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Reflections on the economy

Reflections on the economy Featured

The Bank of Zambia has failed to meet the required K2.6 billion per bond auction as only K854 million was raised during the latest auction results published on February 17 this year.

The subscription rates are an economic barometer of the economy, as an over subscription is generally seen as mark of economic confidence by investors, while an under subscription is seen as a score for low investor confidence.

The Bank of Zambia, trying to raise funds on behalf of the government by issuing government bonds, only managed to raise K854 million out of the targeted K2.6 billion, an under subscription or low uptake of 32 per cent. Investors are on the fence due to uncertainty with regards to national debt restructuring.

We will not be surprised if the bankers of economic evils eventually start printing money.

These are the effects of removing liquidity from the markets. We strongly suspect financial institution participation in government securities has dwindled resulting in low subscriptions, meaning the funding of government operations will be negatively impacted.

And we don’t think this is caused by debt restructuring uncertainty as is being suggested. This should be seen as a direct consequence of low liquidity levels primarily, and the possible pull out of non-resident investors upon maturity of their securities. The rise in interest rates in the United States and Europe is also incentivising non-resident investors to pull out of emerging markets bond investments and redirecting back to the United States and Europe which carry less country risk than emerging markets, in other words in more secure economic environments.

The maturity risk is now materialising whereby offshore investors in government securities are now cashing out on maturity of their investments instead of rolling over. So we will now end in a net payout position for government securities with the following consequences:

(i) Depletion of international reserves as investors externalise their investment. The question is: what are the international reserves cover for offshore investment holding in government securities?

(ii) Pressure on the Kwacha with a medium-term outlook of continued depreciation, which will result in higher, imported inflation impact.
The question is: how will the increase in statutory reserve ratio, which has reduced liquidity in the market, mitigate this? Ultimately it appears this policy measure is impotent – for lack of a better word. Worse still, it slows down economic growth.

(iii) Under subscription in government securities, which is one of the main sources of funds for government operations, will significantly affect funding of government operations, including civil servants’ payroll.

Based on February 17 under subscription of only K845 million out of a total offer of K2.6 billion means the government has to look elsewhere to raise funds for the shortfall. The question is: given the already underperforming economy, what alternatives does government have? External loans. But who will be ready to give us loans? The commercial loans window is closed given the debt default and limited bilateral funding.

Where to as a country?

• Reverse the generous tax holidays given to the mining sector.
• Engage China on a bilateral basis to give us a three-year moratorium on its debt while we grapple with the never-ending IMF-G20 common framework.
• Introduce austerity measures, including government-wide international travels at all levels, including for the Head of State.

Lastly, reverse wrong monetary policy decisions taken by the Bank of Zambia to increase the statutory reserve ratio. The under subscription in government securities, stated above, is partially due to reduced participation of the banks in subscribing to government securities. It is also clear that this policy direction will not impact the exchange rate depreciation as it is now evident that the forex demand side is significantly driven by non-resident/offshore investors cashing out and not rolling over their government securities. This is a highly misdirected policy decision. As if this is not enough, the MPC was further increased by 0.25 per cent, making it unbearable for those with commercial loans and those intending to borrow. We hope your new 4×4, which was funded using vehicle and asset finance, will not be taken away if you default due to the high cost of credit.

Austerity measures should also include Mr Hakainde Hichilema moving to Nkwazi House to defray his daily transportation costs to and from his not so Community House and route lining costs. The country is bleeding and we can’t keep up with the same excuse of Nkwazi House being uninhabitable when ordinary citizens are going without food.

A leader should lead by example from the front and demonstrate that he, too, is sacrificing.

Fred M’membe

Tribalism in Zambia Police

Tribalism in Zambia Police Featured

There is a need for Mr Hakainde Hichilema to explain why Zambia Police key command positions at all levels and in all departments or units are predominantly occupied by people from one ethnicity and related ethnicities almost to the exclusion of all others.

Is it by pure merit or coincidence that:

  1. Inspector General of Police Lemmy Kajoba is KAONDE?
  2. Deputy Inspector General of Police (State House) Fanwell Siandenge is TONGA?
  3. Deputy Inspector General of Police (Operations) Milner Libusa Muyambango is LOZI?
  4. Deputy Inspector General of Police (Administration) Doris Nayame is MAMBWE?
  5. Director Administration Byemba Musole is LOZI?
  6. Director CID Yuyi Mwala is LOZI?
  7. Deputy Director CID Maxwell Timba is TONGA?
  8. SPIO (Intelligence) Mweemba Robertson is TONGA?
  9. PRO Rae Hamoonga is TONGA?
  10. Commissioner Administration Auxensio Daka (who is said to have been recommended by the late president Lupiya Banda) is NSENGA?
  11. Quarter Master Mubita Munenbo is LOZI?


  1. DIG Fanwell Siandenge is TONGA?
  2. Aide de Camp Shapa Wakung’uma is LOZI?
  3. Commissioner of Police Justin Moolo is TONGA?
  4. In Charge Administration Malambo is TONGA?
  5. In Charge Intelligence Chiwala is TONGA?
  6. In Charge Operations Lumanyendo (a relative of Siandenge and coming from the same village) is TONGA?
  7. Senior Driver Mubiana is LOZI (but they often opt to use his junior Mbaimba who is TONGA)?
  8. In Charge Bodyguard Siandiza is TONGA?
  9. Callabashi-Mrs Serah Mwenya (BEMBA)?
  10. Armoury in Charge Mumeka is KAONDE?
  11. Food Analyst Mazaza is LUNDA?
  12. In Charge Garage Kakeja is KAONDE?
  13. Quarter Master Mukolo is LOZI?


  1. Lusaka Province – Kreto Nkaanza is TONGA?
  2. Copperbelt Province – Peacewell Mweemba is TONGA?
  3. Central Province – Mukuka Davies Chileshe (who is a close associate of Deputy Inspector General Muyambango) is BEMBA?
  4. Eastern Province – Limpo Liwali is LOZI?
  5. Northern Province – Gloria Mulele (a very close associate of DIG operations Milner Muyambango) is TONGA?
  6. Muchinga Province – Mubaanga Kaunda is LUNDA?
  7. Luapula – Fwambo Siame is MAMBWE?
  8. Southern – Paul Achiume is TUMBUKA?
  9. North Western Province – Dennis Moola is TONGA?
  10. Western Province – Roy Kashimba is LUNDA?


  1. Paramilitary – Yobe Luhana (who is step brother to Deputy Inspector General Siandenge) is TUMBUKA?
  2. Protective Unit – Fred Hamamba is TONGA?
  3. Airport – Robison Moonga is TONGA?
  4. Lilayi College – Desmond Mwaanza is TONGA?
  5. TAZARA – Simon Mbaulu is LUVALE?
  6. Mobile Unit – Pethias Siandenge (who is younger brother of Deputy Inspector Siandenge) is TONGA?


  1. Lusaka Province – Malambo Muchinda is TONGA?
  2. Northern Province – James Chiti is BEMBA?
  3. Luapula Province – Chimuli Kapenda is LUVALE?
  4. Muchinga Province – Munankopa Nesbert is TONGA?
  5. North Western Province – Abel Chifumpa is LENJE?
  6. Southern Province – Clement Matomola is LOZI?
  7. Central Province – Limwanya Kapupa is LOZI?
  8. Copperbelt Province – Chris Chipepo Chiyabi is TONGA?
  9. Eastern Province – Edify Milambo is TONGA?
  10. Western Province – Joe Malumo is LOZI?


  1. College – Mponyela Ireen is LOZI?
  2. Mobile Unit – Kanondo Royd is LUNDA?
  3. TAZARA – Fwankila is TONGA?
  4. Airport – Mbwainga Harry is TONGA?
  5. Protective Unit – Kaumbi Lilian is LOZI?
  6. Paramilitary – Neverson Mpundu is BEMBA?

