Author: Socialist Party ZambiaThe Socialist Party is a political formation whose primary mandate is to promote and entrench socialist values in the Zambian society. Anchored on the principles of Justice, Equity and Peace (JEP), the Socialist Party shall transform the Zambian society from capitalism to socialism, building socialism in three key sectors: Education, Agriculture and Health.

Analysis of 2018 and expectations in 2019: by Socialist Party General Secretary, Dr Cosmas Musumali

Analysis of 2018 and expectations in 2019: by Socialist Party General Secretary, Dr Cosmas Musumali

Q. Comrade we have just done 2018, how do you analyze the year 2018?

A. 2018 was a very difficult year for Zambians, especially those without jobs, those that lost jobs, those that depend on their meager salaries for survival and those that are trying to earn a living through farming, students who have not been able to pay their fees, and basically all poor and marginalized Zambians.

With the downturn of the Zambian economy, a lot of things are very hard to come by for the average Zambian. And what we have also seen is that apart from the economy biting and making life very, very difficult for our people, the political climate has also worsened – there has been increased repression from the leading political party and from those in government. We have also seen high levels of intolerance when it comes to dealing with national issues, we have also witnessed state sponsored violence where crisis and the issues that should have been dealt with amicably were resolved using strong hand tactics.

And this is most likely not going to end in 2019, it is a continuum of violence that is increasingly making life very difficult in Zambia. But we have also seen the reaction of the international community, one of the sad areas was in the areas of corruption, where donors had to go to the extent of withdrawing their support because we are deemed to be a corrupt society especially the leadership and even the government itself.

We have seen our grading in terms of governance deteriorating, in terms of human rights, in terms of the livelihoods of the people and many other indicators of governance and economic wellbeing.

Economic status and projection

In short, 2018 has not been an easy year: things have been rather difficult for the average Zambian, the little bit of democratic space that was gained earlier on has been lost in that year and the hope is becoming less that 2019 is going to be any better. For 2019 we expect the continuation of the suffering that we saw in 2018. I would add actually that things are going to be worse off compared to 2018. What we expect is an economy that is literally stagnating, and as the economy is stagnating we expect also that inflationary pressures to come in, in a much bigger way, its going to be very, very difficult to do away with the inflation when it comes to food, and beyond food also some of the none food products upon which the poor people depend.

Social Services

We see a lot of difficulties in accessing social amenities, social utilities for the masses of our people, the paying of school fees is going to be a challenge, the meeting of transport needs or requirements is going to be a big challenge, food itself is going to be a big challenge for our people, hospitals and medical requirements are still going to be another hustle.

Political Resistance and Repression

So 2019 may also produce some bit of resistance from our people, as the suffering increases there is a good chance that people are going to go out on the street to vent out their anger. With that, there is also a possibility of much more repression as the government becomes insecure and unstable.

Political Players and alternatives

On the political scene we do not see much change, what we are witnessing in Zambia is a proliferation of opposition political parties that do not have a different agenda from that of government. These are capitalist political parties that are repositioning themselves; these find the leadership of the PF and government weak and they are vying for positions not necessarily that they are doing it for the betterment of Zambians but they see their chances to get into power, come 2021. That’s the dilemma that we find ourselves in, in the political sphere in Zambia. And the troubles of 2019 are going to be a huge reflection of this dilemma.

Pacifying political tensions

We expect also to see some attempts towards national dialogue taking place, as the situation becomes critical, we will most likely see certain parties such as the church coming in and trying to bring in some bit of sanity. We do appreciate those efforts, we will support those efforts, we are skeptical that the current government has the willingness, has the capacity, the commitment to changing the situation. It’s an elite, political elite that has come into power using violence and if it doesn’t use violence what else has it got to offer? It’s an elite that continues to use the buying of people, misusing government resources, it’s parasitic on the public funding and this is a culture that it cannot just easily stop. But as it tries to re-assert itself, there will be contradictions within those that are in power and there will be some form of opposition within the leading party itself or the ruling party itself but that should not be judged as a measure of increased democracy and transparency in Zambia. If anything it’s a measure of a failing elite, failing in terms of providing to the Zambians. Then it becomes insecure and starts fighting itself. Not necessarily that those that are fighting the current government have got much or better to offer, NO. Definitely not.

