a system of communication and chess like moves are employed. The goal is to ensure that all would be political opponents are too afraid to mobilise. The result, one party dominates an area. Not that the people don’t like any other party, but they are left almost without options. Nonetheless, we kept moving.

We are no longer as naive to think organising or mobilising will be a walk in the park. Nonetheless, we remain hopeful and optimistic that it is possible to build a better country with a youth grounded in progressive knowledge and ideas for real change.

Intimidation won’t stop the revolution – Ngoma

Intimidation won’t stop the revolution – Ngoma Featured

The Socialist Party in Vubwi district says no amount of intimidation will stop the revolutionary work under way in the country.

Commenting on the summoning of Vubwi constituency coordinator Angela Zimba by the Vubwi Police and the intimidations by PF party cadres, Mabvuto Ngoma expressed his disappointment that SP members continue to receive threats due to their party work.

Zimba and her team are in Vubwi conducting literacy programs for the people in the area.

“We have noted that the ruling party continues to stand in the way of the opposition which has better plans for the poor people of Zambia? This simply shows that the ruling party is an enemy of democracy and development and they don’t want to see real progress or through human development taken to the people by the opposition,” said Ngoma.

He said the ruling party should exercise tolerance of plurality and diversity. They should allow other opposition parties to reach out to Zambians. Illiteracy is a national problem as such programs that seek to eradicate illiteracy among adults and less privileged young people who don’t know how to read and write should be welcomed.

“No one will stop us from doing what is right for our people, the Socialist Party manifesto has been welcomed in almost every corner of this country and we will continue fighting for our rights and our democracy,” said Ngoma.

He has expressed disappointment that the party is being accused of buying voters cards from people when doing so is against the SP values of honesty, equity, humility and solidarity.

Meanwhile, Zimba vowed not to stop implementing progressive programs that benefit the people.

She said the literacy program was not only benefiting Socialist Party members but anyone including those supporting the Patriotic Front.

She said the Socialist Party was a pro-poor working class party whose agenda is to transform the lives of the majority Zambians.

“I was shocked when I was summoned by the police in Vubwi, and I was also shocked to hear that I was buying voters cards. How can an opposition party start buying voters cards? With what capacity? Can that surely happen, why is it that the ruling party fear anything if they have really worked as they have been saying,” said Zimba.

She said the ruling party should stop wasting time fighting the opposition but instead focus and channel their energies in planning on how they will work on the Chipata-Vubwi and Vubwi-Chadiza roads.

And Zimba has commended Vubwi police officers for handling the matter in a professional manner and urge them to continue being professional.

This man is really cruel!

This man is really cruel! Featured

The cruelty and killings going on in our country today under the presidency of Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu makes me reflect and deeply meditate over the presidency of Levy Patrick Mwanawasa.
It is said that “if you want to find out what a man is to the bottom, give him power. Any man can stand adversity — only a great man can stand prosperity”.
It is the glory of Levy that he never abused power only on the side of mercy. He was a perfectly honest man. When he had power, he used it in mercy.
Nothing discloses real character like the use of power. It is easy for the weak to be gentle. Most people can bear adversity. But if you wish to know what a man really is, give him power. This is the supreme test. It is the glory of Levy that, having almost absolute power, he never abused it, except on the side of mercy.
When early in his presidency Mr Lungu declared that he will “crush like a tonne of bricks anyone who tries to stand in his way ” many of us didn’t seem to pay much attention to what he was saying. Yet the man was revealing something very fundamental about his character and rule – cruelty!
This man has really been very cruel to others. His cruelty is really that of a sadist, psychopath. Look at what he has done to Hakainde Hichilema! Chishimba Kambwili! Harry Kalaba! Kelvin Bwalya Fube! And many others!
Count how many people have been killed by police under his watch for simply assembling to offer solidarity or protest against an injustice!
Humans are the glory and the scum of the universe, concluded the French philosopher, Blaise Pascal, in 1658. When one looks at the conduct of Mr Lungu, little has actually changed. We love and we loathe. We help and we harm. We reach out a hand and we stick in the knife.
We understand if someone lashes out in retaliation or self-defence. But when someone harms the harmless, we ask: “How could you?”
Humans typically do things to get pleasure or avoid pain. For most of us, hurting others causes us to feel their pain. And we don’t like this feeling. This suggests two reasons people may harm the harmless – either they don’t feel the others’ pain or they enjoy feeling the others’ pain.
Another reason people harm the harmless is because they nonetheless see a threat. Someone who doesn’t imperil your body or wallet can still threaten your social status.
Liberal societies assume causing others to suffer means we have harmed them. Yet some philosophers reject this idea. In the 21st Century, can we still conceive of being cruel to be kind?
Someone who gets pleasure from hurting or humiliating others is a sadist. Sadists feel other people’s pain more than is normal. And they enjoy it. At least, they do until it is over, when they may feel bad.
The popular imagination associates sadism with torturers and murderers. Yet there is also the less extreme, but more widespread, phenomenon of everyday sadism.
Most people would flinch from having to torture another human being, mainly because when we inflict harm on others, we share some of that pain.
Everyday sadists get pleasure from hurting others or watching their suffering.
They are rare, but not rare enough.
Unlike sadists, psychopaths don’t harm the harmless simply because they get pleasure from it – though they may. Psychopaths want things. If harming others helps them get what they want, so be it.
Can you ever change a psychopath’s mind? They can act this way because they are less likely to feel pity or remorse or 
fear. They can also work out what others are feeling but not get infected by such feelings themselves. Many who harm, torture or kill will be haunted by the experience. Yet psychopathy is a powerful predictor of someone inflicting unprovoked violence.
Italian philosopher and diplomat Niccolò Machiavelli once suggested that “the times, not men, create disorder”. Consistent with this, neuroscience suggests sadism could be a survival tactic triggered by times becoming tough.
Sadism and psychopathy are associated with other traits, such as narcissism and Machiavellianism. Such traits, taken together, are called the “dark factor of personality” or D-factor for short.
We all have a role to play in reducing cruelty.
Sadism involves enjoying another person’s humiliation and hurt. Yet it is often said that dehumanising people is what allows us to be cruel. Potential victims are labelled as dogs, lice or cockroaches, allegedly making it easier for others to hurt them.
There is something to this. Research shows that if someone breaks a social norm, our brains treat their faces as less human. This makes it easier for us to punish people who violate norms of behaviour.
It is a sweet sentiment to think that if we see someone as human then we won’t hurt them. It is also a dangerous delusion. The psychologist Paul Bloom argues our worst cruelties may rest on not dehumanising people. People may hurt others precisely because they recognise them as human beings who don’t want to suffer pain, humiliation or degradation.
Clearly, the exercise of power must be a constant practice of self limitation and modesty.

Fred M’membe

Playing musical instruments not for dull people

Playing musical instruments not for dull people Featured

This month I had the incredible opportunity to visit my old secondary school, St. Francis Secondary School, in Malole, Mungwi, Northern Province.

This was something I was really looking forward to for sometime. I wanted to remember what it was like to be me 44 years ago. It still blows my mind that I’ve been out of secondary school for that long.

Okay, fine. The voice of accuracy in my head desperately wants me to clarify how long it’s really been. Oh. Hello, memories. Thought you’d left me on this trip. I stared blankly at the buildings for a few moments. Overall, I was quite pleased with my visit.

The main reason for this visit was music – to share a few musical instruments with my former school band. I had a nice chat with the headmaster, the band master and other teachers. I also had some very useful conversations with the learners – players of musical instruments. We talked about music and its importance in our lives.

A lot of thoughts went through head, accompanied some very strong emotions which such comebacks usually generate. Looking at the poor state and small numbers of musical instruments the band had, I realised that those who administer our schools are not paying sufficient attention to music courses. There seem to be a general belief that students who devote time to music rather than mathematics, science and English, will underperform in those disciplines.

But research has proved this belief wrong and found the more the students engage with music, the better they do in those subjects. The students who learned to play a musical instrument in school not only score significantly higher, but were about one academic year ahead of their non-music peers with regard to their English, mathematics and science skills, as measured by their exam grades, regardless of their socioeconomic background, prior learning in mathematics and English.

Skills learned in instrumental music transfer very broadly to the students’ learning in school. In our days at both St. John’s Secondary School Band and St. Francis Secondary School Band students of music generally performed better than those who were not in the band. The best student at Cambridge ‘O’ Level exams the whole country in 1976 when I finished Form V was my classmate – Charles Malata, Prof Mister Charles Malata and one of the top best plastic surgeons in the UK. Charles played the flute in the band. We also had Kenneth Konga, a trombone player, who went on to become an electrical engineer and a minister in the Rupiah Banda Cabinet.

I played the trumpet, mellow phone, French Horn and the Baritone Horn. All our music students did very well in their exams. Learning to play a musical instrument and playing in a band is very demanding. It’s not for dull people. A student has to learn to read music notation, develop eye-hand-mind coordination, develop keen listening skills, develop team skills for playing in a band and develop discipline to practice. All those learning experiences, and more, play a role in enhancing the learner’s cognitive capacities, executive functions, motivation to learn in school, and self-efficacy.

Music education – multiple years of high-quality instrumental learning and playing in a band at an advanced level – can be the very thing that improves all-around academic achievement and an ideal way to have students learn more holistically in schools. Playing musical instruments is not for fools. Look at how smart, intelligent our musicians are – the players of musical instruments!

Fred M’membe

Attempts to buy votes in Lubemba won’t work

Attempts to buy votes in Lubemba won’t work Featured

I have been reading about the leadership of the ruling party having pushed in a lot of money, bicycles and even some automobiles into Lubemba.
This is said to have been done through some chiefs to help them buy the votes of their subjects. It won’t work.
In life, and much more so in politics, it is always very important to be clear about things.
Chiefs in Lubemba are not absolute rulers. They don’t rule by decrees like some other monarchs. Ours is a highly democratic, decentralised and accountable system with very strong checks and balances. Power in Lubemba doesn’t lie with the chiefs alone. It is fairly shared among the chiefs, Bashilubemba, Banamfumu, the subjects and even Bakabilo. And the ordinary umubemba has a say in what goes on the kingdom or chiefdom. He or she has direct audience with chief wherever he or she finds the Kanabesa. It is said that wherever the chief is found is the palace. This means the subject can way lay the chief and have audience with him.
Ulubemba is decentralised into three regions – Ituna, the Kasama part headed by senior chief Mwamba and assisted by many sub chiefs and village headmen and women; Inchinga, headed by senior chief Nkula and assisted by many sub chiefs and village headmen and women; and Lubemba, the capital for the Chitimukuku but also assisted by many sub chiefs and village headmen and women. Each of these regions of Lubemba determines it’s own affairs without interference from the Chitimukuku, save for issues that affected the entire Lubemba like wars.
The powers of the chiefs are in many ways well checked and balanced by Bashilubemba and others.
Bashilubemba have powers to remove chiefs.
And not every qualifying Bemba royal can become a chief. Only the best among the qualify royals, impanda, are chosen to become chiefs.
This ensures quality leadership in the kingdom or chiefdom. We have quality leadership in Lubemba that cannot be easily bought with bicycles, cars and money. They can buy or manipulate a few but not many or all.
And there are very serious consequences for those sell out!
Lelo Ulubemba nalusebana kubupina. It is the third poorest region of our country – with 79.7 per cent ubupina.
Their bribes won’t do. They are dealing with people they don’t understand and in the wrong way and at the wrong time. Every umubemba is born with a certain adequate minimum amount of wisdom and integrity.
I can speak with a lot of confidence about these issues because I know what I am talking about, I am a Bemba royal.

Fred M’membe

This Christmas we have to make sacrifices

This Christmas we have to make sacrifices Featured

There’s need for us all to realize that this Christmas we have to make sacrifices. It will not be possible to celebrate Christmas and end or begin the year in the way we are accustomed to.

The many activities that are usually associated with the festive season must make way for the things that really matter — family and friends, caring for one another, physical and spiritual rejuvenation.

It’s hard to think of a Christmas season when all of us across width and breadth of our country have needed the break more acutely.

The truth is that 2020 has been a hard year for our country. With our economy in shambles and our politics in gridlock, and public discourse too often descending into rancour and abuse, it’s felt like we’ve been living permanently under a dark cloud.

All of us across Zambia have too often focused on the differences between us, rather than on what ties us together. So I hope the magic of Christmas casts its spell for people this year, helping families and friends remember what it is that unites them, not divides them.

I hope it reminds us that, despite the sound and fury of our national debate, the bonds of family, community and country are still deep and lasting.

Yes, it’s a cliché that Christmas is the season of goodwill. But its important for all of us that we demonstrate that goodwill to each other this year and that, for a week or so, hopefully the acrimony can fall silent.

It’s also a time to thank our doctors, clinical officers, nurses and other medical workers who will be working over the Christmas holiday. I hope they get a break with their families in due course.

It’s also right to mention those people who will this year be supporting those who are ill and need help during the Christmas season, our religious leaders for whom this is such a busy time, and all those who are looking out for a neighbor or a friend who needs support at this time of year.

And I also want to ask people to think about their neighbors. Loneliness can be a terrible thing at Christmas. So we should look out for each other. Christmas is also a time to wish peace on earth, in our country.

So I wish you all a merry Christmas, and let’s make sure we have peace on earth, in our country.

Fred M’membe

Silayi Village, Kalabo

These political killings are illegal, unjustifiable and unacceptable!

