Category: Opinions

Condolences from the Socialist Party on the passing on of Comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe

Condolences from the Socialist Party on the passing on of Comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe

We woke up this morning to the sad news of Comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe’s death.
Although it is said that death is the necessary end of life, we don’t believe that there’s anyone who is too old to live and must die. And at 95 Comrade Bob was not too old to die.
We send our condolences first to his widow, his family circle, all who knew and loved and respected Comrade Bob and of course to all his comrades who are now mourning the passing of this remarkable man.
At times like this words seem inadequate to convey the sense of loss.
Africa and the world has lost a strong and irreplaceable anti imperialist voice.
Comrade Bob made many very serious mistakes and sometimes engaged in political practices that were difficult to defend and justify for a revolutionary. But we should be able, as revolutionaries, to distinguish between the actions of the enemy and the mistakes or weaknesses of a comrade, friend.
Comrade Bob was not only the father of the liberation struggle in Zimbabwe; he was the flagship of the anti imperialist struggle in Africa and in the world.
He will remain in history as a political leader and a man who devoted his life to the cause of national liberation, independence and the anti imperialist struggle.
We have lost anti imperialist voice. May his spirit live on in the struggles of the world’s anti imperialist forces and his heart rest easy in his beloved Zimbabwe.

Issued by Fred M’membe on behalf of the Politburo of the Socialist Party.

September 6, 2019
Garden Compound, Lusaka.

Denounce SA xenophobic attacks without preaching vengeance, says Socialist Party

Denounce SA xenophobic attacks without preaching vengeance, says Socialist Party

Press briefing of the Socialist Party on the xenophobia in South Africa and attacks on assets and businesses belonging to South African companies

By Fred M’membe on behalf of the Politburo of Socialist Party

Garden Compound, Lusaka

The barbarism going on in South Africa must be condemned in the strongest terms and those responsible brought to book immediately. But it cannot be answered with barbarism, with criminal acts of destroying assets, businesses belonging to South African companies.

We all have every right to be angered by the xenophobic attacks on fellow Africans being carried out by ignorant and criminal elements in that country.

But the distressing xenophobic attacks we are seeing in South Africa should not turn us into animals.

We therefore urge all our leaders, political or otherwise, to avoid inflammatory statements that can easily encourage weak souls to resort to criminal acts against South Africans, their assets and businesses in this country.

The challenges of unemployment, poverty, hunger, ignorance and disease facing our people on this continent cannot be solved through violence, counter violence or vengeance. There’s no sense to revenge. On whom are you taking revenge? History? The apartheid society that engendered these monsters? What are you avenging?

It is possible to denounce xenophobia without preaching hatred, vengeance.

We who are revolutionaries, socialists, Christians don’t preach hatred, vengeance.

What we preach is the repudiation, rejection, and hatred of xenophobia and the system that breeds it, that is neoliberal capitalism.

We cannot be preaching hatred among human beings, because in the final analysis human beings are victims of the system.

Anyone who engages in criminal acts in the name of avenging the xenophobic attacks going on in South Africa should be arrested and prosecuted as an outright criminal.

Situations like these call for cool headedness, sober mindedness and not recklessness. They call for strong and clear leadership in all the affected countries, for a strong application of law and order.

Withdraw ill-conceived NDF Constitution says Dr M’membe.

Withdraw ill-conceived NDF Constitution says Dr M’membe.

Good morning comrades and friends of our news media!

It’s very clear that the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2019 is not acceptable to the Zambian people.

There are even very serious divisions over this Bill among those who sponsored it.

Therefore, the only reasonable thing to do is to withdraw it. It must be withdrawn immediately.

And we must start the whole constitution review process afresh.

It was very clear from the beginning that their National Dialogue and Reconciliation Forum was not going to work. It is not surprising that the Constitution (Amendment) Bill that has come out of it is not acceptable to our people.

After putting up the so-called National Dialogue and Reconciliation Forum at such a huge cost, we ask:

(i) what type of dialogue took place there and where are its results?

(ii) who have the sponsors of that project reconciled?

NDF was hurriedly put up to undermine a well thought out and well intentioned national dialogue and reconciliation process initiated and led by the Church.

But like all ill-intentioned schemes, NDF has clearly failed and today it is being repudiated even by its very own sponsors; it has become an orphan.