The alternative

For SP, for the socialist party, we feel the main fight is against the failures of capitalism, it’s a system that hasn’t delivered to our people for so many years and it won’t definitely deliver in 2019. Joblessness is going to increase, inflationary pressures are going to increase and any wealth that created in Zambia is going to be consumed or is going to accrue mostly to the already rich people. And this is not going to change, it’s going to be enhanced. The richer will get richer, the poor will remain poor under the capitalism that we experience in Zambia. And as a party we stand firm behind the suffering masses, behind the working people of this country. We will do our part to agitate, we will do our part to stand firm for the masses and against the exploitative and repressive tendencies of the current government. It’s going to be a year of struggle, but we also think that with our combined forces it is going to produce positive results. By the end of the year, that movement towards peace, towards equity, towards justice will gain in strength it will give Zambians the confidence that they can be masters of their destiny and that Zambia can be a better society. That’s how we get into 2019, it’s going to be a year of resistance, a year of the revolution.

Thank you.

“For the humblest of the Zambian people, there is no other alternative to socialism”

“For the humblest of the Zambian people, there is no other alternative to socialism”

Presidential candidate Dr. Fred M’membe on the struggle for socialism in Zambia

The Socialist Party of Zambia was launched in March 2018 amid a tense situation of repression. Eight of the invited international guests were barred from entering the country and following the event, the Cuban ambassador in Zambia, Nelson Pages Vilas, was expelled from the country. Not to mention the constant and brutal persecution of the members of the party and the repression of their activities of political education, literacy courses and other community gatherings.

Despite these constant challenges, the Socialist Party of Zambia is committed to organizing the working class and poor of the country and taking on the struggle for socialism. Zambia is a country with high levels of extreme poverty, illiteracy and has one of the lowest life expectancy rates in the world at 62.3 years. Leader of the party and presidential candidate for 2012 Dr. Fred M’membe, pointed out that for the Zambian people “there is no other alternative to socialism”.

Peoples Dispatch, along with the media team of the Socialist Party of Zambia, spoke to Dr. Fred M’membe about the struggle for socialism in Zambia, and across the African continent, as well as the attacks on the media by Edgar Lungu’s regime with the case of the brutal closure of the media organization, Post, in 2016.

Peoples Dispatch + Socialist Party of Zambia: Why was the party created and what work preceded its formation?

Fred M’membe: We have been working on this project for a very long time. The project appears to be new but we are not new and the ideas are not new. I grew up in the South African Communist Party; Cosmas Musumali grew up in the Communist Party of West Germany. We have more than 40 years of socialist experience – both in theory and practice.

PD + SPZ: Why was the party launched now?

FM: It is the right time. I don’t see any other better time. All the other options that were there had been exhausted and the only sensible thing left was to launch the party. And also, both the subjective and objective factors were favourable for the launch of the party.

PD + SPZ: What ideological agenda do you have for the party?

FM: Firstly, the party, as its name goes, is a socialist party; it’s a communist party with a socialist programme and that socialist programme entails fighting on the front for justice, fighting on the front for equity, fighting on the front for peace. Justice is in terms of local issues and on the global level. Issues of equity locally are in terms of access to education, access to health services, access to nutrition, access to decent housing and all the services required in an organized society. We have issues of peace locally and also at the global level. Capitalism cannot do without violence; capitalism cannot do without wars, without conflict. As long as capitalism exists, violence, wars and conflict will be there and we have a duty to struggle for a more peaceful, more just and more humane world.

PD + SPZ: What are the specific challenges within the Zambian context?

FM: The bourgeois democratic space is narrowing by the day. This is a regime that doesn’t respect its own laws, its own Constitution – they violate it every day. So, the operating space is very narrow. Even where your actions are legal, they are made to be illegal. The police is being used to brutalize the opposition.

PD + SPZ: How are you mobilising the party in the midst of the brutality?

FM: The party is operating in terms of mobilization and educating its cadres – it is more or less operating underground. They do not know what the party is doing but when they do come to know, they arrive to disrupt those activities. They did this some time back in April. I was holding a training session in one of the townships in Lusaka and they sent a truckload of police officers to come and disrupt the training programme. People had to scatter and some were arrested and spent nights in police cells. At the end of the day, they were released without any charge because they had not committed any offence.

PD + SPZ: What was the police’s justification for the attack?

FM: They never told us. This is the armed police coming up to beat people – they were just short of firing shots.

PD + SPZ: What’s the response of the Zambian society to the party?