These political killings are illegal, unjustifiable and unacceptable! Featured

Since the ascendancy of Mr Edgar Lungu to power, Zambia has experienced more killings of political opponents by police and ruling party cadres than under all the previous regimes combined.
And in none of these cases were the perpetrators brought to justice, not a single prosecution has yet resulted from these extra judicial killings.
It will be very difficult to deny high level political and police administration complicity in these killings.
No political differences or competition can justify yesterday’s barbaric murders by police of two innocent, defenseless and totally unarmed people.
I had the opportunity to watch a recording of the events and listen to some eyewitness.
They say police were firing teargas and live bullets recklessly and unnecessarily in all directions with no regard to the road users and those workers constructing the road near Inter-Continental Hotel who had to run away in all directions. And that the two people killed could have been any of them from the nearby buildings. They feel traumatized and wonder how the coming days, weeks and months shall be.
These killings constitute very serious human rights violation. These are murders directly committed by the authorities or condoned by the state authorities. These killings constitute human rights violations and are prohibited by international human rights law – they are extralegal, summary and arbitrary executions or extrajudicial execution or unlawful killings.
I say this because these killings have taken place at the order, complicity or with the acquiescence of the authorities, they violate laws of the Republic of Zambia such as those prohibiting murder, as well as international human rights and humanitarian standards forbidding arbitrary deprivation of life, and they have not occurred by accident, in self-defense, or through ignorance. There was no commotion at all among the assembled people until a white police van arrived, out jumped police officers who started firing live ammunition indiscriminately.
These political killings are illegal, unjustifiable and totally unacceptable, deserving only the strongest condemnations possible.
And President Lungu, home affairs minister Stephen Kampyongo and Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja must be made to account for these murders, these innocent lives they brought to an abrupt ending.
In the ordinary scheme of governance under the rule of law, Kampyongo and Kanganja would resign or be fired by their appointing authority. Only in Zambia will they shamelessly continue facing the general public.

Fred M’membe
President of the Socialist Party

Statement of the Socialist Party on the Economic Recovery Plan

Statement of the Socialist Party on the Economic Recovery Plan Featured

In 2011, we the people of Zambia decided to change the stewardship of our economy from the MMD to PF. This was on the promise that the PF would bring about a vigorous and unrelenting fight against poverty. We can only assume now that the PF’s campaign in 2011 was never meant to be implemented as all the economic fundamentals have been deteriorating few years after they took over the Government.

From the time the PF formed Government and more interesting since President Edgar Lungu took over the presidency of the country in 2015, economic performance has been deteriorating year after year and now Zambia does not only face an economic recession but has also become the first country to default on its debt service post COVID.

What is interesting is that the PF Government led by Mr. Lungu cannot take responsibility but want to blame climate change and now COVID 19 for all its economic management failures. And in their pompous and arrogant manner, they have constantly snubbed good sound advice, be it from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Civil Society Organisations, the Church, think Tanks or from the general citizenry. And any person with a different view is branded as bitter or a sympathiser of the opposition. This has led to the rise, in huge proportion, of a culture of personality cult whereby the President’s name has to be mentioned countless times in policies or political speeches and sycophants and demagogues of all shapes and sizes have been rewarded with jobs beyond their mental capacity in the name of political patronage and at the expense of economic development.

After playing hide and seek for too long, there is now no space for the PF to hide about how they have messed up the economy. Time has exposed how careless, thoughtless, weak and mediocre this government has been. We are happy that even if they have now shifted the blame from Climate Change to COVID-19, at least they have admitted that the economy is in dire stress.

With this admission, came the Economic Recovery Plan, which the PF Government launched last week.

In our view, as Socialist Party, however, we think the Economic Recovery Plan that was launched by the President fails the test of a responsive, robust and relevant programme that can competently address Zambia’s current challenges. At best, this plan can be described as a mere Statement of Intent with a detailed shopping list of activities and objectives that neither match the current reality nor build on past programmes.

We are however not surprised, as we know very well that the PF does not have a well-coordinated economic agenda. They have always been pursuing haphazard economic policies with disastrous results.

But before I talk about the Economic Recovery Programme, let me take this opportunity to show you, the people of Zambia, how the PF has failed to run the economic affairs of this country.

You will all recall that in 2005, we as a people embarked on ‘The Vision 2030’ whose objective was for the country to become ‘a prosperous middle-income country by the year 2030. With this Vision and the reintroduction of national development planning to operationalise The Vision, we embarked on the Fifth National Development which ran from 2006 to 2010 under the MMD Government. During this period, the country managed to achieve macroeconomic stability. The economy grew at an average of 6.4% per annum. Inflation was reduced from 15.9% to 8.2% while exchange rate stabilised and averaged K4.40 per one United States dollar.

As a result of this strong macroeconomic performance and sustained growth during the FNDP period, the country managed to attain a per capita income of above US$ 1,600. On this basis, World Bank reclassified Zambia as a Lower Middle-Income Country in 2011.

In the same year, 2011, when Zambia was reclassified as a lower middle-income country, the PF was voted into Government. As a Party in Government, the PF promised to maintain the same economic growth trajectory. However, economic growth, which averaged 6.4% during the FNDP period, immediately started a downward spiral and particularly so when Mr. Lungu took over the Presidency.  From a growth of 7.6% in 2014 for instance, economic growth plummeted to 2.9% in 2015 and has since been deteriorating year in year out, reaching to 1.4% in 2019 and is now projected to be negative 4.2% in 2020. 

On the fiscal side, one would say that the Edgar Lungu Government just decided to through away fiscal prudence and replaced it with reckless borrowing in the name of infrastructure development when we all know that the ulterior motive has been to create expenditure lines for corruption. As a result, we see fiscal deficit, which basically is borrowing to finance the budget increasing from an average of 2.5% of GDP per annum during the FNDP to an average of 5.4% of GDP per annum during the Sixth National Development Plan, which was the first planning period for the PF Government.  Borrowing has worsened even further during the Seventh National Development Plan, under Edgar Lungu led PF Government, and has averaged 8.9% of GDP per annum.  

The PF Government’s excessive appetite for borrowing has resulted in higher debt service costs. For example, statistics from the Ministry of Finance statistics, have shown that by end of this year (2020), debt service costs will have increased to US $3.3 billion which is equivalent to ZMW 69.3 billion (at the current exchange rate of K21/US$). This means that all the domestic revenue collections   in 2020, which the Ministry of Finance has revised to K65 billion, will not be enough to service the debt, thus the Government will have to borrow K4.3 billion to add on in order to meet its debt obligations for 2020.

What has this PF Government’s excessive borrowing done to the country?

  • It has made Zambia become a Highly Indebted Poor Country again. Excessive borrowing has increased Zambia’s public debt from 20.8% of GDP when the PF took over Government in 2011 to more than 100% projected for 2020; and
  • The PF Government has basically put Zambia on the world map for the wrong reason, being the first country to default on its debt service post COVID 19. The high debt has resulted in higher costs of debt service which the PF Government unfortunately has now failed to manage. For the first, the country has defaulted on its debt service obligations.

As a result of the PF Government’s recklessness in borrowing and in its economic management, the Zambian Kwacha has continuously been under pressure. The Kwacha has devalued from an average of K4.22 per one United States Dollars during the FNDP period to over ZMW 21 per on United States Dollars now.

What does this devaluation of the Kwacha mean to ordinary Zambians? It means that Zambians have lost the purchasing power. They can no longer buy the same amount of goods or services with their salaries which have not increased to proportion to the Kwacha depreciation.

Let me now talk about the Economic Stabilisation and Growth Programme which was dubbed the Zambia Plus. This is the programme that the PF Government put in place in 2017 immediately after winning the 2016 elections and which they are claiming is been succeeded by the Economic Recovery Programme, which will run from 2020 to 2023.

To put it blunt, Zambia Plus was a failed project mainly because it lacked political will. It talked about fiscal consolidation and targeted to reduce borrowing to finance the budget from 7% of GDP in 2017 to 4.1% of GDP by 2019. To achieve, the Government committed to reducing the budget expenditure from 27.7% of GDP in 2017 to 22.8% by 2019 while at the same time increasing tax revenues to 18% of GDP.

In addition, the Zambia Plus proposed some structural reforms including:

  • amendment of the Loans and Guarantees (Authorization) Act to strengthen oversight on debt contraction;
  • amendment of the public procurement act to enhance transparency and accountability in the procurement process so as to ensure value for money; and
  • introduction of the Planning and Budgeting Bill to improve public investment management and limit borrowing to projects with higher economic rates of returns.

Come implementation of the Zambia Plus, we note with sadness the lack of political will. First, instead of fiscal consolidation which meant reducing budget expenditure as a share GDP to 22.8% in 2019, expenditure increased to 28.9% of GDP in 2019 further increasing to 32.4% in 2020 and now 32.6% of GDP projected for 2021. 

Second, instead of reducing fiscal deficit from 7.0% in 2017 to 4.1% by 2019, the Government has been increasing its borrowing. By 2019 borrowing had increased to 9.6% of GDP and is now projected 11.7% of GDP in 2020.

Third, instead of undertaking structural reforms and amend the relevant pieces of legislation on debt contraction and management, public procurement and budgeting, among others, the PF Government simply ignored all these and instead embarked on a very futile exercise of wanting to introduce Bill 10 to consolidate their hold on power. 

Let me now turn to the Economic Recovery Plan that the President launched last week.

Our thinking, as the Socialist Party, was that the Economic Recovery Plan would renew the hope and confidence of the Zambian people in the economic recovery of the country. Unfortunately, the PF’s Economic Recovery Plan, in our view fails the test of a responsive, robust and relevant programme that can competently address Zambia’s current challenges. At best, this Plan can be described as a Statement of Intent with a detailed shopping list of activities and objectives that neither match the current reality nor build on past programmes.

However, this is not surprising to us as we know that the PF does not have a well-coordinated economic agenda and has been pursuing haphazard economic policies with disastrous results.

In our view, the economic recovery plan will not be able to achieve its objectives for the following reasons:

  • Given the diminishing fiscal space as a result of the rising debt which has caused high debt service costs and has ultimately resulted in debt payment default, there is need for a more structured and detailed financing plan of the economic recovery programme, which we do not see in this plan;
  • Assuming this Plan was to be implemented, the PF time to implement it is so limited. They have less than a year in office and are doing all they can on the expenditure side to try and hoodwink the people through excess expenditure on infrastructure. As such fiscal discipline will be a challenge.
  • The plan lacks the details and does not answer the how questions. For example, it does spell out what exactly will be done to reverse the downward economic spiral especially given the diminishing fiscal space as a result of the higher debt service costs; and,
  • Given that the PF Government failed to garner political will to implement the Zambia Plus even when the elections were only to come after four years, what would make Zambians believe that this time around and with only a few months before the elections, the PF Government will have the political will to push this agenda? We doubt that there will be political will to implement the plan more so this time around when the elections are just the corner.  

In conclusion, I want to emphasise that the Zambian economy is in a crisis, is unstable and in recession, the first since 1998. More than, ever, it calls for leadership – credible and committed leadership to respond to the immediate and urgent needs of Zambians. We had assumed, apparently, incorrectly, that the PF government’s so-called Economic Recovery Plan would, for once address the challenges that we are faced with. Alas, it has turned out to be another talk show document that does not reflect any seriousness or commitment to addressing the country’s economy challenges.

The PF Government has truly failed the people of Zambia. It has failed to rise to the to the occasion. As we draw closer to 2021, it is time for the Zambians to open their eyes and make sure that they do not allow a visionless leader to continue to lead. As the Socialist Party, we have a clear and precise Vision for the economic recovery, which we will be sharing. We are ready and committed, and we believe that we can provide workable solutions to Zambia’s current challenges.

Delivered by DR Ngenda Mwikisa – General Treasurer and Second Vice President

Political crooks, conmen have become very busy

Political crooks, conmen have become very busy Featured

It is said that one cannot fool all the people all the time but can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time. This is the strategy all conmen, charlatans and corrupt politicians follow to enchant, entice and entrap the gullible.
They always target the weak, those who feel vulnerable and seek support to pep up themselves.
The first step is to identify, isolate and indoctrinate and sow the seeds of fanatic, fascist and jingoistic slogan while all the time promising to protect them from the imaginary windmills of unpatriotic politicians, irreligious seculars out to rip the moral, social and political fabric of our great culture.
For a party in control of literary every institution and all the money in the country only needs to seduce the gullible with the idea that they and only they can save the nation.
Three tricks are employed to entrap and goad this herd of unsuspecting towards the booth. These three are mis-information, mis-guiding and mis-leading. The misinformation is simple and an art this team has perfected over the years.
The difference between misleading and misguiding is that in the first instance you lead from the front and in the second you only point fingers.
People who are susceptible to this false propaganda are not fools they are just simpletons who trust the leader and are thus misled. They are not fools but they are being fooled by cunning and vested interests that operate like cunning conmen. The need of the hour is to be aware of these political crooks, conmen who come up with all sorts of gifts – foodstuffs; bicycles for village headmen; cash handouts, motor vehicles for chiefs and religious leaders – when elections are near.
Where has this sudden money and benevolence come from?
Over the last few months the political crooks, conmen of this country have become very busy and are going round distributing mealie-meal, bicycles, cash and all sorts of things. Why? To fool you and get your votes!
But as the most famous utterance ever attributed to Abraham Lincoln says, “You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” Fool them also; take all that they bring you but don’t vote for them – do a Michael Sata, a “Don’t kubeba” on them.

Fred M’membe

Silayi Village, Kalabo

Four days voter registration extension

Four days voter registration extension Featured

It doesn’t make sense for the Electoral Commission of Zambia to extend the voter registration period by just four days. We seem to be terrible judges of how long things take.

Psychologists call this the planning fallacy — a pervasive tendency to underestimate how long it will take to do just about anything — and it can be attributed to several different biases.

First, we routinely fail to consider our own past experiences while planning.

After a month of voter registration experience, we still can’t seem to figure out how long it will take us to reasonably complete this exercise.