These are the key positions in Zambia Police.
Like Deputy Inspector General Siandenge, some of these officers were part of the UPND security team. Two of Deputy Inspector General Siandenge’s brothers are in charge of the two striking police units – paramilitary and mobile units.

Where does this staffing of the police leave the opposition when it comes to policing politics and elections? Would Mr Hichilema keep quiet and accept this if he was in opposition?

These are honest questions seeking honest answers.

Fred M’membe
President of Socialist Party Zambia

More money problems!

More money problems! Featured

The Bank of Zambia has issued an instruction to commercial banks in Zambia to reduce money circulation further by increasing the statutory reserve ratio it holds.

The statutory reserve ratios, “will be increased by 2.5 percentage points to 11.5 per cent from the current 9.0 per cent. The revised statutory ratio of 11.5 per cent will be based on the weekly return of selected assets and liabilities from next Wednesday, February 8 2023.

The decision by the Bank of Zambia to increase the bank reserve ratio means more money problems for Zambians.

In a word, the Bank of Zambia move has effectively squeezed money out of circulation which will force commercial banks to only deal or lend money to pristine clients like mines or big business.

The ordinary already poor Zambian shall suffer even more as money is squeezed out of the market and suppliers are not paid, its going to be tough for many poor Zambians.

What Zambians need is more money and not less money – more, and not less, money in circulation.

Say increases minimum balance on your savings account from K500 to K600. Which means whilst previously you could access K500 of your money if your account balance is K1,000, now you can only access K400. To put this into perspective, it means all commercial banks balances held by the Bank of Zambia, the commercial banks will have 2.5 per cent reduction on the funds they can access for onward lending to their clients. Nationally it means commercial now have less funds to lend when SMEs that are crying for access to credit.

Clearly, there’s a lot of pressure on the Bank of Zambia to keep the exchange rate low in line with the promise made by Mr Hakainde Hichilema to keep athe Kwacha appreciating.

This will mean more money because increasing the (reserve requirement) ratios reduces the volume of deposits that can be supported by a given level of reserves and, in the absence of other actions, reduces the money stock and raises the cost of credit.

Reserve requirements are one of the monetary policy tools the Bank of Zambia uses to implement monetary policy. However, an over employment of changes in reserve requirements to enact monetary policy can be very detrimental. Open market operations are a much more precise tool.

A change in the reserve requirement ratio affects bank credit and the money stock. Reserve requirements are the percentage of deposits that depository institutions must hold in reserve and not lend out.

There are several reasons why reserve requirements are not frequently changed, the most important of which is that open market operations provide a much more precise tool for implementing monetary policy.

The impact of changes in reserve requirements is difficult to estimate; each change has the potential to affect depository institutions in different ways, depending on each institution’s deposit base. Changes in reserve requirements also my lead to changes in pricing schedules for some bank services, because some bank fees and credits are set based on reserve requirements.

Fred M’membe
President of the Socialist Party


It seems Mr Hakainde Hichilema and the UPND are perched on the defensive over accusations of tribalism. Why? Probably it is because of the promises they made to have a tribal and regionally balanced and representative government. Critiques are asking if what they are seeing is equal to what they were promised:

  • President (Tonga)
  • Vice-President (Bemba married to a Lozi)
  • Speaker (Lozi)
  • Chief Justice (Lenje)
  • Acting President of the Constitutional Court (Lozi)
    Attorney General (Lenje)
  • Solicitor General (Tonga)
  • Chairman of the Judicial Service Commission (Lozi)
  • Chairman of the Judicial Complaints Commission (Tonga)
  • Commissioner of Lands (Tonga)
  • Chief Legal Advisor to the President (Lozi)
    Minister of Justice (Tonga).

They are saying the key state institutions and the country’s justice system are basically is the hands of Tongas and Lozis (with very little or no meaningful participation from the rest)

They are saying the same about the key government ministries (Ministries that are not easily done away with by any government):

  • Home Affairs (Tonga)
  • Local Government (Tonga)
  • Education (Tonga)
  • Tourism (Tonga)
    -Justice (Tonga)
  • Foreign Affairs (Lenje)
  • Health (Soli)
  • Defence (Luvale)
  • Infrastructure (Lozi)
  • Finance (Lozi)
  • Lands (Lunda)
  • Governor of Bank of Zambia (Tonga).

The rest are, in the main, pushed to ministries that can easily be done away and receive very limited budgetary allocations.

They say the picture is the same for key defence and security agencies:

  • Zambia Army Commander (Lozi)
  • Zambia Air Force Commander (Kaonde)
  • ZNS Commandant (Luvale)
  • Inspector General of Police (Kaonde)
    Director General of Intelligence (Lozi)
  • Commissioner General of Correctional Services (Tonga)
  • Chief Immigration officer (Lozi)

They are saying in all these key command defence and security positions there’s no one from the East or the North as the political leadership to keep the tribal and regional balance the political leadership had promised.

They are also pointing to the Electoral Commission of Zambia:

  • chairperson (Lozi)
  • vice-person (Mambwe)
  • the other three commissioners are Tonga, Lozi and Lunda

There’s no one from the East or the North proper.

These concerns are raised about lower positions in these and other state, government and quasi government institutions and agencies.

These are the concerns they are raising and the response is to label them tribalists, divisive elements and prosecute or persecute them on charges of tribal hatred.

With these concerns and the debates they are generating our multiparty political dispensation is back on the spot. The concern is no longer the lack of political pluralism or diversity, but the hijacking of the political processes by tribal politics.

The challenge to our multiparty political dispensation is not the prevalence of ethnic diversity, but the use of identity politics to promote narrow tribal interests. It is tribalism.

But the African experience over the last six decades has
shown us the dangers of ethnic competition and underscore the importance of building nations around ideas rather than clan identities.

In the absence of efforts to build genuine political parties with clear ideologies that compete on the basis of ideas, we have reverted to tribal identities as foundations for political competition.

Leaders are often exploiting tribal loyalty to advance personal gain, parochial interests, patronage, and cronyism. How else can one explain the tribal or regional voting that was confirmed by a Commission of Inquiry following the 2016 elections?

We shouldn’t forget the fact that tribes are not built on multiparty democratic ideas but thrive on zero-sum competition. As a result, they are inimical to multiparty democratic advancement.

In essence, tribal practices are occupying a vacuum created by lack of strong multiparty democratic institutions. The political parties are unable to find common ground through coherent party manifestos and ideological positions.

Many members of our political parties often don’t even know that their parties have manifestos.

The manifestos are generally issued just before the elections because much of the effort goes into regional manoeuvring and building tribal alliances.

Tribal politicians are clever and calculating.
They are quick to dress in the latest fashion and co-opt emerging trends to preserve their identities. They buy influence and create convenient alliances.

Their sole mission is self-preservation, with the side effect of subverting multiparty democratic evolution.
For them tribal politics is a zero-sum game.

The way forward for our multiparty democracy lies in concerted efforts to build modern political parties founded on strong ideological foundations, clear development ideas and not tribal bonds.

Such political parties must base their competition for power on ideological and development platforms.

Defining party platforms will need to be supported by the search for ideas – not the appeal to tribal coalitions.

Political parties that create genuine ideological and development platforms will launch initiatives that reflect popular needs.

Those that rely on manipulating ethnic alliances will bring sectarian animosity into government business by appointing to key government positions people from their tribes and allied ethnicities.

Party manifestos should fundamentally be documents in which parties outline their principles and goals in a manner that goes beyond popular rhetoric and cheap promises. They should arise from careful discussion, compromise, and efforts to express the core values and commitments of the party.

