Tag: Dr Cosmas Musumali

SP’s Position on the AfCFTA – Dr Cosmas Musumali

SP’s Position on the AfCFTA – Dr Cosmas Musumali

THE SOCIALIST Party views the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) treaty as an opportunity to reduce poverty and enhance equity in Zambia, but only in the context of socialist economic policies in the country, the party’s general secretary and first vice-president Cosmas Musumali has said.
He was responding to a question about how SP perceived the AfCFTA agreement and how it fitted in with the party’s manifesto emphasis on developing peasant agriculture.
The AfCFTA treaty involves the fifty-five member states of the African Union establishing a continental free trade area to create a single continent-wide market for goods and services and facilitate the movement of capital and people. So far, 36 countries have ratified the treaty – including Zambia, in October, last year. It entered into force on May 30, 2019, and started trading on January 1, this year.
“It is not possible to achieve these aspirations in Zambia without a socialist oriented-economic programme,” Dr Musumali said. 
“Our investments in agriculture aim at achieving the production of healthy food for all, the adoption of agroecology, adoption of mechanisation compatible with nature and rural labour, adoption of cooperative agribusiness, agricultural education, as well as empowering peasants and the people in the rural areas as keepers of the collective goods of nature,” he said.
“These are the prerequisites for our food sovereignty as well as for turning this natural resources endowed country into a hub for manufactured food exports. 
“Our socialist government will systematically link investments in peasant agriculture to value addition through food processing and the expansion of continental export markets. “Special attention will be played to the attainment of viable economies of scale, product branding, flexible export financing and improved logistical arrangements. These are critical in order to catapult us into being a major continental player in the AfCFTA.”
Dr Musumali said that at present there were only about five Zambian companies among the top 100 in food manufacturing on the continent, including Africa Milling Limited, Zambeef Products, Trade Kings, Yalelo, and Pembe (which originated from Kenya).  “This is highly insufficient given our immense comparative advantages and the urgency for export diversification,” he said. “We will therefore enable six more food manufacturing companies to join that league of continental players within 10 years. 
“Leading this drive will be a tertiary cooperative venture processing cassava, beans, groundnuts, millet and other traditional peasant farmer produce. Its medium-term continental and global revenue prospects are worth billions of US dollars. 
“The second venture will be for meat processing. A publicly owned company (along the lines of the Botswana Meat Commission) will fill today’s regional export gaps for meat, leather, and other livestock products. 
“A third venture will focus on aquaculture. This will require a cluster of companies and cooperatives that, as a conglomerate, will create enough economies of scale to compete against seawater fishery products. The venture will have to extend beyond Zambia to incorporate regional rivers and lake bodies. 
“Sugar manufacturing presents the fourth pillar. Four to five sugarcane plantations will aim to produce sugar, methanol and molasses to provide sufficient continental exports. 
“The fifth venture will be based on the processing of agricultural products – especially grain, fruit and vegetables – into alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. The technological requirements and sophisticated distribution networks can be a challenge, but a public-private partnership arrangement can help resolve the intricacies. 
“The sixth venture involves milling, with special emphasis on nutrition and health diets.” 
Dr Musumali said that in revenue terms, the six new ventures could generate around US$1.2 billion per annum in 10 years’ time.  “They would connect some 200,000 peasant farmers to the export value chain while increasing their revenues fivefold,” he said. “This would make our peasant farmers the pillar of export growth, that is sustainable poverty reduction at its best. Thousands of quality manufacturing jobs will be created.
“Last but not least, it will add resilience to our macroeconomy since the effective demand for regionally manufactured food is less volatile.
“Again, the AfCFTA provides an opportunity. However, as with most opportunities, it needs concrete action and processes embedded in achieving the collective and common good for the masses of our people, otherwise it will quickly vanish or even become a liability.”  

