Tag: democracy

You Must Rule Yourselves, says M’membe

You Must Rule Yourselves, says M’membe

SOCIALIST Party president Fred M’membe told a presentation of parliamentary and local government candidates that it was the majority who should be ruling Zambia.

“Who are the majority in this country? They say democracy is majority rule. If it’s the poor who are the majority, why don’t they rule? This year, you, the poor should rule,” he said.

Dr M’membe was speaking at Kingfisher Garden Court in Lusaka at the unveiling ceremony for 34 parliamentary and three local government candidates.

He asked them, “Was Jesus rich or poor? Were his disciples rich or poor? When choosing a chief, do they choose the rich or the wise?
“Does having money amount to being wise? Is leadership about money?”

Dr M’membe said that, for the most part, those who ruled lived well but those who were governed suffered, adding the poor had not ruled Zambia since independence.
“They use you like a ladder when climbing on to a wall and when they are at the top they drop the ladder,” he said.

And he warned what would happen if the poor did not take control in the August elections this year. “If you, poor people, don’t rule, poverty will not end,” he said.

“This year, for the first time in our history, we will have a Parliament dominated by the poor. We will have a Parliament where the poor have a direct voice, where the poor are speaking for themselves, where the poor are representing themselves.”

Dr M’membe said the wealthy and their political parties had made themselves rich by exploiting the poor.

“You have been represented by the rich for too long. But what have they done for you? They have enriched themselves. What you can’t do for yourselves, nobody will do for you. You have sent abakankala to represent you, but they have not represented you. This time, go and represent yourself.”

Dr M’membe told the candidates that no other political party would adopt them.

“How many of you have K2,000 or K5,000 to pay for adoption? These other political parties you see all have owners,” he said.

“These political parties you have voted for are owned by the rich, you have just been used.

“But your party, the Socialist Party, is for the poor. You can’t be adopted in the political parties owned by the rich.”

Dr M’membe told the candidates to go out and educate people who were used to voting for people with money, to vote for themselves this time instead.

Let UPND members choose their leaders the way they want

Let UPND members choose their leaders the way they want Featured

I have been asked to comment on the UPND’s internal party elections. I have declined.

I don’t comment on processes I don’t know or don’t understand. And moreover, the UPND elections are an intra-party issue that doesn’t really concern me – it’s none of my business.

And I believe that what doesn’t concern me, I should leave it alone. That said, I think UPND members have chosen their leaders in the way they want. And all that remains for me is to congratulate them all for being chosen by their fellow members to lead their party: CONGRATULATIONS!

We have seen leaders in some of our political parties being elected by “show of hands”. And this was found to be acceptable. If this is a legitimate way of choosing leaders then others should also be allowed to have their own ways.

We have seen party electoral processes so often being prostituted to falsify the will and interests of the members and so many times used to put into office the most inept and most shrewd, rather than the most competent and the most honest.

I believe that in an organisation in which harmony truly reigns, democracy can take many forms of expression. The most important thing is that the way a political party chooses its leaders should promote unity within the organisation, if possible. And in a political party in which harmony truly reigns, democracy can take many forms of expression.

We also choose our leaders in a different way and guided by our socialist principles, standards and aims. We elected our party’s national leaders, in our own socialist way, at our party’s first National Congress held September 27 – 30, 2019.

We don’t have the electioneering that characterise other parties – no adverts, campaigns. We socialists don’t aspire for positions, we are nominated or chosen by our comrades to take up leadership positions or deployment. Internally, we don’t engage in those practices that promote the personality cult.

I think and I have always thought that whatever the merits of any individual, any evidence of the cult of the personality must be radically avoided; that no individual, whatever aptitudes he or she may be said to have, will ever be superior to the collective capacity; that group leadership, unlimited respect for the application of criticism and self-criticism, democracy and party discipline, and the inviolability of socialist standards and basic ideas, are the only values that can sustain a truly revolutionary leadership. No member can be above the party, no revolutionary is more important than the revolution; no citizen’s will must ever prevail over that of millions of his or her compatriots.

Fred M’membe

President of the Socialist Party