But building clear party platforms requires effective intellectual input, usually provided through think-tanks and other research institutions. Most of our political parties lack such support and generally their manifestos are cobbled together with little consultation.

Tribal groupings see themselves as infallible but parties have to be accountable to the people.

By stating a vision for the future, political parties provide voters with ways to measure their performance on all fronts.

Forging platforms fosters debate within parties that transcend tribal differences. Such debates are a central pillar of multiparty democracy. Building modern political parties and associated think-tanks is, therefore, the most urgent way to counter tribal politics. Policy debate is a key element of multiparty democracy.

Specific manifestos would foster healthy political competition that would force parties to distinguish themselves from each other. Conversely, such debates would also help to illustrate areas of common interest.

Indeed, it is becoming clear that issues such as poverty, infrastructure – energy, transportation, agriculture and food, and telecommunication – and youth employment are emerging as common themes in our politics irrespective of ideological differences.

So long as multiparty democracy offers the best chance for sustained growth and prosperity, tribal politics must be replaced by genuine party platforms and modern democratic institutions like think-tanks.

Otherwise our road to doom will continue to be paved by tribal intentions.

Fred M’membe
President of the Socialist Party

What’s  fueling tribal politics debates?

What’s fueling tribal politics debates? Featured

It seems Mr Hakainde Hichilema and the UPND are perched on the defensive over accusations of tribalism. Why? Probably it is because of the promises they made to have a tribal and regionally balanced and representative government. Critiques are asking if what they are seeing is equal to what they were promised:

  • President (Tonga)
  • Vice-President (Bemba married to a Lozi)
  • Speaker (Lozi)
  • Chief Justice (Lenje)
  • Acting President of the Constitutional Court (Lozi)
    Attorney General (Lenje)
  • Solicitor General (Tonga)
  • Chairman of the Judicial Service Commission (Lozi)
  • Chairman of the Judicial Complaints Commission (Tonga)
  • Commissioner of Lands (Tonga)
  • Chief Legal Advisor to the President (Lozi)
    Minister of Justice (Tonga).

They are saying the key state institutions and the country’s justice system are basically is the hands of Tongas and Lozis (with very little or no meaningful participation from the rest)

They are saying the same about the key government ministries (Ministries that are not easily done away with by any government):

  • Home Affairs (Tonga)
  • Local Government (Tonga)
  • Education (Tonga)
  • Tourism (Tonga)
    -Justice (Tonga)
  • Foreign Affairs (Lenje)
  • Health (Soli)
  • Defence (Luvale)
  • Infrastructure (Lozi)
  • Finance (Lozi)
  • Lands (Lunda)
  • Governor of Bank of Zambia (Tonga).

The rest are, in the main, pushed to ministries that can easily be done away and receive very limited budgetary allocations.

They say the picture is the same for key defence and security agencies:

  • Zambia Army Commander (Lozi)
  • Zambia Air Force Commander (Kaonde)
  • ZNS Commandant (Luvale)
  • Inspector General of Police (Kaonde)
    Director General of Intelligence (Lozi)
  • Commissioner General of Correctional Services (Tonga)
  • Chief Immigration officer (Lozi)

They are saying in all these key command defence and security positions there’s no one from the East or the North as the political leadership to keep the tribal and regional balance the political leadership had promised.

They are also pointing to the Electoral Commission of Zambia:

  • chairperson (Lozi)
  • vice-person (Mambwe)
  • the other three commissioners are Tonga, Lozi and Lunda

There’s no one from the East or the North proper.

These concerns are raised about lower positions in these and other state, government and quasi government institutions and agencies.

These are the concerns they are raising and the response is to label them tribalists, divisive elements and prosecute or persecute them on charges of tribal hatred.

With these concerns and the debates they are generating our multiparty political dispensation is back on the spot. The concern is no longer the lack of political pluralism or diversity, but the hijacking of the political processes by tribal politics.

The challenge to our multiparty political dispensation is not the prevalence of ethnic diversity, but the use of identity politics to promote narrow tribal interests. It is tribalism.

But the African experience over the last six decades has
shown us the dangers of ethnic competition and underscore the importance of building nations around ideas rather than clan identities.

In the absence of efforts to build genuine political parties with clear ideologies that compete on the basis of ideas, we have reverted to tribal identities as foundations for political competition.

Leaders are often exploiting tribal loyalty to advance personal gain, parochial interests, patronage, and cronyism. How else can one explain the tribal or regional voting that was confirmed by a Commission of Inquiry following the 2016 elections?

We shouldn’t forget the fact that tribes are not built on multiparty democratic ideas but thrive on zero-sum competition. As a result, they are inimical to multiparty democratic advancement.

In essence, tribal practices are occupying a vacuum created by lack of strong multiparty democratic institutions. The political parties are unable to find common ground through coherent party manifestos and ideological positions.

Many members of our political parties often don’t even know that their parties have manifestos.

The manifestos are generally issued just before the elections because much of the effort goes into regional manoeuvring and building tribal alliances.

Tribal politicians are clever and calculating.
They are quick to dress in the latest fashion and co-opt emerging trends to preserve their identities. They buy influence and create convenient alliances.

Their sole mission is self-preservation, with the side effect of subverting multiparty democratic evolution.
For them tribal politics is a zero-sum game.

The way forward for our multiparty democracy lies in concerted efforts to build modern political parties founded on strong ideological foundations, clear development ideas and not tribal bonds.

Such political parties must base their competition for power on ideological and development platforms.

Defining party platforms will need to be supported by the search for ideas – not the appeal to tribal coalitions.

Political parties that create genuine ideological and development platforms will launch initiatives that reflect popular needs.

Those that rely on manipulating ethnic alliances will bring sectarian animosity into government business by appointing to key government positions people from their tribes and allied ethnicities.

Party manifestos should fundamentally be documents in which parties outline their principles and goals in a manner that goes beyond popular rhetoric and cheap promises. They should arise from careful discussion, compromise, and efforts to express the core values and commitments of the party.

But building clear party platforms requires effective intellectual input, usually provided through think-tanks and other research institutions. Most of our political parties lack such support and generally their manifestos are cobbled together with little consultation.

Tribal groupings see themselves as infallible but parties have to be accountable to the people.

By stating a vision for the future, political parties provide voters with ways to measure their performance on all fronts.

Forging platforms fosters debate within parties that transcend tribal differences. Such debates are a central pillar of multiparty democracy. Building modern political parties and associated think-tanks is, therefore, the most urgent way to counter tribal politics. Policy debate is a key element of multiparty democracy.

Specific manifestos would foster healthy political competition that would force parties to distinguish themselves from each other. Conversely, such debates would also help to illustrate areas of common interest.

Indeed, it is becoming clear that issues such as poverty, infrastructure – energy, transportation, agriculture and food, and telecommunication – and youth employment are emerging as common themes in our politics irrespective of ideological differences.

So long as multiparty democracy offers the best chance for sustained growth and prosperity, tribal politics must be replaced by genuine party platforms and modern democratic institutions like think-tanks.

Otherwise our road to doom will continue to be paved by tribal intentions.

Fred M’membe
President of the Socialist Party

What was Yellen’s  visit to Zambia for?

What was Yellen’s visit to Zambia for? Featured

What was the purpose of US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s trip to Zambia and other African countries? To address Zambia’s debt with China, to undermine China’s position in Zambia and Africa, and for what? Critical minerals!

And it coincided with International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Kristalina Georgieva’s visit to Zambia. What was Georgieva’s mission to Zambia? The answer was transparent in all her meetings in Zambia, including one with President Hakainde Hichilema – the media was present. From what we observed this was nothing but a PR stunt by the IMF to claim that the institution had become better and more humane.