Second, we seem to consistently ignore the very real possibility that things won’t go as planned — our plans tend to be “best-case scenarios”. And as a consequence, we budget only enough time to complete the project if everything goes smoothly. Which it never really does.

Lastly, we don’t think about all the steps or sub components that make up the voter registration process, and consider how long each part of the process will take. When you think about painting a room, you may picture yourself using a roller to quickly slap the paint on the walls, and think that it won’t take much time at all — neglecting to consider how you’ll first have to move or cover the furniture, tape all the fixtures and window frames, do all the edging by hand, and so on.

Extending the voter registration period for four days without addressing the poor time planning that landed us in hot water in the first place, we will likely end up in hot water again down the road.

And here is a summary of the things we have learned from the Electoral Commission of Zambia’s press briefing today:1. The voter registration exercise has been extended by four days, running from Thursday 17 December, 2020 – Sunday 20 December 2020.

2. The total number of registered voters is 6,407,752. The Commission did not give a province-by-province breakdown.

3. Important dates: There are a number of important dates the Commission highlighted:

2nd – 6th April 2021:

Verification of registration details. If any of the details on your card or on the new register are incorrect, this will be the period to correct them.

9th May 2021:

Voter registration certification, and cut off date for those who will be turning 18 to be eligible to vote.

Presidential nominations: 14-18 June, 2021.Nominations of MP’s, Mayors, council chairpersons will be on 14 June, 2021. Ward councilor nominations will be one day after, on 15 June 2021. Petitions for nominations will run for 21 days (21 Jun -11 Jul, 2021).

Ballot printing will be the whole of July, from 1-31 July, 2021, for ALL ballots, from councilors all the way up to the President. The verification of ballot papers will happen between 29 Jul – 4 Aug, 2021.

Of course, the general election, the biggest day of them all, will be on August 12, 2021.

If you have not yet registered to vote, those extra 4 days are your lifeline.

Please, please, please I urge you to visit your nearest registration centre and get it done. Never forget that your vote is your voice!

Fred M’membe

Garden Compound

Laughing or chuckling at the problems of others

Laughing or chuckling at the problems of others Featured

Have you ever laughed at someone who was visibly struggling with the challenges of life?
Has your moment of suffering ever been the butt of a joke? How did it make you feel?
We seem to have leaders who laugh or chuckle at their people’s problems, suffering in this country.
Serious leaders don’t laugh or chuckle when their people are in distress and cry out for help. Leaders are expected to feel the distress their people who have serious problems meeting the cost of food, schools, health services, transport and many other necessities of life.
Psychologists have an explanation for this type of behaviour. They call it Katagelasticism – a psychological condition in which a person excessively enjoys laughing at others – from καταγελαστής, katagelastēs, ancient Greek for “mocker”.
Katagelasticists actively seek and establish situations in which they can laugh at others – at the expense of these people. There is a broad variety of things that katagelasticists would do – starting from harmless pranks or word plays to truly embarrassing and even harmful, mean-spirited jokes. They would be of the opinion that laughing at others is part of the daily life and if others do not like being laughed at, they should just fight back.
For the katagelasticists it is fun laughing at others and there is almost nothing that might hinder them from doing so. For them, some people even might provoke getting laughed at – and surely deserve being laughed at. 
This is sadistic behaviour. What will such a person stop at? What won’t he do to have a laugh at you?
Is such a person really fit to be a leader of a country?

Fred M’membe

Silayi Village, Kalabo

Revolutionary change is anchored amongst the poor

Revolutionary change is anchored amongst the poor Featured

COSMAS Musumali says Zambians today needs revolutionary change anchored amongst the poor.
Dr Musumali is the general secretary and first vice-president of the Socialist Party.
He was speaking when he unveiled 26 adopted parliamentary candidates for constituencies in Central, Western, Copperbelt, North-Western Provinces, in Lusaka yesterday.
“Zambia needs change! It’s not any other change but it needs transformative, revolutionary change,” Dr Musumali said.
He argued that the current system in Zambia of periphery capitalism could not and would not deliver the masses.
Dr Musumali noted that capitalism has failed the masses since 1991 and that it would continue to fail them.
“You can change the petty bourgeoisie political parties, [but] things will get worse for the masses of our people. What the people of Zambia needs today is that revolutionary change anchored amongst the poor people, the working masses of our country,” he explained.
“The type of leadership that you choose on the 12th of August, 2021 has to reflect that transformative change.”
Dr Musumali further indicated that revolutionary change could not be brought about by a leadership: “that is benefiting, that is privileged – a leadership that is parasitic under the current environment.”
“Those that are doing well today; a small group of politicians that are doing well today are going to resist change,” he noted.
“The opposition political parties, if they are not socialist-oriented, will be a mere continuation of that same exploitative capitalist system and enough is enough.”
Dr Musumali stressed that Zambians need change and that such should be reflected in the leadership.
“That leadership has to be anchored amongst the people. So, it should be leadership [of] men and women that live with the people, that live for the people,” Dr Musumali said.
“It should be leadership that also reflects the demography of Zambia. It should be leadership that is youthful, leadership that is gender-balanced. It should be leadership that originates amongst the people, not one that is imposed from above. This is what the Socialist Party is doing.”
He further pointed out that the 26 adopted parliamentary candidates are: “ready to transform our homeland.”
“These 26 leaders are from different parts of the country. We have leaders from Eastern, Central, Copperbelt and Western Provinces,” he noted.
“One of them is only 24 years old, the other one is 25 years old, we have another one that is 27 years old [and] another one is 29 years old and they are all female.”
Out of the 26 parliamentary designates, four of them are in their 20s.
Dr Musumali explained that the Socialist Party is making milestones; “setting standards that no petty bourgeoisie political party can ever achieve.”
“The choice of our leadership is not based on the size of your pocket – how much money you have on your pocket. The choice of leadership that the masses of Zambian people are bringing to us today is about being rooted amongst them, speaking their language.” Dr Musumali said.
“We have amongst the 26 candidates, 11 women. We have amongst the candidates today people that were only a few days ago drivers…. One of our leaders here has worked as a bus driver, a bus conductor. This is working class leadership at its best.”
Meanwhile, Dr Musumali emphasised that none of those adopted was picked because of wealth.
“None of them has been chosen because they have a fleet of vehicles that they are going to use for campaigns. None of them has been chosen because they have a chain of degrees. This is a workers’ party,” said Dr Musumali.
Those adopted are Mwisiya Imbula (Senanga), Edna Biemba (Kaoma Central), Ireen Ilitongo Muhosho (Luena Constituency), Jane Sombo Chingumbe (Mangango), Mwenda Kulilisa (Sioma), Salungu (Solwezi Central), Ambassador Malungisha (Kasempa), Womba Nkanza(Zambezi East), Augustine Salubeni (Mufumbwe), Vivian Chunda (Mafinga), Dennis Mutumba (Mwembeshi), Misheck Njobo (Nangoma), and Nicholas Mwansa (Kamfinsa).
Others are Faston Mwale (Nkana), Steven Chewe (Chimwemwe), Mupelwa Siame (Kantanshi), Mildred Ng’ambi (Kankoyo), Kepson Zimba (Kabushi), Humprey Siame (Ndola Central), Bernadette Siabula (Chifubu), Mercy Bwalya (Bwana Mkubwa), Flannel Sichilima (Chingola), Jeph Chabala (Roan), Margaret Sikalonzo (Luanshya), Doris Mweene (Chipata Central) and Philip Sakala (Petauke Central).

Extension of voter registration period

Extension of voter registration period Featured

The voter registration exercise has not been conducted in an efficient, effective and orderly manner.

In many places, there have been very long queues. In some places, Electoral Commission of Zambia officers have not been there throughout the period of registration. There are also many cases of equipment failure.

If there’s no extension of voter registration days as many as 4 million people may not be registered to vote – around 40 per cent of 9 million the people the Electoral Commission of Zambia was targeting to register as voters.

The most important political right or privilege is the vote. No one should be unnecessarily denied the right to register as voter.

We therefore urge the Electoral Commission of Zambia to extend the voter registration period to give a fair chance to all qualifying citizens to register as voters.

Fred M’membe

Garden Compound, Lusaka

Corrupt, tyrannical politicians cling onto power

Corrupt, tyrannical politicians cling onto power Featured

It’s difficult for one who has soiled himself to stand up and leave while everyone is watching.

But without standing up to leave and clean oneself the mess won’t disappear. And the humiliation won’t go away. It’s only by stand up to clean oneself that the humiliation disappears, goes away.

Similarly, politicians who have abused their public offices, who have stolen from their people and have been tyrannical have serious difficulties leaving power.

They invariably seek to perpetuate themselves in power. They seek to change constitutions and give themselves more years in power. They are never ready to leave. They try to persuade and convince everyone that only them can govern well, without them there will be chaos in the nation – only them are God chosen to lead.

Corrupt and tyrannical politicians work against the nation’s best interests to hold onto power.

There are two sides to political leadership. On the positive side, great political leaders can make a big difference in the nation. They can inspire fellow citizens to share a vision and to work together to achieve great national things. On the negative side, there are comforts that come with political leadership roles including higher salaries, respect, and other perks and even possible abuses. So, when someone attains a political leadership role, they are reluctant to give it up.

Unfortunately, the behaviors that some politicians may engage in to hold onto a political leadership role once they have it can seriously undermine national interest and well being.

When politicians had a political leadership strategy focused on keeping themselves in power in perpetuity, they limited the development of a new leadership to replace them to avoid being challenged. So, political leaders protected their position from the most threatening fellow citizens when they felt they could lose their position.

In this case, leaders with a desire to cling onto power would isolate the most talented fellow party members or citizens from everyone else. Those not seeking to cling onto power would allow alternative leadership to develop.

Politicians who are prone to want to protect their power will engage in behaviors that promote their own interests over those of the nation in cases where their continued hold on power is in jeopardy.

These tendencies are likely to influence even more well intentioned political leaders, and so they provide a tendency that political leaders need to overcome to ensure that they act in the best interests of their people and country.

Fred M’membe

Garden Compound, Lusaka

UNIP and Dr Kenneth Kaunda have been linked to socialism and its failures. Was Zambia under UNIP a Socialist State?

UNIP and Dr Kenneth Kaunda have been linked to socialism and its failures. Was Zambia under UNIP a Socialist State? Featured

Good day Comrade. Thank you for your continued effort of addressing some of the misconceptions and burning issues. Another issue that has been floating around is that of linking UNIP and Dr Kenneth Kaunda to socialism and its failures. Was Zambia under UNIP a Socialist State?

Great thanks Comrade!

To answer your question, let’s try to understand what Kaunda himself said on this score.

I know we don’t like reading long articles – we don’t have a reading culture – but I want to explain this at length for those who want to read to understand. This response is not for those who want to understand things without effort – those who don’t want to read much.

Let’s start with Kaunda’s own words on this topic.

Kaunda said, “Capitalism and communism are out. Let them go. And so long as I am leader of the Party, I am not going to allow any stupid people to come here to disrupt the country because of their ideologies. If I discover them here in Zambia, they go by the earliest plane” (Chifubu rally, Ndola, January 17, 1965)

.And in a United Nations address on December 4, 1964, Kaunda said, “Our African personality contains elements of simplicity of service – of community which all the world needs. Our economic life has always been based on what I should like to describe as traditional co-operative way of living. This is the African substitute for the capitalism, socialism and communism of the East and West. We offer it as our contribution to the world sum of experience.

“I now turn to Kwame Nkrumah. And this is what Nkrumah wrote on this issue in an article published in 1967:

“The term ‘socialism’ has become a necessity in the platform diction and political writings of African leaders. It is a term which unites us in the recognition that the restoration of Africa’s humanist and egalitarian principles of society calls for socialism. All of us, therefore, even though pursuing widely contrasting policies in the task of reconstructing our various nation-states, still use ‘socialism’ to describe our respective efforts. ‘The question must therefore be faced: What real meaning does the term retain in the context of contemporary African politics? I warned about this in my book Consciencism (London and New York, 1964, p. 105). And yet, socialism in Africa today tends to lose its objective content in favor of a distracting terminology and in favor of a general confusion. Discussion centers more on the various conceivable types of socialism than upon the need for socialist development.

Some African political leaders and thinkers certainly use the term ‘socialism’ as it should in my opinion be used: to describe a complex of social purposes and the consequential social and economic policies, organizational patterns, state structure, and ideologies which can lead to the attainment of those purposes. For such leaders, the aim is to remold African society in the socialist direction; to reconsider African society in such a manner that the humanism of traditional African life re-asserts itself in a modern technical community.

Consequently, socialism in Africa introduces a new social synthesis in which modern technology is reconciled with human values, in which the advanced technical society is realized without the staggering social malefactions and deep schisms of capitalist industrial society. For true economic and social development cannot be promoted without the real socialization of productive and distributive processes. Those African leaders who believe these principles are the socialists in Africa.

There are, however, other African political leaders and thinkers who use the term ‘socialism’ because they believe that socialism would, in the words of Chandler Morse, ‘smooth the road to economic development’. It becomes necessary for them to employ the term in a ‘charismatic effort to rally support’ for policies that do not really promote economic and social development. Those African leaders who believe these principles are supposed to be the ‘African socialists’.