NDF brought together already reconciled people – supporters, sympathisers and friends of those in government.

But of what value is it to try and reconcile the already reconciled?

But as things have turned out, even the glue holding together the reconciled has proved to be not strong enough. Today they are differing, disagreeing with each other over the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2019 which came out of their resolutions.

What is this telling us?

It is indicating to us that we need to go back to genuine dialogue and reconciliation with each other.

We need to genuinely dialogue, reconcile and build some consensus on a number of issues, including the Constitution, with those we disagree with or even detest.

Is this easy? No. But it has to be done.

This requires effort, humility and good will, without feeling we have the monopoly of wisdom.

It requires tolerance and honesty.

And above all, it requires love for our fellow citizens – because with love all differences, obstacles can be overcome.

After the general disagreements that the nation has witnessed over the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2019, we urge our brothers and sisters in government to retreat in best order and allow genuine dialogue, reconciliation and consensus building on all serious issues that today divide us.

Let them withdraw this highly divisive and ill-conceived Constitution (Amendment) 2019.

Let’s rise above our differences – political, religious and otherwise – and find other acceptable ways to dialogue, reconcile our differences and build consensus on how to deal with the Constitution and other contentious issues.

Trying to dribble others and emerge as the sweep stake winners won’t win us anything. What we should seek is not a single winner but for us all to be collective winners.

This country deserves more. It deserves a Republican Constitution and not a partisan manifesto disguised as a magna carta.

Let’s save the nation from relieving the nightmare of the last few years which they are trying to wake up from.
We know constitutions are products of special circumstances but not this NDF amendment bill.

We can and shall do better by galvanizing our people and allow them to give birth to a product of national consensus.

Issued by Fred M’membe on behalf of the Politburo of the Socialist Party

July 21, 2019

Garden Compound, Lusaka

Statement of the Socialist Party on the Luvale-Lunda conflict in Zambezi

Statement of the Socialist Party on the Luvale-Lunda conflict in Zambezi

Let’s quickly find ways to end this embarrassing Luvale-Lunda conflict in Zambezi.

This apparently intractable conflict between the Luvale and Lunda people in Zambezi is demoralising.

Beyond destabilising our families and communities, it tends to perpetuate the very conditions of misery and hate that contributed to it in the first place.

These – Luvale, Lunda, Luchazi and Chokwe –
are one people with a common origin. They all came here in 1800 from southern Congo, just above our North Western Province, in the Kolwezi area of what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Where is this animosity, hate, conflict coming from? What purpose does it serve? Who is benefiting from it?
Why have our leaders – political, traditional, religious or otherwise – failed to resolve this conflict over the years?

Conflict resolution should be easy. Conventional wisdom has it that conflict arises when people feel their respective interests or needs are incompatible. Defusing a conflict, then, is tantamount to eliminating the perceived incompatibility and creating conditions that foster common goals and values.

A conflict that has become intractable should be especially easy to resolve through such interventions. After all, a conflict with no end in sight serves the interests of very few
people, drains both parties’ resources, wastes energy, and diminishes human capital in service of a futile endeavour.

Even a compromise solution that only partially addresses the salient needs and interests of the parties should be embraced when they realise that such a compromise represents a far better deal than pursuing a self-defeating pattern of behaviour that offers them nothing but aversive
outcomes with a highly uncertain prospect of goal attainment.

Conflict resolution, of course, is at times anything
but easy. To be sure, many antagonistic encounters stemming from incompatible interests are short-lived and run
their course without causing irreparable damage to either party. But a small portion of relationships that are mired
in conflict become protracted affairs, to the point of seeming intractability. Such conflicts can be extremely
detrimental and become self-sustaining, displaying
marked resistance to intervention even in the face of rational considerations that would seemingly defuse the animosities at work.

This imperviousness to rationality suggests that the
problem of intractability says more about psychology than it does about objective reality. An intractable con-
flict is one that has become entrenched in cognitive,
affective, and social-structural mechanisms, a transfor-
mation that effectively distances the conflict from the perceived incompatibilities that launched it. This
transformation can occur in conflicts in marriages, in work settings, between political groups in communities, and even
between warring nations. As a conflict becomes a pri-
mary focus of each party’s thoughts, feelings, and ac-
tions, even factors that are irrelevant to the conflict
become framed in a way that intensifies or maintains the conflict. It is as though the conflict acts like a gravity well into which the surrounding mental, behavioural, and
social-structural landscape begins to slide. Once parties are trapped in such a well, escape requires tremendous will and energy and thus feels impossible.