Zambia has requested a 38-month arrangement from the IMF under the Extended Credit Facility Arrangement (ECF) in the amount of SDR 978.2 million (Special Drawing Rights) – 100 percent of Zambia’s quota. The proposed ECF-supported programme aims to restore macroeconomic stability and foster higher, more resilient, and more inclusive growth.

To support this, the IMF is seeking extensions of maturity dates and reduction of interest payments. But there are serious challenges. Unlike the debt relief efforts of the 1990s and early 2000s, where lenders were mainly bilateral and multilateral – and all belonged to the Paris Club – today, lenders include private bond market holders.

Presently, the lenders have different characteristics and motives. And today there’s also China, which was not one of the lenders of the 1990s and 2000s. The Chinese debt is a mixed basket of private, quasi-government and government creditors. This makes it very difficult to reach a common framework.

Even when the characteristics of the lenders were similar under the Paris Club it took more than ten years to agree on the debt relief we received in the early 2000s. And how long has it taken the IMF and the Zambian government to reach a deal? They started negotiating in 2017. This complex mixture of lenders may take a long time to reach a deal or some consensus. It will certainly not be fair and just to blame China for this.

The truth is that following the “China debt-trap” narrative being thoroughly exposed as a fraud internationally, there is a new two-pronged game in town: China must bail out Western bondholders controlling the debt of many nations in distress; at the same time, the International Monetary Fund, the US, and the EU are pressuring those nations to abandon infrastructure projects financed by China in return for debt relief. In the case of Zambia, the IMF made this very clear.

This seems to be the goal of the visit by US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to Zambia, i.e. making Zambia an example or a template for this new push to block the Belt and Road Initiative and China-Africa cooperation, which is soundly based on building infrastructure (transport, power, water management, modern telecommunications, healthcare and education) and modern agriculture and industry. This is the way, as China proved at home, for these nations to escape the double traps of poverty and chronic debt distress. At the same time, the looting of the raw materials of African nations by the same nations’ transnational corporations continues with great vigour and malice under the guise of reforms, privatisation, and investment incentives. In the case of Zambia, the situation is probably as bad as it was in the colonial period.

The debt distress experienced by these countries predates China’s involvement through the Belt and Road Initiative in Africa and Asia and, was made worse with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021. It continued as inflation in global energy and commodity prices maintained pressure throughout 2021, and finally dramatically worsened with the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis in February last year.

The nations that rely heavily on imports of fuel, food, and fertilisers are the worst hit. Zambia is a case in point. Zambia already defaulted in November 2020 on Eurobonds (not Chinese debt service) and has been negotiating a financial assistance package with the IMF and international creditors. Zambia had resorted to borrowing heavily from international private bond markets even before the COVID-19 pandemic.

When the commodity prices plunge took place in 2014, Zambia entered a major financial crisis, pushing it to resort to borrowing from international private bond markets. In 2014, Zambia issued Eurobonds worth US$1bn, in a deal supported by the IMF and managed by Deutsche Bank and Barclays. In 2015, another US$1.3 billion Eurobond was issued. The interest rate was an incredible 9.3 per cent. Maturity time for these bonds varied between seven and 11 years. The Eurobond issuances were intended to fill a gap in the budget deficit of US$ 2 billion, and not to invest in any productive processes.

In November 2020, the country defaulted on a US$42.5 million payment on one of the Eurobonds. This was not because the Zambia government couldn’t raise this amount of money. Its advisors on debt told them not to pay it because it would make other lenders less eager to cooperate on its debt relief efforts.

For the IMF it is a matter of the same recipe being repackaged with better public relations in light of its dented image in the Global South.

The exact same mistake is being made in the new “debt relief” arrangements of the IMF, which focus on filling fiscal gaps in government finances rather than developing the economy. New loans ease emergency needs and will be consumed without any impact on improving the productivity of society. The new loans will mature sooner or later and the vicious cycle will be repeated.

The demands being made by the West on China and the type of conditions being imposed by the IMF on Zambia in return for assistance reveal several objectives that could be problematic for China and the Belt and Road Initiative:

The call on China to provide more assistance in the IMF-driven debt restructuring of Zambia implies that China contributes to bailing out Western private sovereign bond holders, who themselves are pressed by the global financial crisis.

The IMF is demanding that Zambia stop borrowing (from China without naming it by name) for important infrastructure projects.

Zambia is being pressured by the IMF to resort to “public-private partnership” in financing and building infrastructure. This means that many projects will not be achieved, as their financial yield would be deemed as too small or non-existent by private investors. Or, otherwise, certain vital strategic facilities will be privatised and owned by foreign interests.

There is a risk of asset grabbing by the same Western interests and their allies focused on strategic raw materials.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s counsellor Brent Neiman said in a speech on September 20 last year that China’s lack of cooperation with the G-20 and the IMF on debt relief could burden dozens of low- and middle-income countries with years of debt-servicing problems, lower growth and underinvestment.

“China’s enormous scale as a lender means its participation is essential,” Neiman said in the speech citing estimates that China has US$500 billion to US$1 trillion in outstanding official loans, mainly to low- and middle-income countries. However, these numbers are difficult to ascertain and it is not clear to what projects and what countries these loans were extended.

China’s share of Zambia’s foreign debt is a mere 30 percent. The real culprits that Yellen should be focusing on are the Western private bondholders. It became obvious that the IMF’s main conditionality to help Zambia was to cut a deal first on repayment of the debt of Western bondholders.

The statements by Yellen and other American officials are being used in Western media to show that China’s unwillingness to help the IMF programmes is undermining the efforts to help poor nation with debt restructuring. But China is doing the right thing by avoiding the IMF methods and focusing instead on its own solutions.

Zambia is Africa’s second largest exporter of copper and other industrial minerals like cobalt and gold. But while the mining sector constitutes 70 to 80 percent of the country’s exports, it does not contribute more than four to five percent of government revenues, because foreign Western companies largely own the mining sector. The absolute largest of these are: Glencore PLC (Glencore Xstrata PLC), Konkola Copper Mines PLC (Subsidiary of Vedanta Resources), Barrick Gold Corp, First Quantum Minerals Ltd, Axmin Inc., Caledonia Mining Corp, Lubambe Copper Mine Limited, Trek Metals Limited (Zambezi Resources Pty Ltd).

Only one major company is Chinese, China Nonferrous Metals Corporation (CNMC).

Most of the profit from mining does not return to the country. In 2021, Zambia estimated exports were US$8.1 billion. Copper accounted for US$6.1 billion of that (76 percent of total exports). But those companies repatriated only less than US$1 billion to Zambia. These companies do not use local suppliers for the mining operations and all machinery and services are supplied from abroad. The privatisation of the mining sector was part of the liberalisation process in the 1990s agreed upon with the IMF and World Bank. These policies also made foreign mining companies largely exempt from taxation under the pretext of encouraging more foreign direct investments into the country.

Zambia external debt reached US$8,472 billion in late 2021. Eurobond holders held $3 billion of Zambian debt plus US$336 million of interest arrears at the end of 2021. British Abrdn (Aberdeen) is one of the largest bondholders, and it leads a committee of bondholders estimated to hold around 45 per cent of Zambia’s international market debt. Aberdeen and its partners were opposed to any “haircut” to the bondholders in any settlement. American giant investment fund BlackRock holds around US$215 million worth of these bonds. BlackRock has reportedly made big profits from these holdings through the years. By comparison, Zambia’s nominal GDP was reported at US$17.1 billion in December 2019.

Chinese loans to Zambia account for 30 percent of its total external debt. However, these are long-term loans with long grace periods dedicated mostly to infrastructure projects, such as airports and hydropower projects, roads, highways, telecom and digital infrastructure, hospitals, and clean drinking water management systems.

The most important results of the agreement between the IMF and Zambia’s government to be granted a zero-interest loan of US$1.3 billion with a grace period of five-and-a-half years and a final maturity of 10 years, was indicated in the reports of the IMF staff. To receive the financial support, Zambia had to accept specific conditionalities to reduce government spending, but most emphatically to stop borrowing for infrastructure projects.