It is interesting to recall that before the split in the Second International, Marxism was almost indistinguishable from social democracy. Indeed, the German Social Democratic Party was more or less the guardian of the doctrine of Marxism, and both Marx and Engels supported that Party. Lenin, too, became a member of the Social Democratic Party. After the break-up of the Second International, however, the meaning of the term ‘social democracy’ altered, and it became possible to draw a real distinction between socialism and social democracy. A similar situation has arisen in Africa. Some years ago, African political leaders and writers used the term ‘African socialism’ in order to label the concrete forms that socialism might assume in Africa. But the realities of the diverse and irreconcilable social, political, and economic policies being pursued by African states today have made the term ‘African socialism’ meaningless and irrelevant. It appears to be much more closely associated with anthropology than with political economy. ‘African socialism’ has now come to acquire some of its greatest publicists in Europe and North America precisely because of its predominant anthropological charm. Its foreign publicists include not only the surviving social democrats of Europe and North America, but other intellectuals and liberals who themselves are steeped in the ideology of social democracy. It was no accident, let me add, that the 1962 Dakar Colloquium made such capital of ‘African socialism”‘ but the uncertainties concerning the meaning and specific policies of ‘African socialism’ have led some of us to abandon the term because it fails to express its original meaning and because it tends to obscure our fundamental socialist commitment.

Today, the phrase ‘African socialism’ seems to espouse the view that the traditional African society was a classless society imbued with the spirit of humanism and to express a nostalgia for that spirit. Such a conception of socialism makes a fetish of the communal African society. But an idyllic, African classless society (in which there were no rich and no poor) enjoying a drugged serenity is certainly a facile simplification; there is no historical or even anthropological evidence for any such society. I am afraid the realities of African society were somewhat more sordid.

All available evidence from the history of Africa up to the eve of the European colonization, shows that African society was neither classless nor devoid of a social hierarchy. Feudalism existed in some parts of Africa before colonization; and feudalism involves a deep and exploitative social stratification, founded on the ownership of land. It must also be noted that slavery existed in Africa before European colonization, although the earlier European contact gave slavery in Africa some of its most vicious characteristics. The truth remains, however, that before colonization, which became widespread in Africa only in the nineteenth century, Africans were prepared to sell, often for no more than thirty pieces of silver, fellow tribesmen and even members of the same ‘extended family’ and clan. Colonialism deserves to be blamed for many evils in Africa, but surely it was not preceded by an African Golden Age or paradise. A return to the pre-colonial African society is evidently not worthy of the ingenuity and efforts of our people.

All this notwithstanding, one could still argue that the basic organization of many African societies in different periods of history manifested a certain communalism and that the philosophy and humanist purposes behind that organization are worthy of recapture. A community in which each saw his well-being in the welfare of the group certainly was praiseworthy, even if the manner in which the well-being of the group was pursued makes no contribution to our purposes. Thus, what socialist thought in Africa must recapture is not the structure of the ‘traditional African society’ but its spirit, for the spirit of communalism is crystallised in its humanism and in its reconciliation of individual advancement with group welfare. Even If there is incomplete anthropological evidence to reconstruct the ‘traditional African society’ with accuracy, we can still recapture the rich human values of that society. In short, an anthropological approach to the ‘traditional African society’ is too much unproven; but a philosophical approach stands on much firmer ground and makes generalization feasible.

One predicament in the anthropological approach is that there is some disparity of views concerning the manifestations of the ‘classlessness’ of the ‘traditional African society’. While some hold that the society was based on the equality of its members, others hold that it contained a hierarchy and division of labour in which the hierarchy — and therefore power — was founded on spiritual and democratic values.. Of course, no society can be founded on the equality of its members although societies are founded on egalitarianism, which is something quite different. Similarly, a classless society that at the same time rejoices in a hierarchy of power (as distinct from authority) must be accounted a marvel of socio-political finesse.

We know that the ‘traditional African society’ was founded on principles of egalitarianism. In its actual workings, however, it had various shortcomings. Its humanist impulse, nevertheless, is something that continues to urge us towards our all-African socialist reconstruction. We postulate each man to be an end in himself, not merely a means; and we accept the necessity of guaranteeing each man equal opportunities for his development. The implications of this for socio-political practice have to be worked out scientifically, and the necessary social and economic policies pursued with resolution. Any meaningful humanism must begin from egalitarianism and must lead to objectively chosen policies for safeguarding and sustaining egalitarianism. Hence, socialism. Hence, also, scientific socialism.

A further difficulty that arises from the anthropological approach to socialism, or ‘African socialism’, is the glaring division between existing African societies and the communalistic society that was. I warned in my book Consciencism that ‘our society is not the old society, but a new society enlarged by Islamic and Euro-Christian influences’. This is a fact that any socio-economic policies must recognise and take into account. Yet the literature of ‘African socialism’ comes close to suggesting that today’s African societies are communalistic. The two societies are not coterminous; and such an equation cannot be supported by any attentive observation. It is true that this disparity is acknowledged in some of the literature of ‘African socialism’; thus, my friend and colleague Julius Nyerere, in acknowledging the disequilibrium between what was and what is in terms of African societies, attributes the differences to the importations of European colonialism.

We know, of course, that the defeat of colonialism and even neo-colonialism will not result in the automatic disappearance of the imported patterns of thought and social organization. For those patterns have taken root, and are in varying degree sociological features of our contemporary society. Nor will a simple return to the communalistic society of ancient Africa offer a solution either. To advocate a return, as it were, to the rock from which we were hewn is a charming thought, but we are faced with contemporary problems, which have arisen from political subjugation, economic exploitation, educational and social backwardness, increases in population, familiarity with the methods and products of industrialisation, modern agricultural techniques. These – as well as a host of other complexities – can be resolved by no mere communalistic society, however sophisticated, and anyone who so advocates must be caught in insoluble dilemmas of the most excruciating kind. All available evidence from socio-political history discloses that such a return to a status quo ante is quite unexampled in the evolution of societies. There is, indeed, no theoretical or historical reason to indicate that it is at all possible.

When one society meets another, the observed historical trend is that acculturation results in a balance of forward movement, a movement in which each society assimilates certain useful attributes of the other. Social evolution is a dialectical process; it has ups and downs, but, on balance, it always represents an upward trend.

Islamic civilization and European colonialism are both historical experiences of the traditional African society, profound experiences that have permanently changed the complexion of the traditional African society. They have introduced new values and a social, cultural, and economic organization into African life. Modern African societies are not traditional, even if backward, and they are clearly in a state of socio-economic disequilibrium. They are in this state because they are not anchored to a steadying ideology.

The way out is certainly not to regurgitate all Islamic or Euro-colonial influences in a futile attempt to recreate a past that cannot be resurrected. The way out is only forward, forward to a higher and reconciled form of society, in which the quintessence of the human purposes of traditional African society reasserts itself in a modern context-forward, in short, to socialism, through policies that are scientifically devised and correctly applied. The inevitability of a forward way out is felt by all; thus, Leopold Sedor Senghor, although favoring some kind of return to African communalism, insists that the refashioned African society must accommodate the ‘positive contribution’ of colonial rule, ‘such as the economic and technical infrastructure and the French educational system’. The economic and technical infrastructure of even French colonialism and the French educational system must be assumed, though this can be shown to be imbued with a particular socio-political philosophy. This philosophy, as should be known, is not compatible with the philosophy underlying communalism, and the desired accommodation would prove only a socio-political mirage.

Senghor has, indeed, given an account of the nature of the return to Africa. His account is highlighted by statements using some of his own words: that the African is ‘a field of pure sensation’; that he does not measure or observe, but ‘lives’ a situation; and that this way of acquiring ‘knowledge’ by confrontation and intuition is ‘negro-African’; the acquisition of knowledge by reason, ‘Hellenic’. In African Socialism [London and New York, 1964, pp.72-3], he proposes ‘that we consider the Negro-African as he faces the Other: God, man, animal, tree or pebble, natural or social phenomenon. In contrast to the classic European, the Negro-African does not draw a line between himself and the object, he does not hold it at a distance, nor does he merely look at it and analyze it. After holding it at a distance, after scanning it without analyzing it, he takes it vibrant in his hands, careful not to kill or fix it. He touches it, feels it, smells it. The Negro-African is like one of those Third Day Worms, a pure field of sensations… Thus the Negro-African sympathies, abandons his personality to become identified with the Other, dies to be reborn in the Other. He does not assimilate; he is assimilated. He lives a common life with the Other; he lives in a symbiosis.

‘It is clear that socialism cannot be founded on this kind of metaphysics of knowledge.

To be sure, there is a connection between communalism and socialism. Socialism stands to communalism as capitalism stands to slavery. In socialism, the principles underlying communalism are given expression in modern circumstances. Thus, whereas communalism in a non-technical society can be laissez-faire, in a technical society where sophisticated means of production are at hand, the situation is different; for if the underlying principles of communalism are not given correlated expression, class cleavages will arise, which are connected with economic disparities and thereby with political inequalities; Socialism, therefore, can be, and is, the defence of the principles of communalism in a modern setting; it is a form of social organisation that, guided by the principles underlying communalism, adopts procedures and measures made necessary by demographic and technological developments. Only under socialism can we reliably accumulate the capital we need for our development and also ensure that the gains of investment are applied for the general welfare.

Socialism is not spontaneous. It does not arise of itself. It has abiding principles according to which the major means of production and distribution ought to be socialised if exploitation of the many by the few is to be prevented; if, that is to say, egalitarianism in the economy is to be protected. Socialist countries in Africa may differ in this or that detail of their policies, but such differences themselves ought not to be arbitrary or subject to vagaries of taste. They must be scientifically explained, as necessities arising from differences in the particular circumstances of the countries themselves.

There is only one way of achieving socialism; by the devising of policies aimed at the general socialist goals, each of which takes its particular form from the specific circumstances of a particular state at a definite historical period. Socialism depends on dialectical and historical materialism, upon the view that there is only one nature, subject in all its manifestations to natural laws and that human society is, in this sense, part of nature and subject to its own laws of development.

It is the elimination of fancifulness from socialist action that makes socialism scientific. To suppose that there are tribal, national, or racial socialisms is to abandon objectivity in favour of chauvinism.”

Fred M’membe

Garden Compound, Lusaka

Does socialism encourage laziness?

Does socialism encourage laziness? Featured

Hello Comrade, when you have a chance, kindly reflect on the common assumption that socialism encourages laziness.

Great thanks Comrade and here is my brief reflection on the assumption:

The laziness trope is often used as a way to kind of discredit socialism overall. However, there’s some truth to this. In the experience in the Soviet Union and Cuba and Eastern Europe, there was a point in the development of socialism where workers were less motivated than certainly everyone that imagined what socialism would be thought would happen.

Now, before getting into that, let’s look at, first of all, the increase in productivity and the growth of the economy, industrialization in the Soviet Union during the 1920s on was astounding. The fact that this semi-feudal country industrialized so quickly that it actually could fend off this highly developed industrial power of Nazi Germany, and eventually win that war, the extent to how hard people worked and how much they sacrificed to be into that position, you can’t call that laziness. Let’s not forget the Soviet Union got to space before the United States. In a very short amount of time after World War II, the Soviet Union built a nuclear weapon to counteract the nuclear threat of the United States, and the extent to which it was an offensive threat to the United States and that the Soviet Union was in a defensive position.

When people have a guaranteed job and you can never get fired, when people have a guaranteed standard of living, they have healthcare, they have schooling, there’s no fear of poverty, which is more or less what there was in the Soviet Union, people get lazy. And if there’s no competition, like if everyone gets paid the same no matter how hard you work, then why work hard?

The Soviet Union was incredibly innovative. Some of the most amazing inventions came out of the Soviet Union, including, if you go back to the beginning, the Soviet Union gives birth to modern film making and so on, and all kinds of developments in the sciences.

So if you look at the stages of the Soviet Union, for a long time, it was very productive, as you see, what I said about taking on Germany and getting to space and so on. And then also, in certain sectors of the economy, it remained very productive, especially the sciences. The Soviet Union was able to compete with the United States in the development of technology.

But on this one specific thing – and it’s a complicated subject, we can’t get into it all now – but there was something that developed in the Soviet Union, and it happened in Cuba, and to some extent in Eastern Europe. When you got to the level of the factory floor and much of the working class, kind of everyone got paid the same. And it kind of didn’t matter if you worked hard or didn’t work hard, and there was a lot of resentment. Workers that did work hard, were motivated, were definitely pissed that this person over there was having a cigarette half the day and nothing happens. And then it was difficult to fire somebody and even discipline them, because ideologically, this was supposed to be a worker’s state and all the rest. And one of the reasons that is because the bureaucrats, especially, to maintain their own positions of power, didn’t want to piss off sections of the working class. And a lot of them believed in this theory too, that you pay everyone the same because that’s the socialist ideal. Except it’s not. There’s absolutely no reason under socialism why everyone should get paid the same. And in fact, they didn’t. In the Soviet Union, the artists got paid more, filmmakers got paid more, the party leaderships got paid more. It’s not like everyone got paid the same, it was mostly in the working class you didn’t have hardly any variance. But there’s no reason why that needs to be.

If we go back to what Karl Marx said, socialism is not the same – and there’s so much misconception of what communism is because of the Cold War and all the rest. But if you take what Marx and Engels thought communism was, communism is when the state withers away and isn’t there anymore because there’s no classes anymore, because the whole point of the state is to be coercive.

And if you don’t have distinctions in classes, you don’t need cops, you don’t need armies. So communism is this ideal kind of utopia. Who knows if human society ever gets there, but that’s the theory. It got all demonized because they called the Soviet Union communism because the Soviet Union sometimes called themselves that, but it wasn’t.

So under communism, the tagline is, “From each according to their ability, to each according to their need.” Because this ideal state, where there’s no classes, everyone is highly motivated, but not everyone is equal in ability. Some people run fast, some people run slow, some people are smarter, some people can do this and that. So everyone gives what they have to give, but everyone gets what they need. That’s this utopian state of communism, and that was the ideal. But socialism, the slogan was, the tagline from Marx was,

“From each according to their ability, to each according to their work.” You don’t work, you don’t get. So that was not what was followed. This idea of having the same wage did demotivate people.

