Category: Opinions

Press Statement for immediate release and circulation

Press Statement for immediate release and circulation

For some time now, The Zambian Observer has carried articles crediting me, Fred M’membe, which I have not written. A strange but worrying pattern.
Until now, I have not complained about the Zambian Observer’s knack for publishing falsehoods under my name. We had hoped their figment of imagination would have an end!
But their propensity to slander me is getting out of hand.
The Zambian Observer’s conduct is not a mistake. It is a premeditated activity whose motive they themselves know. It’s not just unprofessional, unethical but it’s both immoral and dirty.
It cannot continue. Don’t go all the length to destroy the noble platform and profession of journalism because doing so will rob the human race greatly.
I have not authored the article circulating in the Zambian Observer under the headline: A Must Read: The truth Fred M’membe voices out.
We urge the Zambian Observer to observe clearly and report truth.
It doesn’t hurt to cultivate news and inform our citizens but please don’t use my name for the sake of your circulation and capital.

Issued by Fred M’membe
18:18 hours

Statement of the Socialist Party on the National Dialogue and Reconciliation initiative by the Church

Statement of the Socialist Party on the National Dialogue and Reconciliation initiative by the Church

From the very moment the Socialist Party received an invitation to attend the preliminary meeting of the stakeholders to the National Dialogue and Reconciliation process, we did not hesitate for a second to embrace both the need for these talks and the spirit of the letter from the conveners – the Church.
And we issued a press statement in which we categorically stated our belief that national dialogue deserves our attention as a tool with the potential to facilitate peaceful political transformation while recognising that it is not a magic wand in itself.
Clearly, even those who defend the status quo – which for a moment benefits them – do appreciate the need to attend to a number of conflict-fuelling themes of political rights, basic freedoms, institutional reforms, election procedures, above all the need to have a Constitution that befits a multiparty democratic dispensation.
And we believe a national dialogue process, devoid of shadow boxing and other ulterior motives, should provide for substantive conversation around the major grievances of all key interest groups as well as the national good.
The nation for once needs civility, humility and selflessness. Let us all set aside the fears of losing power, mirroring dialogue to regime change, having preconceptions, or setting it as a means to electoral win or loss.
The world over, where need be – dialogue has been used to hear voices and possibilities. Why? It’s because it can encompass tensions and paradoxes – the only way to reach decisions that are acceptable to everybody. And Zambia today needs these means to avoid, or resolve, conflict.
Everyone, whether in denial or for the sake of it, once they hibernate; by themselves – reckon that what separates democracy from other political philosophies is the principle and practice of solving differences first and foremost through dialogue. So why derail or attempt to put bottlenecks to the process that seeks to cleanse our nation of its vices, weaknesses?
We cannot endure the status quo any more than we have already done. We seek to transform the current conflictive political and social environment, relationships and enhance governance.
We are alive to the fact this dialogue cannot hold unless there’s a safe space in which the actors can interact with trust and respect. What the nation desires is a dialogue that consolidates the participation of social, economic, political, cultural, and institutional actors. One that strengthens the values of democracy and fosters actions that are more inclusive and sustainable.
For this to happen, the convenors should be respected by the majority of citizens and should not have any political aspirations or goals that would present an obvious conflict of interest.
And the Church has the long-standing moral authority and broad constituent bases to lead this long overdue process in our country.
None of the Bishops or individual three church mother bodies is seeking political power. It has nothing to gain politically out of this dialogue save the preservation of peace, societal stability, and safeguarding the path to sustainable development.
We cannot wait until the obtaining violent political winds degenerate and envelop the entire fabric of society for all political actors to see sense to put off all these red lights flashing in our faces.
Accept that in a multiparty democratic dispensation change of government through elections is unavoidable – it is the essence of plural, multiparty politics.
Just as there will be generational change of leaders, governments will fall, be voted out. At times a ruling party will have an internal leadership contest which ushers in new leadership.
The abuse of the public order Act, the police, the courts, electoral process and the current Constitution that is full of lacunas – are all but premised on the principle or desire to perpetuate the PF’s hold on power. But it will not work.
Rise from your comfort zone, come to the dialogue table. Let us get away from pettiness. We have a country to lead, a people to serve. The choking poverty is not simple statistics; these are our fellow citizens enduring the direct effects of poor and indifferent leadership.