The IMF staff report in September 2022 stated clearly, “Zambia is dealing with large fiscal and external imbalances resulting from years of economic mismanagement, especially an overly ambitious public investment drive that did not yield any significant boost to growth or revenues”, it asserts also that, “rapid debt accumulation on the backdrop of deteriorating economic fundamentals has led to unsustainable debt levels and subsequent accumulation of arrears. Debt contracted has mainly been for infrastructure projects in sectors such as roads, education, health and defence”. This is outright sophistry, since the most poisonous part of the debt was accumulated through borrowing in the global bond markets from mainly British and American sources. China’s credits were long term and focused on improving the physical economy and productivity of Zambia.

This has been the demand of the IMF since the previous government started its negotiations in 2017. It led the government to cancel a large number of projects mostly agreed with China, but whose loan disbursements were not yet made. Some of the Chinese projects cancelled are:

• A major highway – the US$1.2 billion Lusaka-Ndola dual carriageway funded by China Jiangxi Corporation. Zambia has engaged China Jiangxi to cancel US$157 million in undisbursed loans.

• Digital projects, such as Smart Zambia phase II (US$333.2 million), which was being implemented by Huawei Technologies and funded by China Exim Bank. Digital terrestrial television broadcasting systems in Zambia phases II and III.

• Zambia asked China Exim Bank to cancel US$159 million of funding for the building of Chalala army barracks in Lusaka.

• FJT University under the Ministry of Education.

• Rehabilitation of Urban Roads phase III under the Ministry of Infrastructure and Urban Development.

Given the conditionalities imposed by the IMF and Western partners on Zambia and other countries to cancel vital infrastructure projects, mostly with China under the BRI, it is not reasonable for China to participate in these programmes.

When 77 percent of Zambia’s population do not have access to clean drinking water, 60 percent do not have access to electricity, 46 percent do not have access to the internet, and the roads are in a bad shape, it is unfathomable how cancelling all these infrastructure projects will lead to any improvement in the country’s economy. There is no evidence supporting the IMF staff assertion that these infrastructure projects “do not yield any significant boost to growth or revenues”. It is a basic fact of economics that improvements in infrastructure lead to direct and indirect increase in the productivity of the economy by creating efficient transport networks, lowering the cost of production through abundant electricity and transport facilities, and increasing access to markets.

The other risk resulting from this policy is that the government will be allowed to continue non-productive public spending, such as payment of public employees and disbursements to mitigate the globally induced inflation. This will increase the non-productive financial burden. At the same time, the IMF conditionality of lifting government subsidies on fuel will lead to an increase in the cost of production of most commodities.

China will be pushed back as a partner and the Western-controlled multilateral partners, like the World Bank, will assume the major role through assistance measures that are directed as social programmes to deal with effects of poverty rather than dealing with the causes. This will keep the country, where over 60 per cent of the population is under the poverty line, in a permanent state of poverty and reliance on aid programmes from the West.

If this push in Zambia succeeds in achieving the goals set by the United States and its partners, it will be used as a template elsewhere, where it will become the precedent and standard.

The attempt to pressure China to make concessions to the IMF and other financial institutions is intended to help bailout the private interests in the US and Britain, which are themselves facing huge risks due to the current Trans-Atlantic financial and banking crisis. The other goal is to block BRI projects, especially in the least-developed countries with large mineral reserves.

China is recommended to make public its position on “no bailout” of private interests, with loans to those countries not made to benefit the people but to make profit in times of crisis. China must make it clear that its loans to those countries, especially for the building of vital infrastructure, are “qualitatively” different to the Western loans, because China’s projects lead to an increase in the productivity of the countries and their ability to refinance their debt. Western loans in times of crisis are intended to pay old debt (especially to private interests as argued by the IMF itself). This kind of credit policy puts developing countries in a real debt-trap and vicious spiral, as they are not given the opportunity or permission to invest in productive projects.

China should, otherwise, continue its well-known and documented debt-forgiveness and rescheduling in a case-by-case manner. China’s loans for vital infrastructure projects must continue because China has become the creditor of final resort for such important investments to pull nations out of poverty. In the worst case, China may shift to “investments” in infrastructure rather than financing and constructing through loans, and secure the mineral resources it needs for its industrial development through win-win cooperation with mineral-rich countries.

African nations have to take control of their natural resources in a fair and organised manner. The neocolonial methods have to be exposed and ended.

African nations need to abandon the primitive economic process of exporting raw materials. These raw materials, if processed and manufactured into products inside the countries will add value in many orders of magnitude to the raw materials extracted. The recent case of Zimbabwe banning the export of raw lithium and entering a joint venture with a Chinese company to build a lithium-ion battery plant in the country is a revolutionary move. It has the potential to reconstruct the relationship of the whole African continent with the rest of the world.

The age of exploitation of nations through colonialism and neocolonialism has to end and be replaced by the win-win concept manifested in the Belt and Road Initiative.

Fred M’membe,
President of the Socialist Party

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, 2022 Movie

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, 2022 Movie Featured

Since the release of Wakanda Forever, many people in Zambia and across the globe have made their way to cinemas to watch it.

I have also taken time to watch the film. It is insightful, thought provoking, evokes a mix of emotions, and captures the spirit of fighting and struggling for one’s nation. It equally sends a wave of sadness, especially with the mourning of Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman (T’Challa), who was initially supposed to be a member of the cast but died from colon cancer in 2020. However, all the characters play unique and fantastic roles.

While the movie has many catchy moments and storylines, what stood out for me was how the leaders in the world of Wakanda – a fictional African country – fight hard to protect their nation’s strategic mineral, vibranium, in the wake of King T’Challa’s death.

In the film, Wakanda’s economy is based on the production and uses of the fictitious metal, portrayed as strategic for 21st century technologies, an aspect that scientists may find fascinating. The movie also reveals women running the military and production sector of the economy, with roles played by Queen Ramonda, Shuri, Nakia and Okoye, the general of Dora Milaje.

We are taken on an intriguing journey in which Wakanda is under immense pressure from big powers that want to access its strategic mineral. There is a scene in what resembles the United Nations General Assembly, in which Queen Ramonda, mother of T’Chella and Shuri, exposes the West’s schemes, particularly those of France and the USA’s CIA, to attack Wakanda. The CIA and US Navy SEALs invade using a vibranium-detecting machine to locate potential deposits under water in Wakanda. Their mission is unsuccessful, though, because an expedition of water-breathing superhumans led by Namor – the mutant son of a human sea captain and a princess of the mythical undersea kingdom of Atlantis – attacks them. While Wakanda was not involved in the attacks, the CIA believes it was responsible.

For Wakanda, the emergence of Namor’s superhumans, who help the country expose the West’s ploy to detect and access vibranium, is seen as a cause for concern, realising that its national and military security has been compromised. So, not only is it presented with the West as a threat, but also from Namor, who confronts Wakanda’s leaders, presenting a serious challenge that results in a war leading to many deaths, including that of Queen Ramonda. Shuri fights to avenge the death of the queen – her mother – through her new leadership role as female Black Panther. In the end, Wakanda defeats Namor’s fighters, and the two parties decide for the sake of peace to form a strategic alliance to defend their interests against the West.

While the story of Wakanda is fictitious, it resonates well with aspects of our own country’s history and present-day dynamics. We also have strategic minerals, such as copper and cobalt, needed for development in the 21st century. Unlike in the Wakanda story, though, where its leaders are forming strategic partnerships and fighting to preserve the vibranium needed to develop Wakanda, what we have in Zambia are puppets, sell-outs.