In Cuba people became so educated, they didn’t want to do agricultural work. They didn’t want to go work in the fields because people were learning sciences and medicine. And in those areas, Cuba excelled. They have a pharmaceutical industry in Cuba that competes at a world level. Though when it came to when you have such an educated population, a lot of people didn’t want to do that kind of work.

But it also was the same thing, with everyone kind of getting paid the same, and they were resentful about that. People said, ‘Well, why should I work hard when they don’t?’ But there’s no reason for that. This isn’t something inherent in socialism. You can have competition between workers, you can pay people more for more productivity. This is not a state where you get what you need, it’s an economy where you get how you work.

Moreover, even capitalist countries somehow faced some similar challenges when it came to social security. There are some people who were satisfied just sitting at home drinking, producing children and collecting social security for each child and didn’t want to work. It seems, regardless of the social and economic system, this is the side effect of providing social security beyond a certain optimal level.

Socialism is not promoting laziness, it does not say that you can live off other people’s work while sitting at home collecting welfare. You will not get paid if you do not work. People will say that socialism is just giving someone money that they didn’t earn. This is wrong, you still have to work.

So it’s a complicated, long story. Well, comrades, for now we’re going to have to leave it here.

Fred M’membe

Mwika Royal Village, Chinsali

Dr Fred M’membe on Venezuela’s elections

Dr Fred M’membe on Venezuela’s elections Featured

I join the many friends of Venezuela from across the world in sending a message of love and solidarity.

It is important for all progressive Nations and people’s of the world to stand in solidarity with Venezuela during this crucial time for the Bolivarian revolution and the progressive left.

The people of Venezuela should be allowed to exercise their right to exist and determine their own future through a political process decided by them.

We call on all Nations of the world to respect the sovereignty and democratic processes embarked on by the people of Venezuela. None must attempt to undermine it’s sovereignty.

We stand with the people of Venezuela as they go to the polls. Our solidarity goes to them and their struggle for justice, equity and peace.

Vamos Venezuela

A court without credibility is not a court

A court without credibility is not a court Featured

The performance of our Constitutional Court falls far below acceptable or tolerable levels of inefficiency, ineffectiveness and incompetence.

Many people have raised concerns about the work of our Constitutional Court but no one seems to be willing to listen. It’s like they have put cotton wool in their ears.

But it is too dangerous for the Constitutional Court to continue on this path and in this way. A court without credibility is not a court. Our judges shouldn’t fear criticism because the truth is on the side of those who are honest.

With criticism they can get rid of a bad style and keep the good.As we say, dust will accumulate if a room is not cleaned regularly, our faces will get dirty if they are not washed regularly.

Our minds and our work may also collect dust, and also need sweeping and washing. The proverb “Running water is never stale and a door-hinge is never worm-eaten” means that constant motion prevents the inroads of germs and other organisms. To check up regularly on our work and in the process develop an honest style of work, to fear neither criticism nor self-criticism, and to apply such good popular maxims as “Say all you know and say it without reserve”, “Blame not the speaker but be warned by his words” and “Correct mistakes if you have committed them and guard against them if you have not” – this is the only effective way to prevent all kinds of dust and germs from contaminating our minds.

Let’s learn from past mistakes to avoid future ones. And let’s cure the sickness to save the patient. The mistakes of the past must be exposed without sparing anyone’s sensibilities; it is necessary to analyze and criticize what was bad in the past with a scientific attitude so that work in the future will be done more carefully and done better. This is what is meant by “learn from past mistakes to avoid future ones”. But our aim in exposing errors and criticizing shortcomings, like that of a doctor curing a sickness, is solely to save the patient and not to doctor him to death. A person with appendicitis is saved when the surgeon removes his appendix. So long as a person who has made mistakes does not hide his sickness for fear of treatment or persist in his mistakes until he is beyond cure, so long as he honestly and sincerely wishes to be cured and to mend his ways, we should welcome him and cure his sickness so that he can become a good person. We can never succeed if we just let ourselves go and lash out at him. In treating a malady, one must never be rough and rash but must adopt the approach of “curing the sickness to save the patient”, which is the only correct and effective method.

Another point that should be mentioned in connection with criticism is that some people ignore the major issues and confine their attention to minor points when they make their criticism. They do not understand that the main task of criticism is to point out mistakes. As to personal shortcomings, unless they are related to mistakes, there is no need to be overcritical or the individuals concerned will be at a loss as to what to do. Moreover, once such criticism develops, there is the great danger that attention will be concentrated exclusively on minor faults, and everyone will become timid and overcautious and forget their tasks.

In criticism, guard against subjectivism, arbitrariness and the vulgarization of criticism; statements should be based on facts.If we have shortcomings, we are not afraid to have them pointed out and criticized, because we serve the people. Anyone, no matter who, may point out our shortcomings. If he is right, we should correct them. If what he proposes will benefit the people, we will act upon it.

We must not become complacent over any success. We should check our complacency and constantly criticize our shortcomings, just as we should wash our faces or sweep the floor every day to remove the dirt and keep them clean.

As for criticism, do it in good time; don’t get into the habit of criticizing only after the event. Taught by mistakes and setbacks, we become wiser and handle our affairs better. It is hard for any person to avoid mistakes, but we should make as few as possible. Once a mistake is made, we should correct it, and the more quickly and thoroughly the better.

Dr O’Brien Kaaba and Dr Pamela Towela Sambo, law lecturers at the University of Zambia, have accused the Constitutional Court of having done more harm to constitutionalism than promoting its values.

“A judiciary committed to constitutionalism should interpret the Constitution in a manner that promotes the realization of its underlying values, not to undermine them. Judging by the Mutembo Nchito judgment, it is hard to see how the Constitutional Court’s decision safeguards the integrity of the Constitution and advances the rule of law and constitutionalism. Perhaps it was for this reason that Supreme Court judge Mumba Malila, in a recently published and well-articulated article penned in honour of the late justice [Claver] Musumali, virulently admonished his colleagues in the Zambian judiciary…When will the Zambian judges take up this challenge and heed justice Malila’s plea?” they ask, concluding that the Constitutional Court has placed itself as a tool to champion the cause of the executive. “To borrow Professor Michelo Hansungule’s words, Zambians have been looking for an ‘irritatingly independent’ Constitutional Court. Dare we ask, irritating to who?

The answer is to all and sundry that are allergic to constitutionalism and the rule of law. The problem is that the Zambian Constitutional Court, judged by the depth of its jurisprudence, does not seem to fit into the legacy of other progressive Constitutional Courts such as the South African Constitutional Court. The latest demonstration of this is to be found in the recent decision of the Court relating to the removal of Mutembo Nchito as Director of Public Prosecutions.

“It’s a pretty harsh criticism, and many judges would not want to hear that about themselves. In fact, many judges have no interest in hearing harsh criticism of themselves and some lawyers and other people, sometimes going to great lengths protect them.I’m quite sure this needed saying.

Often when we’re confronted with criticism, our first instinct is to defend ourselves against the attack, especially when the attack comes from someone whom we think doesn’t know as much as we know ourselves.

It would have been easy to dismiss what these law lecturers are saying, but it’s better to listen, evaluated their suggestions, and make changes.

When you’re confronted with criticism, consider if the person knows about an area where you lack knowledge, and then consider making changes. It may save you future embarrassment. Taking criticism helps.

I sometimes wonder how future generations will judge the work of this Constitutional Court of ours.

I dare say that history may take a slightly more moderate view than that of some contemporary commentators. Distance is well-known to lend enchantment, even to the less attractive views. After all, it has the inestimable advantage of hindsight.

But it can also lend an extra dimension to judgement, giving it a leavening of moderation and compassion – even of wisdom – that is sometimes lacking in the reactions of those whose task it is in life to offer instant opinions on all things great and small.

No section of the community has all the virtues, neither does any have all the vices. I am quite sure that most people try to do their jobs as best they can, even if the result is not always entirely successful. He who has never failed to reach perfection has a right to be the harshest critic.

There can be no doubt, of course, that criticism is good for people and institutions that are part of public life. No institution – presidency, judge, legislator, whatever – should expect to be free from the scrutiny of those who give it their loyalty and support, not to mention those who don’t.

But we are all part of the same fabric of our national society and that scrutiny, by one part of another, can be just as effective if it is made with a touch of honesty, courage and understanding.This sort of questioning can also act, and it should do so, as an effective engine for change.

Fred M’membe

Mwika Royal Village, Chinsali

HIV has not gone away

HIV has not gone away Featured

Today, December 1, is World AIDS Day, a time for reflection: on what we have achieved with regard to the response to HIV, and what we still must achieve.
This year’s World AIDS Day comes in the midst of another global epidemic: the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The public health response to these epidemics is linked. The COVID-19 pandemic is threatening access to HIV prevention, testing, treatment and care. And without strategies to meet these needs, we may see a resurgence of HIV that would threaten our public health response to COVID-19.
Testing is an essential part of the HIV cascade of care. People living with HIV can only be linked to treatment, care and support services if they have been diagnosed. Once a person is diagnosed, effective treatment will enable them to live a long and healthy life, to have HIV-negative children, and not have to worry about passing on HIV to their sex partners. People who test negative and are at ongoing risk for HIV should be linked to prevention, harm reduction and other services as necessary.
This year the theme of World AIDS Day is “Global solidarity, shared responsibility”.
Each year, on World AIDS Day, organizations and individuals across the world bring attention to the HIV epidemic, endeavor to increase HIV awareness and knowledge, speak out against HIV stigma, and call for an increased response to move toward Ending the HIV epidemic.
Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day is a day we unite to show support for people living with HIV and to remember those who have died from AIDS-related illnesses.
World AIDS Day remains as relevant today as it’s always been, reminding us that HIV has not gone away. There is still a critical need for increased funding for the AIDS response, to increase awareness of the impact of HIV on people’s lives, to end stigma and discrimination and to improve the quality of life of people living with HIV.
Again, let’s not forget that HIV has not gone away; it is still very much with us and needs our attention, resources and management.
The struggle against HIV continues!
Aluta continua!
Victoria acerta!

Fred M’membe

Mwika Royal Village, Chinsali

A ‘conversation’ with Dr Cephas Mukuka

A ‘conversation’ with Dr Cephas Mukuka Featured


Dr Cephas Mukuka, you say whoever is elected president next year must work tirelessly to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor. We agree with you! Like you dear brother, this issue pains us a lot and is top in our thoughts and actions.

I am referring to you as a dear brother because if you tremble with indignation at every inequality, injustice and the degradation of any human being then you are a dear brother of mine.

My dear brother, the Socialist Party is in total agreement with you on this score. Its entire programme is devoted to fighting this inequality, injustice, degradation, abuse, exploitation and humiliation of fellow human beings and citizens, of the poor.

Dear brother, you say the gap is too wide. Yes, it is – extremely and dangerously wide. You say, “Let resources be distributed equitably without fear or favour. Let for once our people feel that sense of belonging to a nation like Zambia which is blessed with abundant resources…May someone somewhere come to realization and do what is right to help these suffering masses.”

Dear brother, we are here and that’s what we are here for. That is what this party – the Socialist Party – is here for.

My dear brother, it is not enough for a country to attempt to increase its wealth. It is also necessary to ensure that it is evenly distributed. But inequality is an important feature of capitalist economies.
In the capitalist countries it is generally recognized and accepted that inequality will remain and that cannot be helped. Some economists make even virtue of this necessity and they see lot of good in these inequalities from the point of view of capital formation.

But we know and we have seen that inequality leads to some very serious economic and social consequences. It creates two sections in society – the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots – which are ever on a war path. This has resulted in ever mounting social tensions and political discontent.

The rich dominate the political machinery, and they use it to promote their own exclusive interests. This results in corruption, graft and social injustice. The rich exploit the poor. The consciousness of this exploitation leads to political awakening and then agitation and even political revolution. Thus inequality is an important cause of social and political instability.
Inequality promotes monopolies. These powerful monopolies and industrial combines charge unfair prices from the consumer. And crush the small producers. The bigger fish swallow the small fry.

It is said that ‘slow rises merit by poverty depressed’. It is not easy for a poor man to make his way in life, however brilliant he may be. It is a great social loss that brainy people without money are unable to make their due contribution to social welfare.

Democracy is a farce when there is a wide gulf between the rich and the poor. Political equality is a myth without economic equality. The rich are corrupted by vice and the poor demoralized by lack of economic strength. Thus inequalities spoil the rich and degrade the poor. Vice and corruption rule such a society. The poor man finds it almost impossible to regain the virtues of honesty and integrity. Human dignity is lost altogether.
In the present era of social and political awakening, it has become a major plank of political policy that inequality should be reduced, if not eliminated. And dear brother, here is what the Socialist Party manifesto says on inequality:

“You do not suffer just because you are getting fewer calories than required. There is another sort of suffering; social inequality, which makes you feel constantly debased and humiliated as a second-class citizen in your own country. Inequality has divided our country into two nations – the Kwa and Ku nations – the nations of the poor and the well-to-do. As such, we cannot truly speak of One Zambia, One Nation. Those who live in Kwa have poor water supply, sanitation, shelter, nutrition, schools, healthcare, roads, and very high rates of unemployment. Those who live in Ku have the best of everything. And whereas in the past it was easy to move from Kwa to Ku, today it is very difficult to do so. In those days, all one needed was to work very hard at school, college or university. Today, hard work is not a guarantee that one will finish school, college or university. It is money that determines that, the ability to pay school, college or university fees. If you are born in Kwa, it is highly unlikely you will marry someone from Ku. Where are you going to meet? You live in different places, you go to different schools, churches, shopping centers, places of entertainment, and even bury your dead in different graveyards. To unite our people in ‘one land and one nation’ – as is our cry in our national anthem – will require equity of access to necessities such as education, healthcare, water, housing, sanitation, transportation, physical security, land and food. Most, such as health, education, and physical security, should be public goods, and others should at least be distributed according to the level of need in order to ensure access for all. Zambian society is a long way from realizing this requirement. The rich have ‘first-world standard’ goods and services, whereas the poor masses have access to poor-quality services or none at all. There should be no such gap. The Zambian masses are suffering from poverty, injustice, humiliation and inequality. This suffering is both material and moral. Even when no one lives in absolute poverty, the existence of a glaring disparity in income levels indicates an intolerable imbalance in the way wealth and resources are distributed, where average rural poverty is 76.6 per cent. Western Province has poverty levels of 82.2 per cent, Luapula Province 81.1 per cent, Northern Province 79.7 per cent, Eastern Province 70 per cent, North Western Province 66.4 per cent, Southern Province 57.6 per cent, Central Province 56.2 per cent, Copperbelt Province 30.8 per cent and Lusaka Province 20.2 percent.