Issued by Fred M’membe on behalf of the Politburo of the Socialist Party

July 14, 2019

Lusaka

Speech by comrade Dr. Fred M’membe – Kitwe Rally

Speech by comrade Dr. Fred M’membe – Kitwe Rally

It’s really a wonderful feeling to be here in Kitwe among you. To be in the town of my early childhood in Wusakile and of my university days at the University of Zambia, Ndola Campus at Kitwe, now Copperbelt University.

I am here because of you.

I am here because of your suffering.

I am here because of the humiliation you have to endure everyday due to unemployment, poor housing, sanitation, water supply, failing to feed your children and pay their school fees.

I am here because of the challenges you are facing in paying medical bills for yourselves and your families.

I am here because of the difficulties you are facing to clothe yourselves and your children.

Now you have to resort to wearing clothes from dead people in Europe – salaula!

Nshile tukana salaula iyo! Paliinonshita salaula ilefwaikwa. Ukwabula salaula ngatwenda ubwamba!

We have poverty levels of 30.8 per cent on the Copperbelt – the industrial centre of our country.

Of course, this is not the worst. We have poverty levels of 82.2 per cent in Western Province; 81.1 per cent in Luapula Province; 79.7 per cent in Northern Province; 70 per cent in Eastern Province; 69.3 per cent in Muchinga Province; 66.4 per cent in North-Western Province; 57.6 per cent in Southern Province; 56.2 per cent in Central Province and 20.2 per cent in Lusaka Province.
Today our country is the fourth hungriest country in Africa after Chad, the Central African Republic and Madagascar. We are number four in Africa kunsala. If it was soccer we would qualify straight to the semi-finals of the Africa Cup.

Chad and the Central African Republic are deserts or semi deserts.

We are blessed with good soils and plenty water. What do we need from God? Mana! Tayakamoneke mana. Inshiku shakwa Noah tashakabwele!

How can we be number four in Africa kunsala na fyonse ifi Lesa atupela?

Tatuletekwa bwino! !

But our suffering, misery, humiliation did not start today.

In December 1897 our Ngoni ancestors, who had built themselves a relatively prosperous economy, were attacked by that capitalist bandit Cecil John Rhodes. This bandit’s better-equipped and resourced army destroyed our people’s economy and had their cattle and land stolen.

But our people did not just give in, they resisted, they fought back. It was a very difficult war – the assegai against Maxim-guns and Seven-pounders! On the 4th February 1898 the Ngoni capital was overrun and commander-in-chief of the Ngoni forces Nsingu was captured and executed.

But in the early 1950s the struggle for independence, dignity and a better life was reignited. In 1964 we got our independence with great hope for a better and dignified life.

But the promise did not live long. By the mid 1980s a feeling for change was growing. And in 1991, in the quest for a better and more dignified life, Zambians changed the political leadership, economic and social direction of this country.

But the better and more dignified life has not come, is yet to come – things are actually getting worse. It was like jumping from a frying pan into fire.

Now we need to quickly get out of the fire before we are all burnt to ashes. But not jumping into the frying pan again!

This is where your party, our party, a party of the humble, by the humble, for the humble, the party for all those who toil to make a living – the workers’ party, the Socialist Party – comes in.

This is where you come in; this is where I come in.

Without you, as a class – the working class – directly taking over the governance of this country through your party, guided by the working-class, your ideology of socialism, you will be jumping back and forth from frying pan into fire.

What you can’t do for yourselves, no one will do it for you.

You the worker works for others but no one works for you. Do you see any people coming from ku to come work for you in kwa? It is you from kwa who are everyday going to ku to work for them – to clean for them, wash for them, make their beds, cook for them and look after their children as maids.

The beautiful houses they live in, it’s you the worker from kwa who build them, but look at where you yourselves live in kwa?

You the worker have problems with water, sanitation, food, shelter, jobs, education, health and roads. Those who govern, your rulers, don’t have problems with these things – fyonse fili mbwembwe!