Fred M’membe

President of the Socialist Party

(Image credit: IGN)



FIFA President Gianni Infantino has accused Western critics of Qatar’s human rights record of hypocrisy.
“What we Europeans have been doing for the last 3,000 years, we should be apologizing for the next 3,000 years before starting to give moral lessons,” said Infantino. “Reform and change takes time. It took hundreds of years in our countries in Europe. It takes time everywhere, the only way to get results is by engaging … not by shouting.”
Admitting things weren’t perfect, Infantino said some criticism was “profoundly unjust” and accused the West of double standards.

In our daily lives few things are as important to us as being treated with respect, justly, fairly and humanely.
Last month Pope Francis slammed Europe’s treatment of migrants as “disgusting, sinful and criminal.” He noted that people from outside the continent are often left to die during perilous sea crossings or pushed back to Libya, where they wind up in camps he referred to as “lager,” the German word.
“Indeed, the situation of migrants is criminal. They are left to die in front of us, making the Mediterranean the largest cemetery in the world. The situation of migrants is disgusting, sinful, criminal. Not to open the doors to those who are in need. No, we exclude them, we send them away to lager, where they are exploited and sold as slaves.”

One of the great gifts of Western civilisation is the philosophical wisdom bequeathed by its great thinkers. At a time when torture and Guantanamo still exist, the West should revive its commitment to using reason to understand and improve the world.
One of the greatest joys of my life was studying Western philosophy, absorbing the wisdom of great Western thinkers from Socrates to Wittgenstein. The dedication of all those great thinkers, over thousands of years, to the power of logical reasoning, was truly inspiring.

Hence, for me, the power of the West was always associated with this commitment to using reason to understand and improve the world.
Western logic was always irrefutable. Plain logic would create irrefutable statements. Hence if the premise was “all dogs are animals”, the consequence of the claim “Fido is a dog” was the irrefutable statement that “Fido is an animal”. A similar rigor applied to moral reasoning. Hence, if a human being called X said “Human beings should not torture other human beings”, the irrefutable conclusion was that X was obliged to also say “I should not torture human beings”. The rigor of this logic is absolute. No exceptions are possible. Anyone who made the first claim and denied the second claim would be justifiably accused of hypocrisy.

In theory, the West condemns hypocrisy. In practice, sadly, it indulges in hypocrisy massively. A few major contemporary examples will illustrate this. For several decades, after the US Congress passed legislation instructing the US State Department to publish annual reports on the human rights performance of all states in the world except the US, the US State Department would painstakingly record the cases of torture practiced in other countries. For example, the State Department condemned “near drowning” and “submersion of the head in water” as torture in reports on Sri Lanka and Tunisia. By the logic of moral reasoning, the US was declaring that it did not practice torture.

In 2001, after 9/11 happened, the US went on a global campaign against the radical Islamist terrorists that had attacked it. However, after the US captured some terrorist suspects, it took them to Guantanamo and tortured them. By so doing, the US was clearly declaring that it had shifted its moral stance from “Thou shalt not torture human beings” to “Thou shalt torture human beings”. The US never said this verbally, but by the logic of moral reasoning, it had made this statement even more loudly with its actual behaviour.

One of the greatest modern works of moral philosophy is the book “The Language of Morals” by the English philosopher, R.M. Hare. Hare wrote parts of this book on toilet paper when he was a prisoner of war of the Japanese in Singapore in World War II. The opening line of this volume is very powerful. It says “If we were to ask of a person ‘What are his moral principles?’ the way in which we could be most sure of a true answer would be studying what he did.”

In short, since Western moral reasoning is brutally ironclad and allows no exceptions, when the US began torturing human beings, it was declaring “Thou shalt torture human beings”. Since this was undoubtedly the moral position taken by the US, the logical consequence should have been for the US State Department to stop issuing annual reports “condemning” torture in other countries. Clearly, this would be hypocritical. Quite amazingly, the US State Department did not stop. Even more amazingly, the largest and most powerful “moral industry” in the world is in the US: no country can match the output of moral judgments that spew out from the editorial pages of US newspapers and from the reports of the greatest think tanks and universities in the world. This massive “moral industry” should have exploded in outrage at this blatant hypocrisy of the State Department Reports. None of this happened. The annual State Department reports continued to be published and reported and cited in the media.
If Socrates were alive today, he would have made the next logically irrefutable statement: the US media was abetting the hypocrisy of these reports.
The second largest “moral industry” in the world, outside the US, can be found in Europe. Most European governments and nongovernmental organisations have not hesitated to condemn countries like Russia and Iran when they received reports of “torture” in these countries. By the logic of moral reasoning that flows from the statement “thou shalt not torture”, the same European governments and organisations should have immediately condemned the US for practicing torture. Amazingly, to this day, not one European government has done so. Neither have they been called to account by their “moral industry” over their failure to be logically consistent and condemn the US. Here too, we saw a massive dose of hypocrisy.

Even more importantly, all moral philosophers have emphasised that the best way to demonstrate one’s fidelity to moral principle is not when it is convenient to do so, without any sacrifice involved.

Hence, when European governments and nongovernmental organisations condemned, for example, human rights violations in, say, China, Zimbabwe or Venezuela, they could do so happily as they would not pay any political and economic price for taking these correct moral stances. Since no costs are involved, there is no real demonstration of moral commitment. This is why the non-condemnation of the US practice of torture is very significant. By failing to condemn when the costs of doing so were high, as there could have been retribution from the US, the European governments and nongovernmental organisations were showing their real moral stand by, as R.M. Hare says, what they did. Hence, when they did not condemn, they were essentially saying that their true moral position was “thou shalt torture human beings”.

One of the heinous acts one could carry out on a human being is to practice torture.The world would be a better place if all Western governments and nongovernmental organisations would once again demonstrate, in words and deeds, their total adherence to the strong moral statement “Thou shalt not torture”.

Fred M’membe
President of the Socialist Party

Hearty congratulations!!!

Hearty congratulations!!! Featured

As President of the Socialist Party (Zambia), I send our congratulations on the successful completion of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), on the election of the new leadership of the Party and the re-election of Comrade Xi Jinping as General Secretary of the CPC.

History is full of twists and turns, and the world struggle for socialism has its highs and lows. The role of leaders is crucial at critical periods and key moments in history. In the history of world socialism, leaders such as Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, and Deng Xiaoping, made crucial decisions at critical moments and had a significant impact on history. Without these important leaders, socialism would have experienced many more setbacks.

Over the past decade, the CPC, under the leadership of General Secretary Xi Jinping, has led China to achieve world-renowned success and promoted socialism with Chinese characteristics. His theoretical ideas have boosted the development of scientific socialism and innovative Marxism. The China model for socialist-based modernization and the statement on the Party’s self-reform being a journey on which there is no end are of great interest here in Africa.

China’s dramatic success, since 1949, means it has now advanced further than any society in history. The burden and responsibility of leadership and the necessity for innovation has fallen on to the CPC and to General Secretary Xi Jinping. His ideological innovations have expanded the frontiers of scientific socialism and answered the question of where socialism should go in the new era.

Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese characteristics for a New Era adheres to people-centred development, focuses on solving the imbalances and inadequacies of economic development, advances common prosperity and comprehensive development for all people, insists on safeguarding and improving people’s livelihood through development, and maintains the harmonious coexistence of humanity and nature.

The world today is facing serious challenges. We agree fully with the observation by General Secretary Xi Jinping that we have entered a new period, one not seen in 100 years. In this dark period before the dawn, Comrade Xi Jinping’s re-election as General Secretary of the CPC and his continued leadership of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era is a blessing for the CPC, as well as for the Socialist Party (Zambia), and for many progressive political parties and people’s movements from Third World countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. We believe that Comrade Xi Jinping is not only an excellent leader of the CPC, but also a very important leader of world socialist and communist movements.

