Tag: Covid 19

Statement of the Socialist Party on a National Response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Statement of the Socialist Party on a National Response to the COVID-19 pandemic Featured

Humanity has been subjected to the COVID-19 for more than a year now. Soon, more than a 100 million people would have been infected and 2 million of those infected would have died! Yet the end of the pandemic is not near. The global frenzy with inoculations may help to bring down the infection rates – and may be even make our world safe from COVID-19.
However we should brace ourselves for a long haul – more especially in the periphery capitalist countries such as Zambia.
The demand side of the pandemic is complex enough.  High poverty levels, an extremely high burden of existing communicable and non-communicable diseases, low levels of hygiene, poor access to clean water and sanitation, crowded and poor housing conditions, illiteracy and poor health seeking behaviour are all factors that severely compromise health outcomes.
Similarly, the supply side is pathetic. We observe the presence of a weak and poorly resourced health system, rampant corruption at all levels of governance, the sheer absence of a science-led approach, heavy dependence on external partners that are themselves struggling to meet the health needs of their citizens, frightening incompetence in managing the COVID-19 pandemic as well as sluggish GDP growth.
The class character and implications of the pandemic are also apparent. Those able to travel abroad – the well off, initially introduced the COVID-19 pandemic into Zambia! Further, the high-income bracket of society often frequents the upmarket places such as shopping malls, restaurants and nightclubs that continue to fuel the epidemic. The youthful Zambian elite is notoriously uncompromising when it comes to consummating “leisure” even if this entails driving the entire country into a death trap. Yet the biggest losers of the pandemic will be the poor people without jobs and without proper access to health care. They will perish in great numbers!
The Socialist Party is drawing insights from the failure of the globalised capitalist system in managing the pandemic. It is also keenly following the success as well as the underling principles embedded in the national responses of the socialist countries. In coming up with our national response for Zambia, we are cognizant of the fact that there is no single solution that responds to the needs of all countries. The Socialist Party leadership is innovative, flexible and thinking outside the box:
1.     A total mobilisation of the masses of our people and all their national institutions will be the centrepiece of the response. We find ourselves at war with an invisible enemy. Any day lost to procrastination entails 100s of lives lost. We will immediately declare a month-long State of Emergency upon getting into power! This will enable us to effectively mobilise each adult Zambian and help put COVID- 19 on top of the political, social-cultural and economic agenda. The State of Emergency would greatly help the health system to catch up with contact tracing and slow down community level transmission.
2.     A war situation calls for exceptional decisions. We estimate to divert 10% of our entire GDP in order to provide effective health communication, institute mass testing, provide adequate medical supplies, medicines, PPEs, bed space, requisite equipment and an expanded workforce that will enable us halt transmission, provide quality care (including long term post-infection care and support) and therefore preserve thousands of Zambian lives.
3.     COVID-19 will not be the last global pandemic. We have to be prepared for more vicious pandemics in the years to come. Our routine surveillance system needs strengthening. Our response time and quality have to be exceptional. We need a highly health literate population. Pandemic management and the standard treatment guidelines need an interface and our poor capacities for multi-sectoral coordination should be a thing of the past.
4.     COVID-19 is a disaster for humanity, but it also exposes the pre-existing social and economic malaise in society: Job insecurity, vulnerabilities of small scale businesses, the negative consequences for frontline heath workers – who are poorly equipped, protected and remunerated, the increase in patriarchal violence (gender based violence) during the quarantine periods, and political discrimination of opposition political parties under the pretext of pandemic control measures. As a socialist party, our mandate is to these vulnerable groups in society. We have begun a process of consultation that will inform concrete policy and action and help the masses of our people to emancipate themselves from these forms of injustice and inequity as we face this global pandemic.
The Zambian people can and MUST rise up to the challenge posed by COVID-19. The neoliberal capitalist approaches in managing society and heath are a death sentence for the masses of our people. The immediate task of our masses is to vote out neoliberal capitalism from our homeland. The lumpen and petty bourgeois leadership has caused enough harm and is directly responsible for the senseless deaths through the pandemic. Voting them out of power has become synonymous to voting out COVID-19 from our lives.
 