Revolutionary change is anchored amongst the poor

Revolutionary change is anchored amongst the poor Featured

COSMAS Musumali says Zambians today needs revolutionary change anchored amongst the poor.
Dr Musumali is the general secretary and first vice-president of the Socialist Party.
He was speaking when he unveiled 26 adopted parliamentary candidates for constituencies in Central, Western, Copperbelt, North-Western Provinces, in Lusaka yesterday.
“Zambia needs change! It’s not any other change but it needs transformative, revolutionary change,” Dr Musumali said.
He argued that the current system in Zambia of periphery capitalism could not and would not deliver the masses.
Dr Musumali noted that capitalism has failed the masses since 1991 and that it would continue to fail them.
“You can change the petty bourgeoisie political parties, [but] things will get worse for the masses of our people. What the people of Zambia needs today is that revolutionary change anchored amongst the poor people, the working masses of our country,” he explained.
“The type of leadership that you choose on the 12th of August, 2021 has to reflect that transformative change.”
Dr Musumali further indicated that revolutionary change could not be brought about by a leadership: “that is benefiting, that is privileged – a leadership that is parasitic under the current environment.”
“Those that are doing well today; a small group of politicians that are doing well today are going to resist change,” he noted.
“The opposition political parties, if they are not socialist-oriented, will be a mere continuation of that same exploitative capitalist system and enough is enough.”
Dr Musumali stressed that Zambians need change and that such should be reflected in the leadership.
“That leadership has to be anchored amongst the people. So, it should be leadership [of] men and women that live with the people, that live for the people,” Dr Musumali said.
“It should be leadership that also reflects the demography of Zambia. It should be leadership that is youthful, leadership that is gender-balanced. It should be leadership that originates amongst the people, not one that is imposed from above. This is what the Socialist Party is doing.”
He further pointed out that the 26 adopted parliamentary candidates are: “ready to transform our homeland.”
“These 26 leaders are from different parts of the country. We have leaders from Eastern, Central, Copperbelt and Western Provinces,” he noted.
“One of them is only 24 years old, the other one is 25 years old, we have another one that is 27 years old [and] another one is 29 years old and they are all female.”
Out of the 26 parliamentary designates, four of them are in their 20s.
Dr Musumali explained that the Socialist Party is making milestones; “setting standards that no petty bourgeoisie political party can ever achieve.”
“The choice of our leadership is not based on the size of your pocket – how much money you have on your pocket. The choice of leadership that the masses of Zambian people are bringing to us today is about being rooted amongst them, speaking their language.” Dr Musumali said.
“We have amongst the 26 candidates, 11 women. We have amongst the candidates today people that were only a few days ago drivers…. One of our leaders here has worked as a bus driver, a bus conductor. This is working class leadership at its best.”
Meanwhile, Dr Musumali emphasised that none of those adopted was picked because of wealth.
“None of them has been chosen because they have a fleet of vehicles that they are going to use for campaigns. None of them has been chosen because they have a chain of degrees. This is a workers’ party,” said Dr Musumali.
Those adopted are Mwisiya Imbula (Senanga), Edna Biemba (Kaoma Central), Ireen Ilitongo Muhosho (Luena Constituency), Jane Sombo Chingumbe (Mangango), Mwenda Kulilisa (Sioma), Salungu (Solwezi Central), Ambassador Malungisha (Kasempa), Womba Nkanza(Zambezi East), Augustine Salubeni (Mufumbwe), Vivian Chunda (Mafinga), Dennis Mutumba (Mwembeshi), Misheck Njobo (Nangoma), and Nicholas Mwansa (Kamfinsa).
Others are Faston Mwale (Nkana), Steven Chewe (Chimwemwe), Mupelwa Siame (Kantanshi), Mildred Ng’ambi (Kankoyo), Kepson Zimba (Kabushi), Humprey Siame (Ndola Central), Bernadette Siabula (Chifubu), Mercy Bwalya (Bwana Mkubwa), Flannel Sichilima (Chingola), Jeph Chabala (Roan), Margaret Sikalonzo (Luanshya), Doris Mweene (Chipata Central) and Philip Sakala (Petauke Central).

The Socialist Party unveils more parliamentary candidates

The Socialist Party unveils more parliamentary candidates Featured

THE Socialist Party has unveiled what it terms “organic leadership,” in form of five adopted parliamentary candidates.
The five are Pastor Fred Chanda for Kasama Central, John Mubita for Shangombo, Isimwa Mebeelo Siyanga for Mitete, Debby Mwangala Akabana for Lukulu and McLeod Lunkoto for Keembe.
The parliamentary candidates, who spoke in their native languages, declared themselves ready to serve their respective constituents, with unquestionable commitment.
The shadow lawmakers were unveiled by Socialist Party general secretary and first vice-president Dr Cosmas Musumali, at party president Dr Fred M’membe’s Garden Compound office in Lusaka on November 16, 2020.
Dr Musumali said without leadership, the issue of equity and peace could not be attained.
“But that leadership has to be different from what we have today. The leadership that the people of Zambia are yearning for is one that understands challenges,” he noted.
“It’s a leadership that speaks for the people, a leadership that lives with and for the people. As a party, we are making milestones each month in identifying that leadership. Today we have the pleasure to present to you five comrades representing five constituencies of our country.”
He told journalists that the five were identified by the masses themselves in the respective constituencies.
“The leadership of the party did sit down and has adopted these comrades. What type of leadership is this? This is organic leadership; these are leaders that live in those communities,” Dr Musumali said.
“These are part of those communities and the Socialist Party firmly believes that a leadership that is detached from the people can never provide, can never serve the interests of the masses.”
He asserted that the Socialist Party was always very proud to be associated with “comrades” who offer themselves to diligently and selflessly serve Zambians.
Dr Musumali indicated that next month, the party would most likely unveil parliamentary candidates from the Copperbelt, from North-Western and from parts of Central Province.
“In total, we are looking at about 30 candidates that will be due for adoption in December. The Socialist Party is setting the standard,” noted Dr Musumali.
“We are doing what other political parties are not able to do – to get deep down to where the people are and find the authentic leaders of the people and introduce this to the people of Zambia.”