Category: Opinions

A story of joblessness and resistance!

A story of joblessness and resistance!

Joblessness causes a lot of economic and social stress on individuals, families and in turn put children, in particular girls, at greater risk of exploitation, dropping out of school, and gender-based violence. Despite the challenges, the stories that have emerged in our country and elsewhere on the African continent are those that are similar, of resistance, and great courage.

A story of a single parent with two children, Juliet from Zambia’s Copperbelt is one that many families, particularly, those headed by working and poor women can relate to. Today, more than ever, most working women and poor families face a number of distresses to provide food, care, and to pay school fees. Juliet, like many Zambian women has a track record of working extremely hard and thinking outside the box to make ends meet.

A graduate with a qualification in primary school teaching obtained in 2015, Juliet has struggled to date to get a formal job. Going to school and having a formal qualification is yet to make her dream of having a job as a teacher come true. She has had to turn to her sewing machine, and to buying and selling goods in order to sustain her family, put food on the table, provide clothing, pay hospital bills and school fees. Amid the covid-19 pandemic, Juliet turned to cloth mask-making to make ends meet to raise money for her girl child’s unpaid school fees, and in order to put food on the table. She joins many Zambians working tirelessly to meet the growing demand of personal protection equipment to prevent the further spread of the corona virus.

Juliet narrates: “cloth mask-making has really helped me raise funds to pay for my daughter’s school fees once schools open and it has really helped me put food on the table”.

Like many, Juliet’s story dipicts a long standing job crisis faced by many Zambian graduates, their struggles, and spirit of resistance.

When in government, job creation and free education will constitute major priority areas of the Socialist Party (SP).

The worker and the poor Zambians are at the heart of SP’s revolution, its struggle, and emancipation agenda.

Viva to more Jobs under the SP government!

Socialist Party Women’s League.

Statement of the Socialist Party on Labour Day – May 1, 2020

Statement of the Socialist Party on Labour Day – May 1, 2020

Our country is currently going through unprecedented times, jobs are being lost, working conditions are deteriorating, job insecurity is high, poverty is rapidly increasing. And today, on Labour Day, May Day, our people are reminded that they are steering through not only the Covid-19 pandemic but also the jobs crisis with inept, greedy and dishonest leadership.

Let’s not forget that Labour Day started when Chicago police massacred workers and revolutionaries who were fighting for an eight-hour workday. Back then, workers drudged through ten, twelve-hour shifts.

Today many workers in this country face the same long hours at dangerous work and still barely make enough money to get by.

But for some of us, instead of working too much, we can’t find work at all.

This has to change. Change must come. We have to struggle for a better order, a better society. And all need to participate, play a role.

A strong labour movement is needed and remains crucial to us. Union membership is falling, and organised labour is becoming marginalised. Workers’ concerns are not addressed, and they feel bewildered, leaderless and helpless. Not surprisingly, they turn to crooked politicians that pander to their fears and insecurity, but offer no realistic solutions or inspiring leadership to improve their lives.

Clearly, an apolitical approach to trade union issues can’t do. Organised labour must be part of the mass movement for the struggle for a more just, more fair, more humane and peaceful Zambia.

It gets dark sometimes but the morning comes. Let’s not lose hope; a better Zambia is possible if we struggle for it. And it’s our duty to struggle for it.

Let all the workers of this country join the struggle for a socialist Zambia.

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

Garden Compound, Lusaka

It’s about time Zambia turned left! Dr M’membe the answer to our despair! -Socialist Party Women’s League

It’s about time Zambia turned left! Dr M’membe the answer to our despair! -Socialist Party Women’s League

A saying goes: “’if in doubt, go left. Always”.

Today, Zambia stands at a crossroad. Not only are we in doubt about the direction that we are headed as a country, but everyone is either stressed, depressed, overwhelmed, or anxious about tomorrow. The uncertainties are truly overwhelming and require extraordinary leadership to help us jump from this fire and begin to face the future with some confidence.

The leadership we have endured in the past years and today has not inspired much confidence. We have been jumping from fire to a frying pan and back. The capitalist oriented approach that the previous and current leaders have knowingly and unknowingly embraced since the 1990s have not helped us much. We are really lagging behind and the future looks totally dark. Nothing has changed for the majority poor Zambians and the working class. The struggles in the urban townships are immense, and our rural communities remain so remote with so little hope of ever playing catch up.