We look forward to strengthening ties and cooperation with the CPC under the leadership of General Secretary Xi Jinping, and to nurturing the next generation of progressive leaders. Socialism has saved China in the past; today, only China can save socialism, and only socialism can counter the barbarism of Western imperialism and fascism.

Fred M’membe Lusaka, Zambia

(Image credit: China Daily).
First pass selection of quotes. Some quotes from the Opening report to 20th  Congress, Oct 16 2022

First pass selection of quotes. Some quotes from the Opening report to 20th Congress, Oct 16 2022 Featured

*Ten years ago, the situation we faced was that the reform and opening up and the socialist modernization drive had made great achievements, and the new great project of party building had achieved remarkable results, which laid a solid foundation, created favorable conditions, and provided important opportunities for us to move forward. At the same time, a series of long-term accumulation and emerging prominent contradictions and problems need to be solved urgently. In the face of these prominent contradictions and problems that affect the long-term governance of the party, the long-term stability of the country, and the happiness and well-being of the people, the CPC Central Committee reviewed the situation, made bold decisions, forged ahead, overcame difficulties, and united and led the entire party, the entire army, and the people of all ethnic groups in the country to roll up their sleeves and work hard. We will move forward regardless of the weather, and we will carry out the great struggle with many new historical characteristics without hesitation.

*——We have comprehensively strengthened the leadership of the Party, ensured the authority and centralized and unified leadership of the Party Central Committee, and ensured that the Party plays the core role of leading the overall situation and coordinating all parties. Our Marxist political party with more than 96 million Party members is more united and unified. *The proportion of my country’s total economic output in the world economy has reached 18.5%, an increase of 7.2%, and it ranks first in the world. Second place; GDP per capita increased from 39,800 yuan to 81,000 yuan. The total output of cereals ranks first in the world, and the scale of manufacturing and foreign exchange reserves ranks first in the world. Breakthroughs have been made in some key core technologies, strategic emerging industries have grown and developed, and major achievements have been made in manned spaceflight, lunar and fire exploration, deep-sea and deep exploration, supercomputers, satellite navigation, quantum information, nuclear power technology, large aircraft manufacturing, and biomedicine. , entered the ranks of innovative countries.

*——We implement a more proactive opening-up strategy, and the joint construction of the “Belt and Road” has become a popular international public product and international cooperation platform.*We rectified the “four winds” with the spirit of nailing the nails, opposed the idea of privilege and the phenomenon of privilege, stopped some crooked winds that had not been stopped for a long time, and rectified some stubborn diseases that had not been eliminated for many years. We have launched an unprecedented fight against corruption. With the mission of “offending thousands of people and not losing 1.4 billion”, we have taken on the task of eradicating turmoil and controlling chaos. The fight against corruption has won an overwhelming victory and has been consolidated in an all-round way, eliminating serious hidden dangers within the party, the state, and the military. Through unremitting efforts, the party has found self-revolution, the second answer that jumps out of the historical cyclical rate of the rise and fall of chaos, ensuring that the party will never change, change color, and taste.

*While fully affirming the achievements of the Party and the country that have attracted worldwide attention, we must be soberly aware that our work still has some shortcomings and faces many difficulties and problems. We have taken a series of measures to solve these problems, and we must intensify our efforts in the future.

*Scientific socialism has radiated new vitality in China in the 21st century. Chinese-style modernization has provided new options for mankind to realize modernization. The Communist Party of China and the Chinese people have provided more and better Chinese wisdom to solve common problems faced by mankind. China’s plan, China’s strength, to make new and greater contributions to the noble cause of human peace and development!

*Marxism is the fundamental guiding ideology for us to establish the Party and the country, and to rejuvenate the Party and the country. Practice tells us why the Communist Party of China can do it and why socialism with Chinese characteristics is good. In the final analysis, it is a Marxist practice, and it is a Marxist practice that is sinicized and modernized. Having the guidance of Marxist scientific theory is the foundation of our party’s firm belief and grasp of historical initiative.

*From now on, the central task of the Communist Party of China is to unite and lead the people of all ethnic groups in the country to build a powerful modern socialist country in an all-round way, achieve the goal of the second century of struggle, and comprehensively promote the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation with Chinese-style modernization.

*To build a powerful modern socialist country in an all-round way, the overall strategic arrangement is to take two steps: from 2020 to 2035 to basically realize socialist modernization; from 2035 to the middle of this century to build our country into a prosperous, strong and democratic country A powerful modern socialist country with civilization, harmony and beauty. The next five years will be a critical period for the start of building a modern socialist country in an all-round way.

*My country is a socialist country under the people’s democratic dictatorship led by the working class and based on the alliance of workers and peasants. All power in the country belongs to the people.

*Wholeheartedly rely on the working class to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of employees.

*We must adhere to the fundamental system of Marxism’s guiding position in the ideological field, adhere to serving the people and socialism, adhere to letting a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools of thought contend, adhere to creative transformation and innovative development, and develop advanced socialism under the guidance of socialist core values.

*We must build a socialist ideology with strong cohesion and leadership, firmly grasp the party’s leadership over ideological work, fully implement the responsibility system for ideological work, consolidate and strengthen mainstream ideology and public opinion in the new era, and strengthen the construction of an all-media communication system , to promote the formation of a good network ecology. Extensively practice the core socialist values, carry forward the spiritual pedigree of the Chinese Communists with the great spirit of building the party as the source, carry out in-depth publicity and education on the core socialist values, deepen the education of patriotism, collectivism and socialism, and focus on cultivating an era of national rejuvenation newcomer. Improve the civilization of the whole society, implement the project of civic moral construction, carry forward the traditional Chinese virtues, strengthen the construction of family education and family style, promote the morality of the whole society, abide by the public morality, and be strict with the private morality, improve the people’s moral standard and civilization quality, and promote the spirit of labor in the whole society. , The spirit of struggle, dedication, creativity, diligence and thrift.

*We need to improve the distribution system. Adhere to the principle of distribution according to work and the coexistence of multiple distribution methods, adhere to the principle of more work and more rewards, encourage hard work to become rich, promote fair opportunities, increase the income of low-income people, expand middle-income groups, standardize the order of income distribution, and standardize wealth accumulation mechanisms.

*Adhere to the basic state policy of equality between men and women, and protect the legitimate rights and interests of women and children. Promote the all-round development of the cause of the disabled.

*Nature is the basic condition for human survival and development. Respecting nature, conforming to nature, and protecting nature are the inherent requirements of building a modern socialist country in an all-round way. We must firmly establish and practice the concept that lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets, and plan development from the height of harmonious coexistence between man and nature.

*We will further advance the prevention and control of environmental pollution, continue to fight for the defense of blue sky, clear water and pure land, basically eliminate heavily polluted water, basically eliminate urban black and odorous water bodies, strengthen the prevention and control of soil pollution sources, improve the level of environmental infrastructure construction, and promote the urban and rural living environment remediation.

*… implement major projects for biodiversity conservation, promote grasslands, forests, rivers, lakes and wetlands for recuperation, implement a ten-year ban on fishing in the Yangtze River, and improve farmland fallow Crop rotation system to prevent the invasion of alien species.

*…adhere to the principle of first establishing and then breaking, plan and step by step implementation of the carbon peaking action, further promote the energy revolution, strengthen the clean and efficient use of coal, and accelerate the planning and construction of a new energy system, Actively participate in the global governance of climate change.

*.. implement the military strategic policy for the new era, uphold the Party’s absolute leadership over the people’s army, and insist on building the army politically, reforming the army, strengthening the army with science and technology, strengthening the army with talents, and governing the army according to law, and speed up military theory.

*Comprehensively strengthen the party building of the people’s army, and ensure that the barrel of the gun always obeys the party’s command.