Issued by Dr Fred M’membe on behalf of the Politburo of Socialist Party ( Zambia),

22:42 hours

Statement of the Socialist Party (Zambia) on the United  States coup against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro

Statement of the Socialist Party (Zambia) on the United States coup against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro

On Wednesday United States President Donald Trump declared:
“Today, I am officially recognizing the President of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaido, as the Interim President of Venezuela.  In its role as the only legitimate branch of government duly elected by the Venezuelan people, the National Assembly invoked the country’s Constitution to declare Nicolas Maduro illegitimate, and the office of the presidency therefore vacant.  The people of Venezuela have courageously spoken out against Maduro and his regime and demanded freedom and the rule of law.
I will continue to use the full weight of United States economic and diplomatic power to press for the restoration of Venezuelan democracy.  We encourage other Western Hemisphere governments to recognize National Assembly President Guaido as the Interim President of Venezuela, and we will work constructively with them in support of his efforts to restore constitutional legitimacy.  We continue to hold the illegitimate Maduro regime directly responsible for any threats it may pose to the safety of the Venezuelan people.”
As interim president Guaido noted yesterday: “Violence is the usurper’s weapon; we only have one clear action: to remain united and firm for a democratic and free Venezuela.”

We all know how the many years of the Yankee strategies in Venezuela has led to a polarized society.
Any military strategy to oust the legitimately elected government of President Nicolas Maduro will nothing but lead to a long and bloody civil conflict in Venezuela.
And this has always been the US panacea wherever it has economic interests.
Access to oil and various other natural resources that the empire needs to satisfy its huge consumeristic appetite has led to nasty military interventions.
You can list the blood coups and regime change strategies that have left nothing but total havoc in many countries among them: Iraq – Desert Storm and toppling of Saddam Hussein, Libya – the intervention and assassination of Muamar Gaddafi, the Patrice Lumumba assassination and instability in the mineral rich DRC, the bloody Chilean coup that toppled Salvador Allende, the military regimes in Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Nicaragua, Guatemala, etc.
In all those instances, Washington via the CIA had a hand and several US transnational corporations had or have vested interests.
Certainly, the Donald Trump administration has revived the doctrine that sees Latin America and the Caribbean region as its backyard. This cannot be tolerated. That doctrine must be confined to the 20th century gun-boat diplomacy.
President Maduro’s crime has been his refusal to submit to fascist interests. He has resolutely stood for national interests; distributing national resources for restoration of socio-economic benefit of Venezuelans – giving the nation its dignity.
Washington has never recognized an administration that does not submit to right-wing interests.
Trump and his Vice-President Mike Pence’s recognition of Juan Guaido as interim Venezuelan president is nothing but an American-led coup against a constitutional government of President Maduro.
We call on all civilized nations and leaders to reject and condemn this US coup in Venezuela and defend that country’s independence.
Trump’s government and its Washington lackeys are the usurpers of power in Venezuela.
With the stance taken by the empire, their evil motive and schemes over Venezuela has been unmasked.
Only last week, President Maduro observed that “We are in a better position to confront the cut throat battle against international sanctions that have cost Venezuela losses of some 20 billion dollars in 2018 alone. It is savage persecution. I am intent on raising oil production, increasing Venezuela’s petrochemical capacity, the production of gold, of diamonds, of coltan, iron, steel, aluminum, etc. – riches that the country has, and raw materials that have an open international market, despite the extensive international persecution decreed by the US.”
Again, we stand in solidarity with President Maduro, all Venezuelan revolutionaries and people in the defence of their Revolution and homeland’s sovereignty.