Before the Corona virus outbreak, we were rated the fourth (number 4) hungriest country in Africa after Chad, Central African Republic and Madagascar. Today, it is hard to tell where we stand – but the declining economy, long hours of load shedding, and food insecurity – mealie meal now at its record high in our history point us to the many troubles ahead.

The answers truly lie within us.

We are truly called to soul search and deeply do so to restore the dignity of our country, the Zambia we want. Zambia thirsts for a committed, dedicated, free from corruption, hard-working, humble, visionary leadership that truly puts the masses first, and has their interests at heart. Zambia truly needs a leadership that will turn us to the left to allow for a collective approach to addressing the problems we face today.

The world over, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the dark side of capitalism and the deep inequalities that have existed and only favoured a few. But we have also seen that this pandemic is an equalizer; it knows no rich or poor. Many people have expressed views that going forward, we absolutely need to do business differently. The old normal is gone!

In Zambia, we need leaders that think big about how we are going to restructure our lives, address our problems, the health system, economy and education among others. We have been on a capitalist right turn for years and it has led us to nothing but poor governance,poor leadership, individualism, corruption, closing up of media freedoms and deep misery.

It’s about time we turned left!

Dr Fred M’membe is truly the answer to our puzzle; the answer to our quest for justice, equity and peace.

M’membe Uwesu, Witu, Wesu, Nguwesu, Wathu Wathu is the answer to our despair.

Join the movement fellow Zambians and vote Dr Fred M’membe in August 2021.

Socialist Party Women’s League

Statement of the Socialist Party to mark World Malaria Days

Statement of the Socialist Party to mark World Malaria Days

This year we mark World Malaria Day – April 25 – in the throes of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While cases of the coronavirus in our malaria-affected country currently represent only a small proportion of the global total, the situation is evolving rapidly. Given this very complicated situation, it is necessary to recognise the critical importance of sustaining efforts to prevent, detect and treat malaria, using best practices to protect health workers and communities from COVID-19 infection.

The fight against the coronavirus shouldn’t completely take away focus from keeping malaria high on the political agenda, mobilising additional resources, and empowering communities to take ownership of malaria prevention, care and treatment.

To radically reduce suffering and death leadership and collective action is needed.

We were making progress in the fight against malaria but in recent years that has almost ground to a standstill.

We are not recording much gains in reducing new infections. And nearly as many people died from malaria in 2019 as the year before.

Urgent action is needed to get back on track.

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

Garden Compound, Lusaka

Let’s revamp our reading culture! – SP Women’s League

Let’s revamp our reading culture! – SP Women’s League

16 April is an annually celebrated International Special Librarians Day. The commemorations aim to honor library workers, librarians, or to make donations of various forms. Importantly, this day is a reminder of the role of libraries and librarians in promoting the quality of education worldwide.

Reflecting on the role of libraries and celebrating librarians is key to our Zambian context. Today, we struggle with staggering literacy levels of about 55.3 percent, with illiteracy that is much more prevalent among females than males. In order to combat the high illiteracy rates, it is vital that we revive our community libraries, promote a culture of reading, and make reading materials available, and accessible to all.

In the past, Zambia’s major cities hosted vibrant community libraries that provided space to assist people find information and reading materials they needed to learn, space to study, work, or for recreational purposes. These libraries contributed to promoting access to information, reading materials and in inculcating a culture of reading. In the bigger scheme of things, community libraries added value to the quality and development of our education system. Today, our education system and quality of schools are much compromised with a growing gap between urban and rural areas.

Globally, while libraries have evolved, what has happened in Zambia is that either our community libraries have closed down or operate under poorly equipped conditions that disadvantage them to cope and to remain relevant in the fast changing times. While a privileged few have access, most government schools lack access to reading materials or there exists very few libraries in these schools.

Today, we are faced with an unprecedented global health COVID-19 pandemic characterised by prolonged lockdowns and deepening crises. These growing challenges are a reminder that it is in our best interest that we revisit the concept of community libraries and how we can make them more relevant in providing digitalised facilities to aid home schooling, access to reading and learning materials, and information for free and for all. While it is important to maintain elements of our traditional libraries, it is vital that we shift to digital libraries that can be accessed by all Zambians.

All Zambians are equal. Improving Zambia’s quality of education is one of the critical issues that the Socialist Party (SP) is passionate about today and tomorrow. Through the Fred M’membe literacy programme, the SP has reached out to many men and women in both urban and rural areas to promote a culture of learning, reading and writing.

We invite you to think big and join us to realise a Zambia that embraces Justice, Equity and Peace for ALL. Ours is a vision by the humble Zambians for the humble Zambians.