FM: It’s extremely good. The working class have no problems with socialism; it’s instant coffee for the working class. You are talking about their daily lives. You are not talking about that which is utopian to them or something that is very far away from them. Socialism answers to all their daily problems – explains their daily issues, struggles and provides solutions to them. It gives them hope.

PD + SPZ: What are the kind of expectations? How are you going to be able to carry out campaigns with the police brutality and repression?

FM: We also don’t know comrade, but we will do it. The first task we have is to establish the structures of the party. We are a new party and there is no need to pretend otherwise. We are a new party without structures on the ground. So, our first task is to create those structures and we are moving very quickly. We are spending every day in the townships training people for those structures. And we are doing quite well. The job is tedious but we have to do it the right way, without pause and improvisation.

PD + SPZ: How do you think the State will accept your party?

FM: They can’t accept it. The first time it was announced, they acted – the first casualty was the Cuban ambassador in Lusaka who came to attend the launch of our party where those decisions were announced. They expelled him from the country for simply attending that meeting and offering a word or two of solidarity. He is still expelled!

PD + SPZ: What is giving you hope in the midst of all these challenges?

FM: Our program is the program of the people, by the people for the people. We are dealing with humblest of the Zambian people and for them, there is no other alternative to socialism. There is no other alternative to the Socialist Party right now if they harbor any hope of survival or progress in their lives.

PD + SPZ: How important is international solidarity to the Socialist Party?

FM: International solidarity is not only for the Socialist Party, it’s for everyone. Everyone of us needs international solidarity. Even the socialist parties in government need our solidarity. We all need each other. These are not isolated struggles or projects – they are connected struggles, projects – success in one means success in the other; defeat in one is a defeat for all. The struggles going on in Venezuela are our struggles; they are not for Venezuelans alone, they are all our struggles.

The attack on Cuba, the embargo against Cuba is an embargo against all of us. The easing of the burden on Cuba removes the burden on all of us. The challenges the Venezuelan people are facing today are all our challenges. Without those challenges, the work becomes much easier for us. So, we don’t look at those challenges in Venezuela, in Cuba or elsewhere as not being ours. The struggles in Brazil are all our struggles! The struggles in the USA today are all our struggles. The struggles of the working class in USA are our struggles. And we have to join hands with all those struggling for a better world. Sometimes, even if they are not socialists, we have to join hands with them. A better world is not only for socialists, it’s for all humanity in all its diversities and complexities.

PD + SPZ: Let’s go back a little in time. Could you talk a bit about The Post in Zambia?

FM: The Post was started in 1991, not necessarily as a socialist platform but as a progressive publication to help broaden the bourgeois democratic space, which was needed for us because at that time, we were just coming out of being a one party state. It meant that even if you had a socialist project, you could not implement it.

With the broadening of the bourgeois democratic space, we hoped we could be able to set up our own socialist organizations. We ran The Post for two-and-a-half decades and what we realised in the end was that the bourgeois democratic space we started to broaden was narrowing and political organizations were needed to stop that trend and hence, the formation of the Socialist Party and other organisations we have formed.

PD + SPZ: And what about the closure of The Post?

FM: The regime was vicious with The Post because the newspaper took a more progressive stance on many issues: on corruption, on misgovernance, on infringement of civil liberties and on the plight of the working class. So the regime made up its mind that The Post had to be closed, come what may. And we had been receiving information to that effect for over a year. When it happened, we were not surprised. What shocked us was the brutality with which they did it, the brazenness with which they did it, disobeying court orders to keep the publication open – they just ignored all the court orders we received.

We did not have state power, so we could not stop them. They controlled state power. We have moved on. They are remaining behind with blood in their hands and also guarding the grave of The Post that is haunting them. They are so scared of the resurrection of The Post in terms of the issues that The Post stood for.

Yes, they have buried The Post but the issues have resurrected in a new way and in a new time.

PD + SPZ: And you, yourself were victim of that repression?

FM: Yes, I led The Post and it could not be attacked without me being attacked. That’s part of the struggle. In any struggle that we engage in, if it is called a struggle, they will be such sacrifices, they will be such pains to endure.

PD + SPZ: What are your hopes and expectations for the Pan-African movement, in the context of the Third Pan-African today conference, and the struggle for socialism across world?