Statement issued by Dr Fred M’membe on behalf of the Politburo of the Socialist Party (Zambia)

09:19 hours
Mwika Royal Village

Statement of the Socialist Party (Zambia) on the happenings in Zimbabwe

Statement of the Socialist Party (Zambia) on the happenings in Zimbabwe

The plight of Zimbabweans requires our urgent attention.
The Socialist Party (Zambia) is deeply moved by goings on in our sister Republic of Zimbabwe.
What the working class is facing is brutal and cannot be justified. How can an administration that campaigned on a platform of reviving the economy and democracy descend on its citizens using its military power?
The recent fuel hike means petrol prices rose from $1.24 (£0.97) a litre to $3.31 with diesel up from $1.36 a litre to $3.11. At these prices, Zimbabwe has the most expensive gasoline in the world per litre. The next highest is Hong Kong at US$2.06. How can the Zimbabwean government justify this?
Now we hear, in trying to hide its heavy-handedness, the government has blocked Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp messaging apps amid a crackdown on days of violent protests.
What is the government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa trying to hide from the global eyes?
If SADC cannot come out clear and condemn the military brutality in Zimbabwe, then what else is left of this regional body?
SADC leaders have been firm condemning the West on sanctions on Zimbabwe, and rightly so. But why are regional leaders and the African Union mute over the regime’s brutality against innocent citizens?
And this annoying silence seem premeditated. Not too long ago, we saw the ruling elite unleashing the military against citizens for questioning the elections results in last year’s presidential elections.
The toothless SADC again sided with the ruling civilian-military elite.
Today Zimbabwe is deputy chair of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security. The organ is led by Zambia. And typical to his defence of the ruling elite in Zimbabwe, Zambian President Edgar Lungu has not issued any concern over events unfolding in Zimbabwe. He was quick to advise the DRC to consider a government of national unity yet he did nothing when MDC leaders were being arrested and several other civilians were murdered or maimed in the aftermath of the disputed elections.
Again, today when our innocent brothers and sisters in Zimbabwe are being shot at and opposition leaders are forced into hiding over the unbearable socio-economic situation – President Lungu and his SADC colleagues seem to be blind to the reality!
We have letdown the people of Zimbabwe for too long. This cannot be tolerated.
It’s unbecoming of our regional leaders to leave these defenceless citizens to the mercy of the police and military.
These people are not attacking the system. They are pleading for a livelihood. Here are the citizens who have stood by the ZANU-PF through the thick and thin since independence. To be killed for asking the government to reconsider the hyper fuel price and to address food scarcities cannot be tolerated.
The primary responsibility of any government, any sane government is protection of its citizens.
We also call upon the men in uniform to restrain themselves from the heavy-handed manner they are treating fellow citizens.
They should realise that the international community is looking and remember that the fourth Nurnberg principle states that: the fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.
Our views coincide too with those of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC/Commission) which recently raised concern about the fast deteriorating economic situation triggered by the recent monetary and fiscal policy pronouncements.
The ZHRC noted, “Whilst austerity measures meant to transform the performance of the economy may be inevitable, due care and diligence must be exercised to protect the rights and well-being of especially the vulnerable members of society. In particular, it is important to develop pro-poor policies including the setting up of effective social safety nets to ensure access to basic goods and services by all. Section 13 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe implores the state and all institutions of government to ensure equitable development. Further, section 13 (2) requires government to involve the people in the formulation and implementation of development plans and programmes that affect them.”
The ZHRC also urged the national leadership to take urgent steps to rescue the situation as well as protect the value of savings, incomes and pensions. Leaders must also be exemplary and reduce their own extravagance and not make the poor in society bear the bigger brunt and consequences of their policies and decisions.
The Zimbabwean government must realise that it’s the sole duty bearer in terms of addressing economic challenges currently obtaining in that country. No one in our region, including the world at large, should gloss over what Zimbabweans are going through. These are people who are patriotic and hard working. They have stood by their government in the midst of high cost of basic commodities, unemployment, scarcity of fuel, high cost of medicines or lack of it, among other socio-economic challenges. Zimbabweans value their country and the deserve nothing less but normalcy and full enjoyment of their socio-economic rights.

Statement issued by Dr Fred M’membe on behalf of the Politburo of the Socialist Party(Zambia),

Mwika Royal Village,
Chinsali, Zambia

M’membe’s full statement on Maduro

M’membe’s full statement on Maduro

Comrade Nicolás Maduro Moros President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Miraflores, Caracas, Venezuela.