In a compassionate society, there should be no differences in outcomes based on factors for which people cannot be held responsible. Zambia has one of the worst situations globally. There is a glaring gap between the rich and poor. Between 2010 and 2015, the Gini coefficient increased from 0.65 to 0.69. This is a very high rate of income inequality. It is volatile and dangerous for national development. It could be argued, of course, that those who enjoy the highest level of income have achieved it through hard work, and that they deserve the benefits of their efforts, regardless of the poverty afflicting others. There are many reasons to reject this argument.

Firstly, from a religious point of view. It is sinful to keep for oneself an overabundance of wealth when one’s sisters and brothers are suffering, and even dying for want of simple necessities. In such a situation, it is of no consequence how and why some people come to be excessively wealthy while others starve. Distributive justice demands that sufficient sharing takes place to ensure the basic needs of all are met. Secondly, even if the demands of charity are rejected, and were it possible to argue that those enjoying excessive wealth are fully justified in doing so, common sense dictates that our society cannot prosper under such conditions. The good of each of us in the long term is secured and promoted by the common good. Failure to do so can only precipitate social instability and threaten the well being of all, rich and poor. History abounds within stances where the rich and powerful have brought about their own downfall by refusing to recognize in good time the legitimate demands of the poor. And as long as this gap remains at its current scandalous level, the future of our country is at risk. If the gap between the rich and poor is unacceptable, then so, too, is the actual degree of poverty in our society. By tolerating such high levels of poverty, the Zambian economy undermines the common good, and fails to demonstrate the solidarity that our shared human dignity demands.”

Dear brother, doesn’t it behoove you that we can work together to try and remake the world and remove inequality, injustice, exploitation, degradation and humiliation of fellow human beings and citizens, especially those who are poor?

Fred M’membe
Mwika Royal Village, Chinsali

Third term bid will end up in the Constitutional Court

Third term bid will end up in the Constitutional Court Featured

It is becoming clear that the issue of Mr Edgar Lungu’s third term eligibility will have to be decided by the Constitutional Court. It seems Mr Lungu, in his usual character of not backing down on anything he wants, will file in nomination papers with the Chief Justice to have his name on the ballot paper. I say this because huge volumes of campaign materials with his name have started flowing in. It won’t be easy to change this – the cost of doing so will be gigantic. And last minute presidential candidate changes will throw his party into quandary.

But one wonders where this apparently assured confidence is coming from. The risk is too high to ignore. This means that those determined to stop him from contesting next year’s elections in the belief that it will be a violation of the Constitution will have no choice but to go to the Constitutional Court.

Mr Lungu who says the Constitutional Court cleared him to stand must be ready for this. And, indeed, he seems to be ready, confident and assured all will go his way.

Moreover, all the judges of the Constitutional Court were appointed by him. In 2016, this Constitutional Court came under heavy public criticism over the manner it had ended the election petition against him. And even the court itself was divided over that matter. These are the same Constitutional Court judges who will have to determine Mr Lungu’s presidential candidature in next year’s elections!

Do legitimate issues of public trust, confidence in the Constitutional Court over this matter arise?

All I can say is that an independent and efficient judiciary will be crucial to ensuring that the promises, fundamental values and principles enshrined in the Constitution of Zambia are upheld.
Without an independent judiciary, the Constitution would be reduced to a statement of empty promises.

Every institution has its moments of glory and challenge. The present are moments of challenge when courts have an accentuated duty to become conscious of Constitutional provisions when those in power begin to seek unending dominion. True to their oaths of office, judges must act without fear, favour, affection or ill will, for without an independent judiciary, the Constitution is little more than a statement of empty promises. The democratic credentials of our courts depend on the premise that all individuals are free and equal.

Society will always have someone who will try to manipulate the law to the detriment of society. The solution lies in an ordered, principled and just adjudication. Our judiciary was ultimately trusted with the most important task of all i.e. ensuring that terms of the settlement, or the Constitution, were not breached.

The Constitutional Court is the final interpreter of the Constitution. Together with the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal and High Courts are tasked with the highest duty: checking the actions of both the executive and the legislature, each of whom are bound by the Constitution. Considering the enormity of this responsibility, insulating the courts ought to have been a matter of Constitutional design. No court can be expected to perform its checking functions with interference from other branches of Government.

Judicial power should never be a facilitator for executive intentions. On the contrary, it has to be an interrogator or scrutineer of executive power.

These are definitive moments when our courts need to reflect upon their own trajectory, their moral alignments and, most importantly, their duty to enhance hope. This is because our Constitution is supposed to be a document of hope.

Initially, we all hoped that Mr Lungu would do the right thing. With Mr Lungu’s insistence on contesting next year’s presidential elections, now it all rests on the hope that judges of the Constitutional Court would do the right thing.

Fred M’membe
Mwika Royal Village, Chinsali

Statement of the Socialist Party on the death of Diego Maradona

Statement of the Socialist Party on the death of Diego Maradona Featured

The Socialist Party (Zambia) joins the progressive world in mourning Diego Maradona.

Maradona, anti-imperialist, socialist and arguably the greatest football player of all time passed away yesterday at the age of 60.

Maradona was a leftist on the football fields and also in politics. As a football player he tirelessly fought against corruption in the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), which he compared to a mafia.

He struggled to unionize football players and in the late 90s, Maradona, with other prominent stars, formed the International Association of Professional Football Players to defend players’ rights.

Maradona, also known as “El 10”, openly showed his support to left-wing, socialist and progressive movements and governments in the world and specifically in Latin America. He also openly defied imperialism and colonialism and was a firm supporter of the Palestinian cause saying, “In my heart I am Palestinian. I am a defender of the Palestinian people, I respect them and sympathize with them, I support Palestine without fear.”

He proudly wore a Che Guevara tattoo on his arm and a Fidel Castro one on his leg. He was a close friend and supporter of Hugo Chavez, Evo Morales and Fidel Castro among other socialist leaders. He once said, “I believe in Hugo Chávez. I am Chavista. Everything that he and Fidel do, from my point of view, is the best.”

As a socialist and anti-imperialist Maradona remained a committed supporter of Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution and progressive social movements across Latin America, never losing hope in the poor and the oppressed to emancipate themselves.

Maradona said, “I am from the left in the sense that I am for the progress of my country, to improve the life of poor people, so that we all have peace and freedom. We cannot be bought, we are lefties on the feet, we are lefties on the hands, and we are lefties on the mind. That has to be known by the people, that we say the truth, that we want equality, and that we don’t want the Yankee flag planted on us.”

Rest in anti imperialist and socialist power, Diego Armando Maradona!

Issued by Fred M’membe, President, on behalf of the Politburo of Socialist Party (Zambia)

Mwika Royal Village, Chinsali

Statement of the Socialist Party on the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence

Statement of the Socialist Party on the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Featured

Today, Wednesday 25 November 2020 is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and marks day one of the 16 Days of Activism.

Each year, from November 25 to December 10, World Human Rights Day, the 16 Days of Activism campaign calls for action against one of the world’s most persistent violations of human rights – violence against women.

During the 16 Days of Activism, the Socialist Party unites with people around the world to raise awareness about gender-based violence, challenge discriminatory attitudes and struggle for improved laws and services to end violence against women for good.

This year the Socialist Party joins the world to campaign for improving of informal women workers – domestic workers, home-based workers, street vendors, agricultural workers, waste-pickers, and sex workers – whose lives and livelihoods have been acutely impacted by COVID-19 and the unprecedented economic crisis that has followed.

On November 25, 1960, sisters Patria, Minerva and Maria Teresa Mirabal, three political activists who actively opposed the cruelty and systematic violence of the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic, were clubbed to death and dumped at the bottom of a cliff by Trujillo’s secret police.

The Mirabal sisters became symbols of the feminist resistance, and in commemoration of their deaths November 25 was declared International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women in Latin America in 1980. This international day was formally recognize by the United Nations in 1999.

In June 1991, the Centre for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL), alongside participants of the first Women’s Global Institute on Women, Violence and Human Rights, called for a global campaign of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.

The 16 days begins with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and ends with International Human Rights Day on December 10 – highlighting that violence against women is a fundamental violation of human rights.

Violence against women continues to occur at an alarming scale in Zambia and indeed in every country in the world. Too often it is accepted as normal behavior and the global culture of discrimination against women allows violence to occur with impunity.

Violence against women is a global problem and it requires global action.

To end violence against women, we need to challenge the attitudes that perpetuate, rationalize and normalize that violence, and deny women’s right to safety. Men are overwhelmingly the perpetrators of gender-based violence. To see violence truly eliminated, the attitudes of men need to change.

Shifting these behaviors is hard and slow, but gender equality means all of us, and working with all genders is the only way to see true change.

Violence against women is not inevitable; it is preventable.

Issued by Fred M’membe on behalf of the Politburo of the Socialist Party

Mwika Royal Village, Chinsali

Caught in a web of denials and refusals

Caught in a web of denials and refusals Featured

For a long time, the rulers of our country were denying that they had over borrowed and there was not going to be a problem. They were extremely defensive and sensitive to any criticism of their indebtedness. They were totally in denial. They would even brag that they will not stop borrowing.

What are they saying today? They are blaming everything on the coronavirus and their unpatriotic critics, detractors who are trying to destroy the image of the country.

They also attempted to change the Constitution of our Republic on their own, by themselves through Bill 10. They were not ready to listen to anyone other than their own inner demons. They were not ready to build sufficient consensus around the Constitutional amendment process they were seeking. They thought they could marshal, on their own, the two-thirds parliamentary majority required to amend the Constitution. They failed. And now they are blaming others for this failure.

They seem to live in a world of denials of reality and refusals to take responsibility for their decisions and actions.

Denial is a coping mechanism that gives one time to adjust to distressing situations — but staying in denial can interfere with one’s ability to tackle challenges.

If you’re in denial, you’re trying to protect yourself by refusing to accept the truth about something that’s happening in your affairs.In some cases, initial short-term denial can be a good thing, giving you time to adjust to a painful or stressful issue. It might also be a precursor to making some sort of change in your affairs. But denial has a dark side. Basic psychology teaches us that refusing to acknowledge that something is wrong is a way of coping with emotional conflict, stress, painful thoughts, threatening information and anxiety. You can be in denial about anything that makes you feel vulnerable or threatens your sense of control.

When you’re in denial, you won’t acknowledge a difficult situation.Refusing to face facts might seem unhealthy.

Sometimes, though, a short period of denial can be helpful. Being in denial gives your mind the opportunity to unconsciously absorb shocking or distressing information at a pace that won’t send you into a psychological tailspin.

For example, after a traumatic event, you might need several days or weeks to process what’s happened and come to grips with the challenges ahead.

You initially denied the distressing problem. But as your mind absorbed the possibility, you began to approach the problem more rationally and took action by seeking help.

But what if you had continued to be in denial? What if you never sought help? If denial persists and prevents you from taking appropriate action, it’s a harmful response.

When faced with an overwhelming turn of events, it’s okay to say, ‘I just can’t think about all of this right now.’ You might need time to work through what’s happened and adapt to new circumstances. But it’s important to realize that denial should only be a temporary measure — it won’t change the reality of the situation. Honestly examine what you fear.

Until you accept responsibility for your actions or failures, it’ll be very difficult for you to develop self-respect or even have the respect of others.

It’s a simple truth that all human beings make mistakes and poor choices. The same goes for when we fail to act when we know we should. There are times when we all look the other way when we know the right thing to do is to take helpful action.

The real difference between being responsible and being irresponsible is an indication of how effectively we’re managing our affairs when the opportunity to make a good or bad choice presents itself. Accepting responsibility is one of the most important factors in defining a person’s true character. When that responsible moment comes, what you do – or don’t do – is an indication of the type of person you really are.

Failing to accept personal responsibility may work to your advantage on occasion or in the short term. For example, you might get away with blaming someone else for your misdeeds. You might not face consequences for your wrong actions at the time. However, make no mistake about this, eventually this poor choice will catch up with you and, it’ll typically cause more pain for you down the road than if you had stepped up to the situation, took responsibility for it and honestly said, ‘I made a mistake.

‘When you blame others, you give up your power to change things, correct wrongs.

As we are witnessing with the rulers of our country today, over time, failing to accept responsibility has severe consequences. First and foremost, it has a devastating effect on your own mind and heart. When you know you have failed to take responsibility for something that you should, it’ll begin to bother you, to eat at you, little by little. Pretty soon, you’ll feel very small inside.

That may sound like an exaggeration, but it’s the truth. Taking responsibility for your own actions makes life work better. Remember, self-respect is the worth or value you place on yourself. Therefore, one of the consequences of continually failing to accept personal responsibility is that you eventually guarantee that you’ll view yourself as having little to no real value.

There’s a good chance that when you avoid accepting personal responsibility, someone will know that you’ve failed in this way. In other words, some other person may know that you’re responsible for the wrongdoing or poor choice, and when they see you fail to accept responsibility, they’ll lose all respect for you. If this happens on a frequent basis, you’ll never gain the respect of others that you hope to have one day.