FM: The most important thing Nkrumah himself was seeking under the Pan-African movement was unity – unity of all the progressive forces, whatever their inclinations. If you look at this conference, it is not only a conference of people who are committed to socialism. It’s for all peoples who are struggling for improving the conditions of the working class in various forms. We need that unity; we need unity of all those who are advancing the interests of the working class in one way or the other. We also need unity of all those struggling for socialism and that’s why the Venezuelans are here, the Cubans are here and all who support those struggles. The Brazilians are here – these are joint struggles.

Like we said at Founder’s Day, celebrating Nkrumah’s birthday in Winneba, Ghana, the new wave is here with us, the progressive socialist wave is with us. We have had almost 4- 5 decades of reactionary politics on the African continent. To mention socialism was a difficult thing.

Today, socialism is increasingly becoming fashionable and there is no fear or shame in mentioning the word socialism. We are socialists, we are communists without hesitation. And we are proud to be so and our people receive us as such. We are not trying to lie to our people that we have another program when we have a socialist program. We are telling them we are socialists and our people are receiving us as such and want to be socialists. And we are making them socialists because by class, they are socialists – each class has its own ideology. Slavery was the ideology of the slave owners, it had no benefits for the slaves. Feudalism was the ideology of the feudal lords – it was not the ideology of the peasants, it benefited the peasants in no way.

Capitalism is the ideology of the capitalists and classes that serve their interests, which are the petty bourgeoisie and comprador bourgeoisie – it is not an ideology of the working class. Socialism is the ideology of the working class and its not at the service of capitalists and their agents and whoever embraces capitalism.

Dr M’membe discusses an alternative, ideal society

Dr M’membe discusses an alternative, ideal society

Socialist Party 2021 presidential candidate Dr Fred M’membe recently spoke to Prime TV about the growing inequalities, failing agricultural policies, family values corruption, endemic poverty, job creation, societal classes and governance systems in Zambia with a global perspective.

Dr. M’membe also projects the future for Zambia with ideological shift to socialism if the many challenges faced by humanity can be dealt with effectively.

Q. What is your comment over Zambia’s TAX regime?

A. Look what matters is not how much taxes people pay or who pays the taxes or what tax regime you have. What matters is what you do with the tax collected. If you are collecting more taxes from people and giving it back to those who need it. There’s no problem with that.

The Scandinavian countries highly tax their citizens. There are high paying tax countries there. But the money is spent on its people. They provide free education, they provide free medical services, and other social services required in an organized society.

If they were collecting more taxes from the Zambian people and spending that on free education of all our people, on free health services of our people, improving the water supply of our people, improving sanitation to our people, and our people I mean the poor people who live in KWA, in the compounds. You can’t have a situation where in the heart of Lusaka today, the capital city of Zambia, people are still drawing water from wells. The people are drawing water from wells in Garden compound, people are drawing water from wells in Chipata compound, in Marapodi, in Chazanga, in Kabanana, and so on and so forth. The capital city of Zambia. After 54 years of independence. And they pay taxes.

And more taxes are actually collected from these compounds where people have no sanitation, have no access to clean water, have no proper shelter, and have no proper roads and everything. So it’s not how much taxes are collected or what tax regime is there, it’s how the taxes are used. Taxes in Zambia are not used for the benefit of those from whom they are collected, especially the poor.

