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RE: Call for solidarity with the victims of state repression

RE: Call for solidarity with the victims of state repression

The Socialist Party expresses its extreme discontentment at the growing wave of repression against the Anti- Racist Movement in the United States of America. We earnestly beseech the International Community to raise its collective voice to denounce the racially inspired attacks that today define the order of events across the US. We are aware of the fact that, in part and to a large extent, the escalating racial crackdowns are direct spin-offs from the deeply fractured capitalist system. We call upon the United States government to without delay address all forms of structural aggression against the anti-racist protesters.

The Socialist Party calls for solidarity with the victims of systemic violence and implores all organizations of good will to unify and concretise the struggles against racial injustice and physical attacks especially on individuals and civil organizations that seek to defend justice, promote equity and peaceful coexistence. We deplore the senseless assault by the US establishment on those agitating for a more humane and fair society for all. We demand the immediate and unconditional release of the Party of Socialism and Liberation activists and many others from incarceration across the US.

Yours in solidarity

THE SOCIALIST PARTY – ZAMBIA

Dr M’membe urges Zambians to invest in research

Dr M’membe urges Zambians to invest in research

The Socialist Party says it shall prioritise agriculture among other key sectors once it forms government following the 2021 general elections.

Speaking on Let The People Talk programme on Radio Phoenix Tuesday this week, party president Dr Fred M’membe said the Socialist Party once voted into office will pay a lot of attention to agriculture as it was one of the three key pillars to its developmental agenda.

“The biggest priority comes from the biggest challenge that we face, what is the biggest challenge today? I told you we are the fourth hungriest country in the world today, whatever we want to do if we are not able to feed our people we will have challenges, we will not even have the type of human beings that we want to have, a health human being is what we need to have, so we will pay a lot of attention to agriculture,” said Dr M’membe.

Dr M’membe explained that apart from agriculture the party shall put development premium on health and education as they were complimentary to each other.

He expressed concern that Zambia today had an agriculture sector that was not been informed by research.

“We don’t have research that is going on in agriculture seriously. Take for instance, rice production; I have heard people talking about how nice Mongu rice is, how nice Nakonde rice is, but that rice you can’t sale it anywhere in the world, it’s of a very inferior quality, its substandard rice. We have not spent money to research on rice. The last serious research on rice was in Sefula in Mongu, Western Province by JICA in the early 80s and since then nothing has happened,” he said.

Dr M’membe added that the country needed to invest in research for agriculture.

“If you go to Thailand today, a leading country in rice production, you go to the University of Bangkok, there is a Faculty just dealing with rice from Bachelor’s Degree to PHD, just dealing with rice production, you can’t compete with Thai rice. Our rice can’t compete with that rice. There is investment in it and Thailand is ripping huge benefits from rice globally, just look whenever you go, you find Thai rice. Bangkok alone has more than 200 varieties of rice,” said Dr M’membe.

And Dr M’membe said it a was a joke to hear a lot of Zambian leaders talking about fish farming. He noted that while a lot of money has been wasted in aquaculture industry no meaningful research had been done to justify or support such investments. He further noted that the research on fisheries being conduct at Zambia’s universities was not adequate.

“I have been to all institutions of higher learning, my doctorate research is in fish farming and I have moved from Chiyawa to Kalulushi looking at all the fish ponds that are around as a researcher, I have moved to all the producers of stock feed for fish, I have moved to all the institution that have something to do with fisheries, we are not there and am a fish farmer, I had 11 fish ponds but they were a disaster under the guidance of the Ministry of Agriculture. There is very little, which we can get from fish farming unless we invest in fish farming research,” charged Dr M’membe.

He said there was a lot the country was not doing well and urged Zambians to invest a lot in researching.

“We have been growing beans in Mbala, Nakonde, Isoka, Mafinga and other parts of Northern and Muchinga provinces. What research has gone into beans production? The quality of beans is diminishing, we have grown it for a very long time without any research, our beans cannot compete with Brazilian beans,” he said.

He said the country was not even producing enough beans to feed the nation.

“we don’t even have enough beans to feed our own people and beans is not needed just for human consumption, it is also needed for livestock as you can produce stock feed from beans, there is a lot of things which you can do from beans,” Dr M’membe.

As long as I live, I shall be with music

As long as I live, I shall be with music

I love music. I started listening to music at an early age on radio and a record player. And I made my own musical instruments – a banjo from tin and nylon strings, a drum set from tins and plastic covers.

When I was in Form 1 at St John’s Secondary School in Mongu in 1972 I joined the school band. There I was taught to play the Connet, Trumpet and French Horn. Then I moved to St Francis Secondary School, Malole, Kasama for Form 4 and 5. I joined the school band there which was more advanced than the one at St John’s. I continued playing the Trumpet and French Horn. But I also added the Mellow Phone and Baritone Horn. At St Francis in addition to the brass band we had a pop group called The Comets. It was great fun. We played all sorts of music – songs of The Witch, Musi-O-Tunya, The Tinkles, Five Revolution, Rikki Ililonga, Paul Ngozi, Grand Funk, Deep Purple, Dobbie Brothers, James Brown, the Jackson 5, Osibisa, etc.

I also play the Harmonica, also known as a French harp or mouth organ. This is a free reed wind instrument used worldwide in many musical genres, notably in blues, American folk music, classical music, jazz, country, and rock. Bo Rikki has creatively used it in his music. And this brother of mine borrowed my Harmonica and I don’t know if I will ever get it back.