Sometimes we don’t always see the long-term effects of our conduct. But, make no mistake, accepting responsibility is a major factor in receiving the respect and admiration of those around you. Accepting responsibility is not only the right thing to do, but it’ll pay more long-term dividends than you can now imagine.

And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.

Clearly, the rulers of our country are caught in their own web of denials of reality and refusals to accept responsibility for their decisions and actions.

Fred M’membe

Mwika Royal Village, Chinsali

Africa twasebana!

Africa twasebana! Featured

Our President’s desire to change his official title to “President General” reminds us of the disgrace and humiliation the peoples of the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi and Uganda had to endure under the dictators with unbridled ego that once ruled them.
Jean-Bédel Bokassa turned the Central African Republic into an empire and gave himself the title of “His Imperial Majesty Bokassa the First, Apostle of Peace and Servant of Jesus Christ, Emperor and Marshal of Central Africa”.
Joseph-Désiré Mobutu changed his name to Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu Wa Za Banga and that of his country to Zaire.
In 1971, Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda made the legislature to declare him President for Life of Malawi. And his official title became “His Excellency the Life President of the Republic of Malaŵi, Ngwazi Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda.” The title Ngwazi means “chief of chiefs” – more literally, “great lion”, or, some would say, “conqueror” – in Chicheŵa.
And Ugandan dictator Idi Amin gave himself the official title of “His Excellency, President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin Dada, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Seas and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular”.
We thought this was a long but permanent goodbye to this disgrace. Today we are starting to witness a rebirth of all this painful and shameful experience in Zambia.
Our President started with giving himself the honour of being called “Dr”. And now it’s “President General”! What’s next? And where will it end?
Niccolo Machiavelli wrote, “It is not titles that honour men, but men that honour titles.” He was right.
Changing our President’s title to President General won’t increase his ability to create impact.
A lousy President won’t get better just because his title has changed to “President General”.
He won’t become better by having a bigger title.
The ability to provide efficient, effective and orderly leadership is not directly correlated to a title.
However, our President wants to let a title define his identity, self-esteem, status, and more. He wants his fair share of recognition, identity and respect.
It seems he wants to turn a title into a currency.
Instead of using the title to facilitate work he wants to turn it into a bargaining chip.
But trying to use a title in this way creates toxicity rather than clarity.
This reminds us about what George Bernard Shaw once said, “Titles distinguish the mediocre, embarrass the superior, and are disgraced by the inferior.”
But people don’t follow titles of a leader, they follow performance and character.
When titles equal to power, changing them doesn’t help you at all; power will simply shift its form.
Having a bigger title doesn’t equal to better understanding.
We shouldn’t hide behind titles – the one we have or the ones we want.

Fred M’membe

Mwika Royal Village, Chinsali

Lies, dishonesty!

Lies, dishonesty! Featured

Dr Bwalya Ng’andu is not an everyday Zambian politician. And as such we don’t expect him to behave like them – telling lies everyday.

It is a big embarrassment that Dr Ng’andu lied to the nation about his engagement with Zambia’s bondholders only for them to issue a statement the following day that there had been no direct contact between them and the Zambian government.

Good political leadership is built on fundamental principles of honesty, fairness, accountability, responsibility and transparency.There’s need to ensure total transparency, openness and honesty in every respect of political leadership.

When honesty and transparency are lacking there can be no trust. You cannot cultivate a climate of trust in the absence of honesty. Consequently fairness, accountability and responsibility cannot exist.

Is a dishonest politician trustworthy, responsible and fair? Do they consider their accountability before being dishonest?Possibly yes, but in most instances no. Accountability is overlooked and lost.

We live in a low trust society. To ensure good governance we must first address the issues around trust and honesty.

The political leadership must be seen to be trustworthy and honest.

Political dishonesty not only harms a nation’s prosperity but also shapes the moral behavior of its citizens.

A shady political leadership influences the moral behavior of its followers.

By Fred M’membe

Mwika Royal Village, Chinsali

Statement of the Socialist Party on the disturbances at The University of Zambia

Statement of the Socialist Party on the disturbances at The University of Zambia Featured

The situation at The University of Zambia is very, very unfortunate and could have been avoided.

To expect students to pay 100 per cent of their tuition fees before they can be allowed to sit for examinations is unreasonable and unacceptable under COVID-19 financial and economic difficulties the great majority of our people are enduring.

And even without COVID-19 challenges, the great majority of our people are very poor to afford fees for the education of their children. How can our people in Western, Luapula and Northern provinces where the poverty levels are 82.2 per cent, 81.1 per cent and 79.7 per cent respectively afford such high tuition fees? Rural poverty is today 76.6 per cent. How can one really reasonably expect these people to pay such fees? Education should be treated as a right, not a privilege.

Today 66 per cent of our country’s population comprises of young people below the age of 25. People in this age group are supposed to be in nursery, primary school, secondary school, college or university. What are the national budgetary implications of this? Not less 25 per cent of our national budget should be allocated and disbursed to education. Failure to that we will many of our people not attending school, college or university as is the case today. And when this happens you have all sorts of challenges we are having with young people today. Under the Education 2030 Framework, Zambia committed to allocate at least 20 per cent of its budget to the education sector. However, under this government this has consistently declined from 20.2 per cent in 2015 to 12.4 per cent in 2020 and further reduced to 11.5 per cent in 2021.

The Socialist Party in government next year will make education totally free from nursery to university and compulsory from nursery to grade 12.

This government has made our young people victims of every kind of injustice imaginable. And when they explode, they want them to explode politely! Why, they are dealing with the wrong young people at the wrong time in the wrong way.

Let’s not forget that all over the world, it is young people who are actually involving themselves in the struggle to eliminate oppression, exploitation and humiliation. They are the ones who most quickly identify with the struggle and the necessity to eliminate the unacceptable conditions that exist.

But no grievances can justify atrocious acts such as the harming or injuring of people, burning and destruction of property. No crime can be committed in the name of legitimate grievances.

We urge our students to put forward their grievances in a very firm but peaceful manner.

Issued by Fred M’membe on behalf of the Politburo of the Socialist Party Garden Compound, Lusaka.

Statement of the Socialist Party on the Zambian government’s failure to honour its debt servicing obligations

Statement of the Socialist Party on the Zambian government’s failure to honour its debt servicing obligations Featured

On September 22, this year, the Minister of Finance announced that he had made a request to bondholders to suspend debt servicing for six months because Zambia was not in a position to meet her debt servicing obligations due on October 14, 2020.

As you may be aware, 40 per cent of bondholders immediately refused to grant Zambia debt servicing suspension.

The Zambian government had hoped that when 60 per cent of bondholders met last Friday, which was the last day of the one month grace period given to pay from the initial due date, the bondholders would agree with their proposals. But they too refused.

Consequently, Zambia officially became the first country in Africa to default even if it had already defaulted on other unknown Chinese debt obligations.

As the Socialist Party, we are concerned with the lack of seriousness from the Treasury when dealing with these important issues. We have plenty human resource that we have invested in as a country and worked at the highest level at of both the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. It is an embarrassment to the nation that the Minister of Finance lied to the nation about his engagement with bondholders only for them to issue a statement the following day that there had been no direct contact between them and the Zambian government.

Why did Dr Bwalya Ng’andu lie to the nation? Is he covering up on the debt that was borrowed under the cover of darkness?

They say, ‘You can run but you can’t hide…You can fool some people all the time, but you can’t fool all people all the time.”

Reality has finally dawned on this Patriotic Front government.

What the international community is demanding is transparency on the Chinese debt obligations. The demand by the Minister of Finance through his representatives that bondholders should sign a non-disclosure agreement before he discloses the extent of Chinese debt and the conditions attached thereof should be of interest to every Zambian because this is public debt which you will all pay for.

As the Socialist Party, we wish to announce to the nation that the reason why this government has since 2016 refused to open it’s books to the IMF on the Chinese debt is because that would reveal the Patriotic Front’s massive penchant for bribes. Most of the loans have inflated figures because of amounts a few greedy individuals collected as ”facilitation” fees. The International community is well aware of the extent of corruption and are now collaborating with bondholders to expose how corrupt this government is.

Once that information on the Chinese debt is given, it will reveal how much money was shared and by who. At the moment, Ministry of Finance officials have been struggling to balance the figures before the IMF team comes in.

Dr Ng’andu must not continue protecting criminals. There is no place for them to hide anymore.

Dr Ng’andu has two options: It’s either he reveals the actual figures of the Chinese debt and Patriotic Front goes down so that we can protect our economy or he lets Patriotic Front continue hiding their nefarious acts and we all go down.

Dr Ng’andu has to make that choice because time is of essence. Thankfully, since we cannot demand accountability and transparency from the powerful politicians and their fellow gangsters outside government, a far more powerful group has come to our rescue.

Lelo balasebena ba pompwe mushibila nsala!

Issued by Fred M’membe on behalf of the Politburo of the Socialist Party Garden Compound, Lusaka

The Socialist Party unveils more parliamentary candidates

The Socialist Party unveils more parliamentary candidates Featured


THE Socialist Party has unveiled what it terms “organic leadership,” in form of five adopted parliamentary candidates.
The five are Pastor Fred Chanda for Kasama Central, John Mubita for Shangombo, Isimwa Mebeelo Siyanga for Mitete, Debby Mwangala Akabana for Lukulu and McLeod Lunkoto for Keembe.
The parliamentary candidates, who spoke in their native languages, declared themselves ready to serve their respective constituents, with unquestionable commitment.
The shadow lawmakers were unveiled by Socialist Party general secretary and first vice-president Dr Cosmas Musumali, at party president Dr Fred M’membe’s Garden Compound office in Lusaka on November 16, 2020.
Dr Musumali said without leadership, the issue of equity and peace could not be attained.
“But that leadership has to be different from what we have today. The leadership that the people of Zambia are yearning for is one that understands challenges,” he noted.
“It’s a leadership that speaks for the people, a leadership that lives with and for the people. As a party, we are making milestones each month in identifying that leadership. Today we have the pleasure to present to you five comrades representing five constituencies of our country.”
He told journalists that the five were identified by the masses themselves in the respective constituencies.
“The leadership of the party did sit down and has adopted these comrades. What type of leadership is this? This is organic leadership; these are leaders that live in those communities,” Dr Musumali said.
“These are part of those communities and the Socialist Party firmly believes that a leadership that is detached from the people can never provide, can never serve the interests of the masses.”
He asserted that the Socialist Party was always very proud to be associated with “comrades” who offer themselves to diligently and selflessly serve Zambians.
Dr Musumali indicated that next month, the party would most likely unveil parliamentary candidates from the Copperbelt, from North-Western and from parts of Central Province.
“In total, we are looking at about 30 candidates that will be due for adoption in December. The Socialist Party is setting the standard,” noted Dr Musumali.
“We are doing what other political parties are not able to do – to get deep down to where the people are and find the authentic leaders of the people and introduce this to the people of Zambia.”

In defence of academic freedom

In defence of academic freedom Featured

The threats by Patriotic Front Lusaka Province secretary Kennedy Kamba to University of Zambia James Kayula for commenting on President Edgar Lungu’s third term bid are unacceptable and must stop.

These threats violet our lecturers and students’ academic freedom.

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, academic freedom is the freedom of academics to teach and discuss; carry out research and publish the results and make them known; freely express opinions about the academic institution or system in which one works; participate in professional or representative academic bodies and not to be censored. It is grounded in democratic values that encourage scholars to be relevant to the larger society outside their classrooms. It is for this reason that the performance of scholars, for example at the University of Zambia, are evaluated against core values such as excellence, innovativeness, integrity, equity, social justice and social responsiveness. Political affiliation is definitely not one of the core values against which the credibility of law lecturers can be measured.

Academic freedom is the right of every scholar to explore, discuss and engage the general public within areas of specific and related expertise. The expertise of lawyers and law lecturers extends to all aspects of human endeavor because lawyers are called upon to adjudicate matters of birth and death; marriage and divorce; so what is special about the eligibility of a mortal president to lead others even more experienced and principled than him?

Our ruling party leaders and their supporters would do well to interrogate these wider issues that may well be beyond their learning capacity.  

We shouldn’t allow academic freedom to be increasingly threatened by a stifling culture of conformity that is restricting individual academics, the freedom of academic thought and the progress of knowledge – the very foundations upon which academia and universities are built. Scholars need academic freedom to critique existing knowledge and to pursue new truths.

Today, while fondness for the rhetoric of academic freedom remains, it is increasingly being called into question by identity politics.
We shouldn’t allow political expediency to change the purpose of the university and the nature of knowledge.

We need to confront and challenge to this culture of conformity and censorship and defend academic free speech for critique to be possible and for the intellectual project of evaluating existing knowledge and proposing new knowledge to be meaningful.

This short reflection is a challenge and a passionate call to arms for the power of academic thought today.

Fred M’membe

Garden Compound, Lusaka

Being marketed like a commodity

Being marketed like a commodity Featured

If there’s anything I really detest about our elections is how they individualize the presidency.
An individual adopted to be a presidential candidate is elevated above others and treated as a Samson, Macgyver, a know-it-all. Everything is about him or her. Elections are won or lost on his personal style, charm or oratory. The collective is almost lost.
The presidential candidate is marketed like a commodity – a perfume or a fizzy drink. I find this very dehumanising. This is not in tune with our socialist leadership style and ethics. But I have to endure it for our party to stand a chance of winning next year’s elections.
Our socialist leadership is based on a collective rather than an individual; it is characterized by collective wisdom, not individual wisdom – we are not looking for a single genius but a collective genius; it relies on collective decision making rather than individual decision making. We believe that the individual is meaningless without collective support. No leader should over-emphasize their own abilities. The leader needs to understand the relationship between themselves and the collective.
No leader should believe that they know everything or able to do everything. Nobody is perfect.
In a collective leadership, the relationship between the head and the common members is just like that between a flower and its green leaves. This is a mutually dependent relationship, whereby working together produces benefits for all.
Everyone needs the help of others. People may say the flower is attractive, but it still needs the support of its green leaves. As a saying goes in Bemba, two heads are better than one. Nobody is perfect. It would be ridiculous for somebody to say that they knew and were able to do anything like some god.
An excellent leader is able to take the wisdom of those he works with and use it to the fullest extent.