Q. Are TAXES collected in Zambia used prudently?

A. it’s not a regime that is there for the poor. We have a capitalist system in Zambia. The ruling class is not working class. The ruling class is the petty bourgeoisie and comprador bourgeoisie together with the capitalist interest they serve. The taxes that are collected are spent in Kabulonga, they are spent in Sunningdale, in woodlands, in Rhodespark, in Longacres, in Olympia, in Roma, in Kalundu and so forth. Look at the roads that are there. Do they have problems of water in these places? They are drinking clean water. Do they have problems with sanitation in these places? NO. The roads are tarred; almost all the roads in these suburbs are tarred. They are not subjected to the dust that is in the compounds, where no roads are being repaired. They are not drawing water from wells. They are not enduring poverty levels as high as we are seeing in the compounds. They are not overcrowded. They sleep well. And people from ‘KWA’ are the ones who go to ‘KU’ and work for them. They make their beds, they clean their bedrooms, and they look after their children. They cook for them, they wash for them. Do you see people from ‘KU’ going to work in ‘KWA’? And do those things for the people in ‘KWA’? The capitalist system is inherently corrupt. You will not be able to deal fully with the issue of corruption under the current capitalist system, it’s inherently corrupt. Is it today that we have started talking about corruption here in Zambia? The last 27 years we have been talking about corruption in Zambia. Is it reducing or it’s increasing? It’s increasing all the time. Until you change the capitalist system you will not be able to deal with the issue of corruption comrade. It’s not enough to start pointing a figure at this one, a finger at that one. You are just going to be arresting people every day, because the system encourages them to steal. It is the system that is anchored on greed. Capitalism is anchored on greed. It’s anchored on individualism. All what you think about is yourself ,me ,me ,me ,I ,I, I ,you don’t think about the collective. Capitalism doesn’t encourage you to think about collectivism. It encourages you to think about individualism, about yourself. You don’t care about what goes to other people. And it’s not only money they are stealing. They are taking land to themselves. They are de-gazetting government forests and sharing the land. Look at who has land in state lodge there. They are sharing 5000,10000,15000,20000 hectares muntu umodzi. And look at their fellow citizens where they are crowded in the compounds. Have you heard anybody from Garden compound, from Chawama who has gotten a plot in state lodge? Have you ever heard? You will never hear anybody from these compounds getting a plot in state lodge. They don’t want them there. They don’t want to live with them. They don’t want to live with poor people. They don’t want a neighbor with a pit latrine and who’s drawing water from the well. They will bring down the value of their properties. They don’t want them in Ibex hill, they don’t want them in Leopards hill, they don’t want them in Kabulonga and so on. They have confined them to the compounds, to ‘KWA’.

Q. What is your comment on poverty levels in Zambia?

A. Look, they are frightening, there are 76.6% poverty levels in the rural areas. Our people who live in rural areas are enduring poverty levels of 76.6%. The poorest province in Zambia today is enduring poverty levels of 82.2%,that’s Western Province. The second poorest province in Zambia today is enduring poverty levels of 81.1%, that’s Luapula Province. The third poorest province, Northern Province has poverty levels of 79.7%. The fourth poorest province, which is Eastern Province is enduring poverty levels of 70%. Muchinga province has poverty levels of 69.3%. North Western province has poverty levels of 66.4%. You can’t have a country run on such levels of poverty. And the issue is why should these provinces endure such poverty levels, such high poverty levels? I have consistently asked why should Eastern Province have poverty levels of 70%? With all the work that is being done in Eastern Province, our people in Eastern Province are not sleeping. They have no Saturday they have no Sunday – they work every day. Why should they endure poverty levels of 70%? What does it mean to have poverty level of 70%? It means out of every 10 people you meet in Eastern Province 7 are living below the poverty line. Why should such high poverty levels exist in Eastern province? The people of Eastern Province are busy farming every day, they are growing cotton, they are growing groundnuts, they are growing sunflower, tobacco, maize, beans, rice, they are keeping cattle in some places, they are keeping goats in some places, they are keeping pigs. Why should they have poverty levels of 70%? Why? To understand that lets just look at one crop, cotton. How it’s grown in Eastern Province. The ginnery companies which are international companies from Lusaka go to Eastern Province with fertilizer, seed and pesticide. They give that to the farmers in Eastern Province, not for free. They give it to them at the highest possible price. They record them in the registers. And they don’t distribute it in their villages, they give it to them at distribution centers. They have to find transport, to take that fertilizer, to take that seed, to take those pesticides to their villages. They have to hire some canters, ox pulled carts, bicycles and so forth. And when they get it there, the land on which they plant that cotton doesn’t belong to the ginnery company, it’s their own land. They plough it with their own hands, they plant the seed with their own hands, they apply the fertilizers with their own hands, they do the weeding and so forth with their own hands. Not with the hands of the trans-national corporations, the ginnery companies. When it’s time to harvest, comrade have you ever harvested cotton? Cotton is not an easy thing to harvest, you have to pick a ball by ball. One ball at a time. You start early in the morning when it’s cold and the cold hits you. Then the winds come, you are carrying a huge bag on your back where you are putting every ball of cotton. You have to start balancing with the wind. After the wind, comes the heat, the sun starts to hit you. By the time you finish harvesting the field you are worn out. But the job does not end there. You have to start removing the seed from the cotton. Then you put it in the bags and transport it to the centers. The ginnery companies don’t pick it from your village. Then when you have pushed that cotton to the centers, then the ginnery companies come from Lusaka and get the cotton. They buy the cotton at a price determined by themselves. No negotiations with the peasant farmer. And usually it’s the lowest possible price. But before they pay you your money, they take out the money for the inputs. The peasant farmer remains with a small margin like that. Can he move out of poverty? NO. Can she move out of poverty? NO. That is what is impoverishing our people in Eastern Province – the private companies that are buying their crops. What we are saying about cotton, you can say the same thing about sunflower, you can say the same thing about groundnuts, you can say the same thing about tobacco. Maize is a big national scandal, we can’t even discuss it here. It’s a subject on it’s own.

