Socialist Party 2021 presidential candidate Dr Fred M’membe recently spoke to Pan African television anchor Sadia Seiduin an interview over a range of issues. Read the full interview below:
Q- You are presidential candidate for the Socialist Party… do you think Zambians are ready for a Socialist government?
FM- Every country where there is a working class is ready for a socialist government. The challenges that the working class are facing today all over the world today, the only answer lies in socialism – capitalism cannot answer those questions, cannot resolve those problems.
Q- So you feel that people are ready to employ socialism?
FM – The working class is ready but it’s the capitalist class that cannot be ready to employ socialism, together with petty bourgeois and comprado bourgeois that work for capitalist class.
Q – Would you say that when Zambia becomes a socialist country it won’t be stressed coming from the western countries and these capitalist countries – would you say that Zambia will be able to stand strong and firm to the ground?
FM – It will depend on how we organize ourselves – what is needed is building a working class organization, a strong working class movement, entrenching the revolution in the working class, and masses of our people to support it. And also working out a strong internationalist position, we need to mobilize the world, the whole world is running for a socialist revolution, or to support a socialist revolution, in several parts of the world…. but of course, we don’t expect the defeated capitalist to take it like that. Capitalism, when its hit hard it fights like a wounded buffalo and we are seeing that in Venezuela, we have seen that over the last 60 years in Cuba – we will not be an exception.
Q- Since the inauguration of your party you saw some (international guests who were coming for the launch expelled from the country) ….Do you think that Socialist Party is a threat to them?
FM – If we were not a threat they would not have done those things, they did what they did because they fee we are a threat, and indeed we are a threat because we are not just talking in the media, and so forth. We are organizing the working class from where the working class is located, within the poor neighborhoods, we are working from there, we are situated where the working class is and they know it, and they don’t have the means of stopping that other than humiliating our guests who came here to pay solidarity to our cause, which is also their cause.
They sent away Ghanaians, they sent way people from Burkina Faso, Cape Verde and others. They know those comrades came to pay solidarity and they don’t want that solidarity, but they cant stop it.
Q- It feels that you are a threat to them. So, what measures are you putting in place to make sure that they don’t get all your rights?
FM – The enemy creates or never gives freedom to an opponent, we have to win that freedom for ourselves, we to win the space under which we operate inch by inch, we have to liberate certain areas of our country where we can operate freely. Liberate them in terms of mobilizing our supporters. The more of our people support us, the more we become stronger, the more we can crush this.
Q- what measures are you putting in place to ensure that this thing does not repeat itself in subsequent meetings? (arbitrary abuse and harassment of the opposition witnessed a few days earlier when comrades were arrested during a house meeting).
FM – I don’t think they will stop doing that, the only thing that will stop them is the defense of our people for what they are doing. If (we get)into certain areas and our people support us in those areas, they will not be able to come and stop us from holding meetings in those areas or the people will rise against them.
Q – Some people are saying the socialist party is anti religious. Is that the case?
FM – We (Socialist Party) can’t be anti religious, we respect faith, we respect convictions, we respect all the religions, we respect our people’s convictions. Although we are not a religious organization, we are a political organization but a political organization comprising of people coming from various religions and we respect that. Our party spokesperson (Fr Richard Luonde) is an Anglican priest. Nobody in this party is discriminated on the basis of their region or is hindered from professing the region.
We are one party that can say we have Muslims in our formations, we have Christians and we can even say we have some Hindis in some way … we are not anti religion. If you are going to be anti-religion, you are going to be anti-the working class because they are religious. Can we turn against the working class elements because they are religious?. Whats the purpose of anti-religion? Christ was a revolutionary per-excellence, his whole doctrine was devoted to the downtrodden, it was devoted to the poor. How can you oppose that and still remain a revolutionary? Who can question the efforts, the sacrifices of the early Christians? Who was Christ? Wasn’t Christ a working class element, who was Jesus’ father? Joseph, isn’t it, wasn’t Joseph a carpenter, isn’t a carpenter a working class element, so how do you turn against Jesus. How do you turn against Christianity whose founder, Christ was a working class?. How do you oppose what Christ speak for? Christ speak for honesty, Christ speak for equity, Christ speak for humility and Christ speak for solidarity. How do you remain a socialist if you turn against Christ and his doctrine?