Comrade Nicolás,

Receive our warm revolutionary congratulations from the Socialist Party (Zambia) on this day when you are assuming reigns for the second term of office to lead the great nation of Simon Bolivar.

As a true Chavista, you have continued to pursue the Bolivarian socio-economic agenda crafted under the guidance of late president Hugo Chavez Frias despite a wave of economic and financial sanctions from the empire, including harsh rhetoric bordering on military intervention from those occupying the White House and their lackeys.

Comrade Nicolás, yours is not an enviable job for the weak much less with a series of salvo you receive from imperialists. But for us who espouse people centred-development, we can firmly assure you that you are not alone.

What the Bolivarian Revolution has achieved since assuming power in 1999 to date cannot be compared to the previous right-wing administrations that pretended to have been administering the affairs of that great nation for Venezuelans. For centuries, Venezuelas oil and gold was a preserve for the capitalist North.
The anger coming from transnational corporations and their fronts in Washington is nothing but a result of frustrations and hunger for Venezuelan natural resources that have been socialised/nationalised by the Bolivarian Revolution. The benefits are all there
to see: housing infrastructure, medical facilities, literacy campaign and building of polytechnic institutions, including massive investment in sport. How else was Venezuela expected to rebound from centuries of a raped economy at the hands of capitalists other than implementing radical reforms as undertaken by the Chavistas?
This is what the Bolivarian Revolution has undertaken to do: Free health care in poor urban and rural neighborhoods (Mission Barrio Adentro), expanded access to education, literacy programms for the elderly (Mission Robinson) and cheap food markets (Mission Mercal). Under housing, you have Mission Habitat which later was updated to Mission Viviendas and then Mission Zamora an integrated land reform and land redistribution programme where several large landed estates and factories have been or are in process of being expropriated to stimulate the agricultural sector, create economic activity and redistribute wealth to the poor. Instead of receiving accolades, it has been sanctioned, economically strangled for standing up to capital!
Capitalists abhor governments that empower citizens, administrations that put man at the centre of any developmental paradigm.
With the Chavistas in government, OPEC consolidated itself and we remember how well you utilized proceeds to uplift the standards of your people; the hardworking sons and daughters of Bolivar.
At the time when global petroleum prices rose beyond US$100 per barrel, the Bolivarian Revolution opted for solidarity measures through PetroCaribe and PetroSur, to cushion Caribbean and Central American nations that depend on oil for all forms of energy requirements. This included subsidizing US citizens during harsh winter days.
Without preferential oil trade for the Caribbean region and parts of South America, on top of dwindling remittances, none of those almost 20 countries would have a semblance of an economy during and post 2008 global financial and economic meltdown that originated in the US.
Apart from the noble citizens of these Caribbean and South/Central American states, no one wants to laud this priceless gesture to humanity.
Global capitalists loathe initiatives that makes man strong. Capital hates universal dignity, it discourages any attempts at distributing wealth to all because such destroy niches that imperialists depend on for survival and exploitation. We have followed the Bolivarian Revolutions path towards Western Hemisphere integration, right from formation of UNASUR to founding of the Community of Latin America and the Caribbean States (CELAC), the only body for independent hemispheric States excluding the US and Canada.
The significance of Venezuela to the stability of the Americas is huge.
If saving humanity makes us pariahs in the eyes of imperialist, let it be so. Theres no coming back. Socialism is not only an alternative to neo-liberalism, it is the only solution to the socio-economic challenges facing humanity today.
As we join you and the Venezuelan people on this inauguration day that is being celebrated by all progressive movements and leftist parties around the world we are reminded of Comrade Raul Castro’s words at the 60th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution that: The greatest lesson that revolutionaries and progressive movements can draw from the situation that has shaped is that of never neglecting unity with the people, and not desisting in the struggle in defense of the interests of the oppressed, however difficult the circumstances.

Comrade Nicolas, congratulations

Dr Fred Mmembe Socialist Party (Zambia) presidential candidate for 2021 and Deputy General Secretary