And what we are saying about Eastern Province, we can say the same thing about Lusaka Province, Central Province, parts of Southern Province, parts of Northern Province, parts of Muchinga Province, parts of the Copperbelt, parts of North-Western and parts of Western Province where such crops are grown. Why should Western Province endure poverty levels of 82.2%? Why should Western Province endure such poverty levels? What does Western Province produce of value? Western Province produces cattle, beef. In 1964 at independence, Western Province was richer than Botswana. It had more cattle than Botswana. At that time Botswana did not have the minerals it has today. Those started happening in the mid 70s. Botswana was dependent on cattle – on exporting beef. But Western Province had more beef than Botswana. Today Western Province is enduring poverty levels of 82.2%. Why? In the mid 1990s Zambeef went to Mongu and bought an abattoir that was built by the Cold Storage Board of Zambia and completed in 1972 with tax-payers money. That abattoir was the only abattoir in the province, so it had a monopoly. Zambeef used that monopoly to buy cattle from the peasant farmers in Western Province at very low prices. They were buying those cattle at a very fast rate. Those days when you went to Mongu by road you would be meeting Zambeef trucks, refrigerated trucks, big trucks carrying beef coming to Lusaka, others going to Mongu to pick up beef. They were exporting that beef to west Africa and other places. Zambeef became very rich, it’s one of the richest companies in Zambia today. If beef was profitable, Zambeef would not be making money alone. The peasant farmers in Western Province also would have been rich. Zambeef never helped the peasant farmers in Western Province to restock their animals, it never helped them to improve their breeds, it wasn’t even helping them to fight the diseases. Today, there is no cattle worth talking about in Western Province, Zambeef has finished the animals and has become very rich opening other business lines here and there. The wealth that Zambeef has got it from Western Province. And what we are saying about Western Province, you can say the same thing about Southern Province, Central Province, Eastern Province and other provinces where they keep cattle. So, Zambeef has impoverished Western Province. Private capital has impoverished Western Province. So we socialists say peasant agriculture must be no go area for private capital. Because it’s ripping our people and pushing them more and more into poverty.

Q. What should be done to improve people’s lives?

A. The people should govern – the working class should take over the governance of their country because there is no class that governs in the interest of another class. The capitalist class, and the petty bourgeois, and comprador bourgeois elements that are running our country today they are ruling in their own interest. The working class has to take over power through its own institutions or organizations. There is no class that rules in the interest of another class. And each class has it’s own ideology. Slave owners had slavery as their ideology. And they had their own political organizations to pursue. And they did not govern in the interest of the slaves, they governed in the interest of the slave owners. The feudal society also had feudalism as its ideology. Feudalism was not for the benefit of the working class or the peasants. It was for the benefit of the feudal lords. And they enriched themselves at the expense of the peasants. And they had their own political organizations to pursue that. Capitalists also have capitalism as their ideology. The capitalist ideology is not for the benefit of the working class, it’s for the benefit of the capitalists and the petty bourgeoisie and the comprador bourgeoisie that are at their service. The working class also has its own ideology, socialism. And the working class has to create its own organizations and pursue power for itself, by itself for its own benefit. Without that the working class will continue to wallow in poverty. Those ruling the country today, the petty bourgeoisie and the comprador bourgeoisie who are working on behalf of the capitalist are not there to serve the interest of the working class. And actually these political parties of the petty bourgeoisie have not failed, they have delivered on their agenda, for their class members. Look at the lives of their class members. Do they have problems with water? Do they have problems with food? Do they have problems with education for their children? Do they have problems with health services? Do they have problems with shelter? Not even roads in the suburbs where they live. They have got everything they need. Do they have problems with jobs? NO, they have no problems with jobs comrade, they have got jobs where they are. The ones who have failed, it’s the working class because they thought these parties are theirs, they are not theirs. And they are not pursuing their agenda; they are pursuing the agenda of their own class. When the working class takes over, and pursues its own agenda, its living conditions will improve.