Those you have entrusted to govern for you have governed against you. Only you, yourselves, can govern in a manner that benefits you the worker.

Only a party of the working class; a party for the poor masses; a socialist party can govern in your interest.

Only a leadership truly and sincerely committed to the cause of the working class; a party for the poor masses; a socialist leadership can serve the interests of the worker, the poor.

And this is what I am deployed by comrades to pursue as President of the Republic of Zambia.

And many years of commitment to working class causes and my personal experiences have prepared me for this deployment.

However, I am not a messiah – there can only be one Messiah, and that is Christ.

I am simply a guide to this struggle. The heroes and heroines of this struggle are you the humble workers of this country, the poor of this country. And it is you, and only you, who can establish a more just, fair and humane society – a society anchored on honesty, equity, humility and solidarity – in our homeland.

I bring to your struggle, your party, my humble peasant and working-class backgrounds.

I bring to your struggle fruits of the free education I received from you, paid for by the humble poor masses of this country.

I bring to this struggle some experience gained in the struggles I have participated in in other lands.

And above all, I come here to share with you the love given to me by the humble peasants, poor workers who brought me up and those I had the privilege of working with over the years.

The challenges before us are gigantic and require a lot of knowledge and very strong principles.

We have to create jobs in a country, and a world that is everyday losing jobs to technology, artificial intelligence systems.

No matter how many foreign investors we bring in, we will never have those big armies of mine workers we used to have. Today a few pieces of high-tech equipment wipe out thousands of mining jobs.

The big numbers of workers we used to have on commercial farms are gone. They have been replaced by more efficient machines – combine harvesters, digitalised tractors navigated by satellite.

The many jobs we used to have in the banks are gone forever and ever. Amen! They have been replaced by ATMs and other technologies. A human being can’t compete with the ATM. The ATM doesn’t go on maternity leave – taifyala. The ATM doesn’t need to take time off for funerals – it has no relatives or friends who die.
The ATM doesn’t go to church on Sunday or Saturday, it has no god to worship. It just works and works!

Let’s not make the mistake of thinking the problem is technology. We need this technology. The problem is not the technology but the capitalist system that doesn’t fairly share the benefits of technology with the worker – the worker who created the technology.
Technology should not necessarily lead to loss of jobs; it should lead to workers working fewer hours – using the time saved on further studies, family, sports, arts, visiting relatives and spiritual development.

And with industry, banks and other sectors of our economy not creating sufficient and quality jobs our survival will depend on increasing agricultural production and agro-processing.

But very little, if not nothing, will be achieved without investing much in education, without prioritizing education; without investing big in health services for our people.

There cannot be dignity without a solid roof over one’s head; without meaningful access to land.

This growing unemployment, inequality and poverty has not been ordained on us by God. If it were, I would say let’s just walk across to that cemetery and bury ourselves alive because there’s nothing we can do against God’s will. But this is a creation of human hands; greedy people. And because it is a product of human decisions and actions, with hard work and tenacious struggle, we can remedy it.

This is a product of capitalist exploitation, oppression and humiliation. It can only be corrected by you the exploited, oppressed and humiliated taking your destiny into your own hands by you, the poor masses, becoming the rulers of this country.

And this is what this party of yours is for; this is what I am here for – to enable you to win political power and use that power to build a society in which you can have the dignity that comes from justice, equity and peace.

Together we will struggle to ensure that all have jobs, free education and free health services, dignified housing, sanitation, clean water, food and all the other services required in an organized society.

But let me remind you that this struggle won’t be easy. Forty-nine years ago, 17 mine workers were killed here in Kitwe at Rokana mine by rich (capitalist), for simply demanding to be respected as human beings and to be treated in a just, fair and humane way.

Today, here in this same Kitwe, we launch our peaceful struggle for a more just, fair and humane Zambia.

In the coming days, weeks and months we will elaborate how this will be done, struggled for by you our heroes and heroines and by us your guides.

For now, I say aluta continua!

“Amaka ku bantu”

Forward to a more just Zambia!

Forward to a fairer Zambia!

Forward to a more equal Zambia!

Forward to a more humane Zambia!

Forward to a socialist Zambia!

I love you all!