Fred M’membe

Garden Compound, Lusaka

We are not trying to copy any country

We are not trying to copy any country Featured

Our opponents are often pointing to the collapse of the Soviet Union and East European socialist countries and the challenges facing blockaded Cuba, Venezuela and North Korea to politically undermine us and discredit our socialist programme.

But no one is pointing to the successes of China, Vietnam and the Indian communist-led states of Kerala and West Bengal.

We are not in all ways trying to be like these countries or states. We are trying to build a socialist society in Zambia, and not in Cuba, Venezuela, China or Vietnam. Our history, culture, circumstances and conditions are different.

And moreover, there’s no one ideal political system in the extremely complicated world we live in today, and it is impossible to see one emerging in the light of constant change.

Political systems are divided into various types. How can we judge which is the most appropriate? This is a matter that should not rely on subjective appraisal; neither should it be addressed purely in terms of standard Western values.

It is necessary to conduct an analysis based on the background details relating to a specific case, use quantified data, and employ objective facts.

This must be accompanied by a scientific approach to development and establishing a governing philosophy characterized by harmony. In this way we will have a government that is supported by the Zambian people as a whole. How should government, Cabinet, the presidency be run politically? How should a good government, Cabinet, presidency be assured? Through what kind of processes does the government, Cabinet, presidency reach its decisions? According to what standards does it operate? What mechanisms are in place to ensure that the government, Cabinet, presidency makes the correct major decisions?

The key to dealing with Zambia’s problems is for Zambia to have a competent government, Cabinet, presidency. Zambia will record progress and enjoy stability if this competency can be assured. A leadership capable of introducing unique innovations and increasing maturity in political matters will help us produce a stable society and generate the conditions that will enable steady economic growth.

The greatest challenge we face today is lack of a scientifically based, efficient decision-making mechanism for dealing with major problems. And because of this we are unable to achieve a stable society and economic growth.

As stated in our party’s manifesto the goals of our socialist programme are to move our country out of underdevelopment and poverty, creating a more advanced, more practical democracy and cultivating better human resources. The time it will take us to achieve these goals could be relatively long or short. It is necessary for Zambia to reach these goals. Thus, it is necessary to examine the best features of various institutions and assess whether or not they will be able to move Zambia towards these goals.

Fred M’membe

Garden Compound, Lusaka

Things are not as they ought to be

Things are not as they ought to be Featured

Things are not what our leaders want us to believe they are.

It’s either they don’t want to see the truth, hear the truth and feel the truth or they just want to listen to their inner demons and totally ignore the reality before them.

Things are not what they have been made to believe they are. The situation is bad; it’s getting very desperate. As Bob Marley aptly put it in a reggae rhythm,

“Things are not the way they used to be

I won’t tell no lie

One and all got to face reality now

Though I try to find the answer

To all the questions they ask

Though I know it’s impossible

To go living through the past

Don’t tell no lie…”

You cannot defeat darkness by running from it, nor can you conquer your inner demons by drifting and hiding from reality. In order to defeat the darkness, you must bring it into the light.

We must have light. We must live in the fierce full constant glare of light, where all shadow will be defined and sharp and unique and personal: the shadow of our own singular rectitude or baseness. All human evils have to come out of obscurity and darkness, where there is nothing to dog us constantly with the shape of our own deformity.

Our souls may be consumed by shadows, but that doesn’t mean we have to behave as monsters.

No one seems to notice when you are down, unless we are bleeding.

But sometimes the worst wounds, are the ones we can’t see.

Greatness comes not when things go always good for you, but when you are really tested, when you take some knocks because only if you have been in the deepest valley can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain.

It gets dark sometimes, but the morning comes. We shouldn’t surrender to tyranny and abuse of power. We shouldn’t give up. I know it’s tough sometimes.

We shouldn’t stop with the way things are; let’s dream of things the way they ought to be.

Fred M’membe

Mwika Royal Village, Chinsali

The least inclined to lead seek leadership the most

The least inclined to lead seek leadership the most Featured

It’s very difficult to understand why a politician who has brought his nation to its knees economically, politically and socially would so strongly, or even illegally, seek to continue leading it.

How can someone who has bankrupted this country seek to continue leading it? Lead to where? To further bankruptcy, ruin?

Unfortunately, it would seem, when it comes to political leadership, it is the least inclined who seek it the most – without political power they probably feel they’re nothing.

Thus the best suited to rule are least likely to want to, and perhaps those less suited to rule will be more inclined to desire power due to their own sake, personal aggrandizement.

To understand this behavior better I turned to great philosopher Plato’s wisdom.

According to Plato only those who do not seek power are qualified to hold it. Those who seek power are not worthy of that power. These thoughts of Plato derive from The Republic in which it is argued that: True philosophers – those who are beheld the good – are the most suited to ruling well. Anyone who has seen the good – been outside the cave – would have no interest in ruling the prisoners inside the cave – who live pitiful lives.

Plato used Socrates to voice his opinion on this issue, or rather, it actually was Socrates’ opinion in The Apology. It’s in a more lucid and so perhaps easier to understand.

Socrates remarks in his speech that he was for a time compelled to enter politics to help improve the city of Athens, but realized that the vocation would corrupt him. That is, his best character traits, which he reflected were most useful to the city, would be somehow lost in the struggle for political power. Socrates says he obtained this insight through his ‘inner daimon’, and decided instead to live in austerity talking to the people of the city directly.

It’s worth noting that a theme throughout Plato’s dialogues is the stupidity of political figures. They are almost always stunted in intellect compared to Socrates, or even Sophists appearing in the dialogues, e.g. Gorgias. See how Alcibiades turns up drunkenly in the Symposium, he was a real man, a general and political powerhouse who switched sides in the Peloponnesian war. Plato is showing us that this man had a chance at improving his soul, through his dialogues with Socrates, but chose the path of unconsciousness and illusion, hence his drunken state. Socrates is the man who cannot become inebriated, an important point in contrasting him with the most important political figure of Plato’s dialogues.

There are two possibilities. The pursuit of power does something to ones soul, which is what Socrates says explicitly in The Apology and Republic. This is likely why the philosopher king is the individual who doesn’t want power, but has it thrust upon him.

Another possibility is less well equipped people are prone to power seeking. It is in essence a lower drive, which you can trace to our ape like ancestors. It represents a primitive state of consciousness, well and truly in Plato’s cave.

Plato didn’t actually say ‘Too smart to engage in politics’. He wrote that those who actually want to serve the world in the best possible way turn to other pursuits, and if I’m honest, he’s not far wrong.Plato, at least it seems to me, was on to something.

Fred M’membe

Mwika Royal Village, Chinsali

Great coincidences exist between Christianity and socialism – a reflection by Dr Fred M’membe

Great coincidences exist between Christianity and socialism – a reflection by Dr Fred M’membe Featured

There are thousands more coincidences between Christianity and socialism than between Christianity and capitalism.

Responding probably to different motivations, they both advocate attitudes and behaviours that are quite similar.

There’s great coincidence between Christianity’s objectives and the ones we socialists seek, between the Christian teachings of humility, austerity, selfishness and loving thy neighbour and what we might call the content of a revolutionary’s life and behaviour. For, what is the Socialist Party teaching its members and the Zambian people? To kill? To be selfish? To exploit others? Just the opposite. We are teaching them unwavering commitment to honest, equity, humility and solidarity.

We are telling them that our country right now may be too poor to give our people great material wealth, but it can give them a sense of equity and of human dignity.

We socialists believe that Christ was a revolutionary par excellence. His entire doctrine was devoted to the humble, the poor; his doctrine was devoted to fighting against abuse, injustice and the degradation of human beings.

There’s a lot in common between the spirit and essence of Christ’s teachings and socialism.
And the Bible has very revolutionary content. The teachings of Christ are very revolutionary and completely coincide with our aims as socialists.

That is why we believe and openly say that we socialists are not the only revolutionaries. All those who truly follow Christ’s doctrine and devote themselves to the cause of the humble, the poor; and devote themselves to fighting against injustice, abuse and the degradation of human beings and to helping them liberate themselves are all revolutionaries.

Like we socialists, the Catholic social teaching does advocate the protection of property rights, but only when strongly situated within what is called the universal destination of goods. That is, “Christian tradition has never recognised the right to private property as absolute and untouchable: ‘On the contrary, it has always understood this right within the broader context of the right common to all to use the goods of the whole of creation: the right to private property is subordinated to the right to common use, to the fact that goods are meant for everyone.”
(Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, No. 177, quoting St. John Paul II’s Laborem Exercens). And because God intends the world to provide for the needs of every person, the distribution of resources must allow every human person with what is needed for a full life. Isn’t this what we socialists are advocating for?

In his encyclical “Pacem in Terris,” St. John XXIII explained: “Man has the right to live. He has the right to bodily integrity and to the means necessary for the proper development of life, particularly food, clothing, shelter, medical care, rest, and, finally, the necessary social services. In consequence, he has the right to be looked after in the event of ill health; disability stemming from his work; widowhood; old age; enforced unemployment; or whenever through no fault of his own he is deprived of the means of livelihood” (No. 11). Isn’t this what the Socialist Party’s manifesto is advocating for?

A defense of property, absent that context, functions to absolve those who own property from responsibility to those in desperate need. But Catholic teaching treats the withholding of resources from those in need as a failure of justice, and so private property always comes with a “social mortgage.”

Pope Leo XIII explained in his encyclical “Rerum Novarum”: “[W]hen there is a question of defending the rights of individuals, the poor and badly off have a claim to especial consideration. The richer class have many ways of shielding themselves, and stand less in need of help from the State; whereas the mass of the poor have no resources of their own to fall back upon, and must chiefly depend upon the assistance of the State” (No. 37). Isn’t this what we socialists are seeking?

And what is being advocated by the Catholic social teaching is not consistent with the capitalist social order.

Even on religious liberty, the Catholic social teaching is saying that it must also respect the common good.

As capitalists, with their religious agents, seek to accord special recognition to Christianity or section of it, the “Compendium” says, “Such recognition must in no way create discrimination within the civil or social order for other religious groups” (No. 423). The church’s witness to the Gospel always requires (and Catholics must acknowledge that it often has failed in this) the defense of the well-being of persons who do not accept the Gospel, in keeping with the commands to love both neighbour and enemy. The purpose of the right to religious liberty within Catholic thought is both to make room for the church’s freedom to give witness to the Gospel and also to honour the call of God for every person to freely enter into communion with the divine life. These two purposes are not at odds.
The church’s witness to the Gospel always requires the defense of the well-being of persons who do not accept the Gospel.

The document “Dignitatis Humanae,” promulgated at the Second Vatican Council, explains it thus: “It is…completely in accord with the nature of faith that in matters religious every manner of coercion on the part of men should be excluded. In consequence, the principle of religious freedom makes no small contribution to the creation of an environment in which men can without hindrance be invited to the Christian faith, embrace it of their own free will, and profess it effectively in their whole manner of life” (No. 10).

This makes it important to remember that Catholic teaching says the right to religious liberty “is not of itself an unlimited right. The just limits of the exercise of religious freedom must be determined in each social situation with political prudence, according to the requirements of the common good, and ratified by the civil authority through legal norms consistent with the objective moral order” (No. 422).

And speaking for myself, I can say that the ethical values that are propelling my revolutionary, socialist work came from my Catholic upbringing and education, from my teachers – the Capuchin Fathers, the Irish Christian Brothers and Sacred Heart Brothers. I would even say from my Christian family, home.

I was taught very early in my life that I should not lie. I was taught what was right and wrong, things that should and should not be done. I remember being punished by my Form 1 mathematics teacher at St John’s Secondary School to write 3,000 times, “Oh what a web we weave for ourselves when we first practice to deceive.” I had not done my homework and when asked about it, I lied that I had left it in the dormitory. I was told to go and get it. And immediately after I left classroom, the teacher told the class I was not going to come with any homework. He asked for a bet on it. When I came back empty-handed, the whole class burst into laughter. I have carried these words and memories of that day with me wherever I am and in whatever I do. And I remind my classmates of this incident whenever we meet. That was my baptism out of lying.

Later on, my revolutionary and political involvement began to create in me a feeling of what was wrong, the violation of an ethical standard, an injustice, abuse or fraud. I began to have an idea of what was fair and unfair. I began to have a concept of personal dignity. I think I have always had a sense of justice – from very early on – because of what I saw and experienced.

Undoubtedly, my Catholic upbringing and education influenced me a lot. The Capuchin Fathers, the Irish Christian Brothers and Sacred Heart Brothers inculcated a very strong sense of personal dignity in me, regardless of their political ideas which quite often I didn’t agree with. They valued character, rectitude, honesty, courage and ability to make sacrifices.

The Irish Christian Brothers definitely influenced me with their strict organisation, their discipline and their values. They contributed to my development and sense of justice. Following that path, I came to view abuse, injustice as unacceptable.

If you mix ethical values with a spirit of rebellion and rejection of injustice you begin to appreciate and place a high value on a number of things that other people don’t value at all. A sense of personal dignity, honour and duty form the main foundation that enables people to acquire political consciousness and a revolutionary spirit.

Date: August 9, 2020
Mwika Royal Village, Chinsali.