Q. Are the current crop of leaders working for the people as it should be?

A. They have created conditions for their own benefit. And sometimes they think their benefits are the benefits of everybody, no. they are living well; they have created conditions to enrich themselves. And all of them are living well. They don’t have the problems I was talking about. They have money in their pockets. They have succeeded in putting money in their pockets. But not in the pockets of the working class. The working class has no money in his pocket. The working class will not have the jobs that they are cheating them. The capitalist system is unable to create the jobs that they are talking about globally, its not just in Zambia. Capitalism is not creating jobs anywhere. Look, the current state of capitalism which we are in, digital capitalism, its main purpose was to create technologies that reduce the cost of labor. How do you reduce the cost of labor? You reduce the cost of labor by employing fewer people, reducing the rate of pay, or both. And they have succeeded in creating these technologies. You go to the supermarkets today, the shops; they are employing fewer and fewer people. Today we are having even in the world shops that have got no people working there, no tills to pay to. The trolley you are using is digitalized you just go and swipe, the shop is empty no employees, where are you going to create employment? In mercantile capitalism? We have seen how many jobs are there in Shoprite. How many jobs are there in Game stores? How many jobs are there in Pick n Pay? Very few. You go to industrial capitalism; look at the mines, look at construction industry, look at commercial agriculture. One excavator has wiped out the jobs of 4000 – 5000 workers. No matter how many foreign investors you bring in the mining sector today you will not have the large armies of mine workers you used to have. They will be no jobs, meaningful jobs being created. Commercial agriculture, those days when you have a big farm near your area, all the people will be working there. There would be a huge compound for workers for the farm. Today one big farm has 5,10 , 15 workers kwamana. You go to the banks today, you just get at the door, those days you would find a security guard opening the door for you, creating jobs for security guards. Today the door is digitalized, there is a camera looking at you. Those jobs at the doors of banks, you will never see them again, they have gone away forever and ever. You get into the banking hall. Those days there would be a chain of tellers, wall to wall there is a till and there is a teller, today there is nothing. You go into the banking hall, there is nobody, the banking hall empty. You go outside you find an ATM machine. That ATM machine has wiped out the jobs inside the banking hall. And human beings can’t compete with the ATM. The ATM doesn’t need maternity leave, sibbaala. The ATM doesn’t go to church on Sunday, it doesn’t worship any God. The ATM doesn’t go on study leave; it has no qualifications to improve. The ATM doesn’t attend funerals; it has no relatives or friends who die and so on and so forth. But the story does not end there. The ATM has not only taken the jobs inside the bank but it is also making you work for mahala. When you go and stand at the ATM and say ATM give me K200, izachoka K200 mu machine? No. You have to start acting as the machine operator for mahala, the bank has not employed you, there is no contract between you and the bank, the bank does not pay you. But you are working for this bank for mahala. On top of that the bank charges you for working for it for mahala. When you look at all this and you ask yourself where are the jobs going to come from? We are still producing children, we still have young people who are finishing Grade 12, we have young people who are coming out of college, coming out of university, where are they going to work? Where are the jobs going to come from? The problem is not the technology comrades. We need this technology, we need the excavator, we need the ATM and all that other technology, the problem is the capitalist system that is incapable of passing the benefits of technology to the working class. And that ends up in retrenchments. And making those who remain in jobs working longer than 8 hours per day. That can be avoided. When technology improves and the production time is less, you don’t need to retrench workers. You reduce the number of hours the workers work. If with technology you just need 3 hours to produce certain goods, certain volume of goods which you needed to produce in 8 hours, reduce the working hours to 3 hours. And the worker can go home and have 5 hours to spend with his children or her children, go to study, improve their education, go to church and worship, sing in the choir, go and do sporting activities to keep fit or if they are young they can go to the Olympics and compete. Or use that time to visit your relatives. We have no time to visit our relatives, we don’t even know our relatives now, our children are not knowing our relatives because we don’t have time. The workers are working all the time. And it’s not good not to know your relatives comrades. You end up producing children with your relatives. Your second cousins, third cousins, fourth cousins, fifth cousins and genetic make up does not agree with that. When you produce children with people you are connected to genetically, those children have got problems, they have got deformities, they have got all sorts of deficiencies. So even for biological factors know your children, know your relatives. Capitalism will not create jobs. You see these days on television, 1000 jobs are created by the USA economy, Mr Donald Trump is tweeting the whole day celebrating. That’s the biggest economy in the world with a GDP of 20 trillion dollars , your GDP in Zambia is 25 billion dollars. And you think you can create 1 million jobs. You are joking. It’s either those who are saying they can create 1 million jobs they are ignorant, they are stupid or both. It’s not possible.