We wrote music exams with the London School of Music and Drama.
I am not playing musical instruments but I have stayed with the music.
I have a Trumpet which my daughters bought me for my fiftieth birthday.
I love music. I can’t imagine life without music. As long as I live, I shall be with music.

As Bob Marley aptly put it in a reggae rhythm, “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.”

Choosing to play an instrument is the beginning of a journey. One that is exciting, but often filled with struggle and hard work. It will require you to take in new information and master new skills.

Playing a musical instrument is really worthwhile. I find playing music relaxing. It thus reduces stress. If you are like me and find it easy to get stressed out, listing to music could help lower your stress levels. Listening to your own instrument gives the benefit of taking your mind off of your day.

Playing a musical instrument helps you develop patience and perseverance.
The process of learning to play an instrument is not always easy. It involves not only your mind but also your body. You will have to learn fingerings and/or chord shapes, develop technique, and memorize new information.

Slowly, with consistent practice, you will find yourself getting better. With each new milestone, you gain a small reward for your efforts and this will keep you motivated. Making music requires patience. Instead of getting immediate results, you will have to persevere. Keep at it! you will achieve the results you desire.
You don’t have to become a virtuoso to reap the benefits of music. You can gain many of these benefits by just learning the basics. You will develop a taste for the different composers, styles, and genres of music. Not only does this cause you to be more well-versed in music, but it also leads to a higher appreciation of the skill.

According to Aristotle in his Politics Book 8, unless you have taken part in music education, or in learning an instrument, you have no real basis for assessing the quality of a piece of music. Interestingly, he also says that you should not dedicate yourself to learning a difficult instrument because it is a waste of time. Just learn enough to enjoy playing a bit, and to judge the quality of music.
Playing a musical instrument cultivates creativity. At its core, music is art.

Music is a language, and the more “words” you learn the more you will be able to say. You will soon find yourself wanting to apply the information you’ve learned to create music of your own and express your own voice. Music is not just about knowing how to play specific songs; it is about expressing emotion through sound. Whether it is just playing your own version of a song, or creating an entirely new one, learning how to play an instrument enables you to use your creativity to say something original.

Playing a musical instrument uses almost every part of the brain.
And it increases memory capability and also helps to better detect vocal emotions. This makes sense because there are many emotions conveyed through music. Apparently, being exposed to this tonal variance in music can help you to not just detect the emotions of music, but the emotions behind people’s words.

No one – unless you are insanely gifted – can effectively learn to play an instrument overnight. Making music requires work and a consistent investment of time and effort. As they say, practice makes perfect. Discipline is necessary to go through the process of consistent, focused practice, especially when you would rather watch that new movie or a soccer match. This discipline can carry over into other aspects of your life, elevating the quality of the life you live.

Playing a musical instrument breeds confidence. The process of learning music leads to you playing in front of other people. This fosters the valuable expertise and grit necessary to confidently hold it together when other people are watching.

Chess reinforces critical thinking

Chess reinforces critical thinking

I have been playing chess since 1972, I love it and I still play it.

Chess is such a fascinating game with endless possibilities. You can play it anywhere, and create new ideas in the opening. It causes me to think and think ahead, it is never boring, and always a test of just me and my opponent. Sometimes I play it alone.

To me, chess is entertaining and it has a neat history in its 1,500 years of being around. Over the years of playing the game, I have discovered that chess is a deeper sport and pastime than I ever thought possible.

I like chess because you can play it at any time, day or night, including on the Internet. I always enjoy playing chess with my ten-year-old son, Mwika. The boy never gives up no matter how many times he loses.

I like the unusual openings in chess, it is a game of skill and not luck. And except for the highest levels of chess, you don’t need a good memory. Chess is based on pattern recognition, experience and intuition.

Chess is in certain ways more than just a game. Chess builds critical thinking and prediction skills; you can apply those skills to socialisation and daily life. You can learn about yourself and how you handle adversity, how to think in long term goals, or when to switch into immediate mode based on what is happening in a game.

There is a beauty to the game and symmetry that other games lack. With chess, it is possible for anyone to play anyone else and still win regardless of the fact that someone might have more experience than you do or have a better understanding of the game. So long as you play good, solid moves, you always have a chance to win regardless.

I cannot say that about other things in life. Everyone is equal when the match starts and only by making good choices while avoiding the pitfalls can the match be decided; it is not decided simply because someone has better physical gifts than you do.

Fred M’membe

In the photo: Comrades Kyle Haselsteiner (the Deputy General Secretary of the Socialist Youth League) and Dr Fred M’membe playing chess.

The worst illiterate is the political illiterate

The worst illiterate is the political illiterate

The other week an acquaintance of mine I have not heard from in a long got in touch.

After exchanging greetings, he told me he has given up on Zambian politics and wished us who were in it “all the best”. I responded: Thank you very much!” And the conversation ended that way.

He left me wondering: is this all he got in touch with me for? Then quickly, and in an attempt to console myself, to pick myself up, I turned to a favourite quote of mine from Bertolt Brecht:

“The worst illiterate is the political illiterate. He hears nothing, sees nothing, takes no part in political life. He doesn’t seem to know that the cost of living, the price of beans, of flour, of rent, of medicines all depend on political decisions. He even prides himself on his political ignorance, sticks out his chest and says he hates politics. He doesn’t know, the imbecile, that from his political non-participation comes the prostitute, the abandoned child, the robber and, worst of all, corrupt officials, the lackeys of exploitative multinational corporations.”

This made me feel I am not the only foolish person – if participating in Zambian politics was a foolish thing.

Fred M’membe
Mwika Village