Statement issued by
 
Dr. Cosmas Musheke Musumali
Socialist Party
General Secretary/First Vice President
Lusaka Industrial Area Office

Long Live Kampyongo

Long Live Kampyongo Featured

A large number of social media posts have expressed desire that home affairs minister Stephen Kampyongo doesn’t recover from COVID-19.
Of course, you can find people on either side of politics, or any disagreement, who sometimes feel retribution is appropriate. They believe it is acceptable, or even right, to make one person suffer if they have made others suffer.
All actions have multiple effects — and rarely are these always positive.
Don’t wish Mr Kampyongo dead no matter how much you hate him. It is wrong, evil, inhuman and unChristian to hope that someone dies.
To some extent, this is understandable: Mr Kampyongo is a terrible human being who has done a lot to wreck this country. He is bad. Many people don’t like him.
Death, however? A dead Mr Kampyongo is not a victory for those who don’t like him, his opponents. Death silences the enemy rather than defeat him. In other words, Mr Kampyongo wants us dead, whether literally or figuratively – and he probably doesn’t care which, as long as we shut up. And for him, that’s fine, because he doesn’t stand for anything beyond himself.
We, however, stand for something more: morality, honesty, reason, sacrifice, justice – virtues in opposition to everything Mr Kampyongo has attempted over the last five years. And if we’re going to profess faith in those virtues, then we must take death off the table.
This is not to say we should allow Mr Kampyongo to go unpunished – if we believe in justice, then his punishment is a necessity.

Fred M’membe

Garden Compound, Lusaka

From a mad 2020 to a very difficult 2021

From a mad 2020 to a very difficult 2021 Featured

The past year – 2020 – was a mad year, a very difficult year.

But 2021 is likely to be even harder if we don’t work very, very hard and wisely so.

We therefore need to deeply reflect upon 2020 while looking ahead to the future’s possibilities. Time has arrived to bid farewell to the by-gone year – of gassing, COVID-19, political intolerance, economic collapse, extrajudicial killings, attempts to rape the Constitution, and so on and so forth – and to welcome new opportunities and new hopes of revolutionary change.

It gets dark sometimes but the morning comes. Let’s make the necessary changes in 2021; let’s usher in a new government and make a new start.

Going through the many difficulties and challenges of 2020 was never an interesting experience. It is a solemn year when many of us found it difficult to laugh, play, celebrate or even smile at beautiful scenery around us. The sad thought that situations around our lives will not be the same again was enough to cause anxiety.

Having survived all these difficulties and challenges to live through another year is enough to be thankful for.

2020 was a year of great sacrifices for most of our people, and thank God we have pulled together through an historically difficult year. In 2021, we must stay vigilant as we were during last year’s gassing attacks and COVID-19 spreads.

Elections are coming on August 12 despite the present challenges and difficulties we face. A new, more responsible and progressive government can be put in place this year with your vote.

Your wise vote will be a key to our recovery and revolutionary changes needed in 2021. It is said that only in hard times can wisdom, courage and perseverance be manifested.

Fred M’membe

President of the Socialist Part

Statement of the Socialist Party to mark the International Day of Peace

Statement of the Socialist Party to mark the International Day of Peace

Each year, the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on September 21. The United Nations General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire.

This year, it has been clearer than ever that we are not each other’s enemies. Rather, our common enemy is a tireless virus that threatens our health, security and very way of life. COVID-19 has thrown our world into turmoil and forcibly reminded us that what happens in one part of the planet can impact people everywhere.

In March, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called on all warring parties to lay down their weapons and focus on the battle against this unprecedented global pandemic. While the message was intended for armed parties, solidarity and cooperation across borders, sectors and generations are also needed to win this new fight against the worst public health crisis of our time.

In these difficult times of physical distancing, even though we may not be able to stand next to each other, we can still dream together about a world full of justice, equity and peace.

The 2020 theme for the International Day of Peace is “Shaping Peace Together”. Let’s celebrate this day by spreading compassion, kindness and hope in the face of the pandemic. Let’s stand together against attempts to use the virus to promote discrimination or hatred.

There’s need to preserve human existence and world peace in the face of complexities, dangers and challenges.

Peace has been the golden dream of humanity, and the peoples’ aspiration, at every moment in history. Thousands of nuclear weapons are hanging over humanity’s head. Preventing the most brutal war that could be unleashed has undoubtedly been the fundamental objective of efforts by religious leaders of churches directed by men such as Pope Francis, Pontiff of the Catholic Church, and His Holiness Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.

To struggle for peace should be the most sacred duty of all human beings, whatever their religion, country of origin, skin colour, advanced or youthful age may be.

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

Mwika Royal Village, Chinsali