Q. What system of Governance should be used in improving people’s lives?

A. We have no sensible alternative to socialism, we don’t have a sensible alternative. Capitalism has failed to solve humanities problems. Capitalism is facing challenges now, it cannot deal with the issues of unemployment. It cannot deal with the issues of growing inequality in the world. Every year in winter they go to DAVOS for the World Economic Forum. To discuss what? To discuss growing inequality in the world and within the capitalist nations themselves. To discuss growing unemployment in the world and within the capitalist nations themselves. Is it because they don’t have good economists to find solutions? No, they have. The problem is they are trying to square the circle. These problems cannot be solved with capitalism being left intact. To address these problems capitalism has to go. Are they ready to have capitalism go? No! They are not ready to destroy the capitalist system, and as a result of that these problems will continue to persist because they are inherent in the capitalist production system. Production for profit, and not production for the satisfaction of human needs. It’s like trying to find a cure for HIV. It’s very easy comrades for scientists to find a drug that can kill the HIV virus, but the problem is to find a drug that does not kill the body as well. That only kills the virus but doesn’t kill the body. Most of the drugs will kill the virus and also kill the body. Do you administer such a drug, no. This is the problem capitalism has. The solution that it’s economics are coming up with to solve the problems of the growing inequality in the world and growing unemployment in the world cannot cure those problems without killing capitalism. And because they cannot cure those problems without killing capitalism they are not implementing them. They are coming with all sorts of mitigations but without solving the problem. The same way that we have some drugs for HIV that are not killing the virus but they are just mitigating.

Thank you.

Take Your Hands Off Prime TV, Socialist Party tells Lungu

Take Your Hands Off Prime TV, Socialist Party tells Lungu

SOLIDARITY STATEMENT

The Socialist Party would like to condemn in the strongest terms, the PF and President Edgar Lungu’s vicious and insatiable attacks on independent media workers countrywide. It is a pity that after maliciously forcing thousands of Post Newspaper workers onto the streets, on account of a disputed tax bill, Mr Lungu and his cohorts are now directing their bad energy towards the 40 media workers at the privately-owned Prime TV. The purging of independent-minded media workers did not, therefore, end with the ‘closure’ of The Post. If there is anyone who is still under the illusion that this is just an irrational move targeting a few ‘bad eggs’ within the media fraternity, they have to think again. These attacks on media workers, who also have to operate within a very narrow press freedom space, confirms what we already know that the PF under Mr Lungu, is a troubled political entity which does not know how it can effectively sweep all its criminal activities committed against the Zambians,under the carpet.The Socialist Party’s revolutionary working class cadres countrywide fully understand that these attacks on media workers by Mr Lungu and his friends, are systematic and methodical and they are at the most, ill-intentioned. Two Mongu-based media workers – Derrick Chityamba and Dennis Muyunda – received threats from State security operatives after they aired an interview of the Socialist Party General Secretary, Cde Cosmas Musumali, on two local radio stations. Furthermore, a Livingstone-based Mast reporter, Edwin Mbulo, received threatening phone calls from a PF provincial leader for merely reporting about events surrounding President Lungu’s recent visit to the tourist capital.On Tuesday, when UPND leader, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, was appearing for questioning at Copperbelt Police Division headquarters in Ndola, police officers violently arrested Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) journalist, Frank Ching’ambu, for purportedly confronting highly-armed police officers and failing to produce a press pass. On the same day, officers from the Zambia Police served search warrants on Prime TV at their offices in Lusaka. The search, according to news reports, has to do with certain news footage.As the Socialist Party, we view this as nothing but intimidation on the working class by a leadership which has embarked on a cover up scheme to hide their criminal acts against the Zambian working class majority. We are directing the PF to immediately take their hands off Prime TV and any other independent media organisation within the borders of Zambia. The attack on Prime TV, using the provisions of the law, shall be viewed as an act of injustice against one section of the working class, and for the Socialist Party, Injustice Anywhere Is a Threat to Justice Everywhere! Leave Prime TV to do their work.

Issued by Dr Cosmas Musumali, Socialist Party General Secretary/on behalf of the Politburo