Category: Opinions

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