*We insist on the prospect of peaceful reunification with the greatest sincerity and our best efforts, but we will never promise to give up the use of force and reserve the option of taking all necessary measures. This is aimed at the interference of external forces and the very few “Taiwan independence” separatists and their separatist activities. , is by no means aimed at the majority of Taiwan compatriots. The historical wheels of national reunification and national rejuvenation are rolling forward, and the complete reunification of the motherland must be realized and can be realized!

*At present, the changes in the world, the times, and the history are unfolding in an unprecedented way, and human society is facing unprecedented challenges. The world is once again standing at the crossroads of history, and where to go depends on the choices of people of all countries.

*China always adheres to the foreign policy purpose of maintaining world peace and promoting common development, and is committed to promoting the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

BA HH, UPND MULETUTWALA KWISA? …why destroy the credibility of ECZ just to fix Lusambo and Malanji?

BA HH, UPND MULETUTWALA KWISA? …why destroy the credibility of ECZ just to fix Lusambo and Malanji? Featured

The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has announced that the Kabushi and Kwacha parliamentary by-elections will be held on 21 October 2022. The Commission has further stated that the campaign period in both constituencies will run from 11 to October. We find this move by the ECZ problematic for a number of reasons. And we ask the Commission to reconsider their decision.

First, following the earlier resignations of the two candidates in both Kabushi and Kwacha constituencies, which decisions were formally communicated to and acknowledged by the ECZ, it would be unconstitutional for the Commission to conduct elections in both constituencies without calling for fresh nominations. Article 52 (6) of the Constitution of Zambia provides that “Where a candidate dies, resigns or becomes disqualified in accordance with Article 70, 100 or 153 or a court disqualifies a candidate for corruption or malpractice, after the close of nominations and before the election date, the Electoral Commission shall cancel the election and require the filing of fresh nominations by eligible candidates and elections shall be held within thirty days of the filing of the fresh nominations”.

This is the only provision that deals with the resignations of successfully nominated candidates. In both Kabushi and Kwacha, we had a candidate who resigned and the ECZ acknowledged receipt of their resignations. Once a candidate has resigned, the law requires the Commission to cancel the existing nominations, call for fresh nominations by eligible candidates and hold a new election within 30 days of the date of the new nominations. Indeed, this is what the ECZ has previously done. When a candidate belonging to the opposition UPP who had successfully filed nomination papers for the Kabwata by-election resigned, ECZ immediately cancelled the election and called for fresh nominations. When Ms Charity Lumpa who had successfully filed nomination papers for Lusaka Central resigned as an independent candidate prior to the 12 August 2021 election, the ECZ cancelled the earlier nominations and called for fresh ones.

Why is the ECZ abrogating the law and changing the precedent it has set when it comes to Mr Bowman Lusambo and Mr Joseph Malanji? And can the ECZ cite any law that empowers the Commission to proceed to conduct elections if a candidate who had resigned changes their mind after the Commission has even acknowledged receipt of their resignation? What the ECZ has done this time is lawless. The law requires the Commission to cancel the nominations and call for fresh ones only. There is no law that provides for a nominated candidate who has resigned to rescind their decision after resigning. After receiving the resignations of the two candidates, what the ECZ should have done is to call for fresh nominations from all eligible candidates. Anyone interested, including those who had resigned, would be free to file their nominations, if they are eligible to stand for the election.

What those who had resigned cannot do is to pull back their resignations and crawl back into the race. Nix! It does not work that way. This is not a game. It is not chidunyu where one can do whatever they like without any regard to the laws of the land. The decisions of the ECZ should always be based on the or backed by law. The ECZ should stop this lawlessness and do the correct, legal thing. We know they are under extreme pressure from the UPND, but if the three commissioners who made the decision – Mr Ali Simwiinga, Ms Ndiyoyi Mutiti and Maj Gen Vincent Mukanda Rtd – cannot follow what the law provides for, let them resign before they set the country ablaze.

Second, it is blatant lawlessness and contempt of court for the ECZ to proceed to conduct elections in both Kabushi and Kwacha when there are active processes relating to the same issue that remain before our courts of law. When a matter is in court, parties to the case cannot do some self-help measures outside the court process to correct the premise of the original dispute. That is lawless. As things stand, the ECZ’s hands are tied. Proceeding to hold elections in Kabushi and Kwacha before the matters that are in court are disposed of would amount to interfering in the court processes or in the matters that are before court. It actually amounts to contempt of court.

In the High Court, there is a case between Mr Lusambo and Mr Malanji and the ECZ that is yet to be determined. The judgment for this case was ready but moments before it could be delivered, the UPND rushed to the Court of Appeal to stop the Lusaka High Court from delivering the judgement. Why? It is possibly because the UPND may have learnt that the verdict was likely going to be in the favour of Mr Lusambo and Mr Malanji. Rather than facing the humiliation of losing to PF lawyers including Tutwa Ngulube, the Attorney General and his team appear to have decided that they would rather have no elections in both Kabushi and kwacha and deprive the people in these constituencies of representation in Parliament than allow the courts to pass any verdict that would clear Mr Lusambo and Mr Malanji to stand in the by- elections. But should the institutional credibility of both ECZ and the Judiciary be destroyed this way just to punish two individuals?

There is also an active case involving Mr Peter Sinkamba and Mr Isaac Mwanza versus the ECZ in the Constitutional Court. In the wake of the resignations of those two candidates from Kabushi and Kwacha, Mr Sinkamba and Mr Mwanza asked the Constitutional Court to order the ECZ to cancel the earlier nominations for both constituencies, call for fresh ones and organize a fresh election within the stipulated timeframe, as per the earlier cited provision of the Constitution. The matter was heard and the Concourt was supposed to deliver judgement on Monday this week, 10 October. But when the matter came up for judgement, the Attorney General applied to be joined to the case on the ground that it borders on public interest. Again, here, like was the case in the matter before the High Court, the UPND may have learnt that the verdict was likely going to be in favour of the petitioners and consequently moved swiftly to file an application that prevented the ConCourt from delivering judgement. Again, we ask: why this desperation?

The reason why the UPND is running from one court to another seeking to delay the delivery of any judgment that may go against them is that any cancellation of the earlier nominations in Kabushi and Kwacha would provide the opportunity for Mr Lusambo and Mr Malanji to file their nominations, since, in the wake of the earlier ConCourt judgment on their matter, nothing now stops them from doing so if fresh nominations are called. What we see here is the abuse of the court process by those in power today, one that the judiciary itself is perpetuating. The matter between Mr Sinkamba and Mr Mwanza versus the ECZ was already argued. Why did the Concourt allow the State to join the matter at the 11th hour when the court was set to deliver judgement? Where was the State all along or when the matter was filed and argued?

We urge our judges to refuse to be abused in this way. Let all the judges in the judiciary know that the best way of securing their credibility and the credibility of the judiciary itself is by dispensing justice in a timely manner and in accordance with the law. It is not by taking sides that appease one political group or another, be it those in government or those in opposition. The UPND and their supporters are quick to condemn the ConCourt when it suits them and similarly are quick to abuse the same judges again when it suits them.

It is also becoming clear that the Attorney General is not defending public interest in the matter of Mr Lusambo and Mr Malanji. He and his team appear to be defending the interests of the UPND. They seem to have decided that they would rather have no elections in both Kabushi and kwacha than allow the courts to pass any verdict that would pave the way for Mr Lusambo and Mr Malanji to stand in the by-elections. The UPND knows that they do not stand a chance of winning Kwacha and Kabushi if Mr Lusambo and Mr Malanji are on the ballot, hence this desperation to exclude the two from the ballot. But should we destroy the institutional credibility of both ECZ and the Judiciary just to punish two individuals? Why not defeat them through the ballot if the UPND is as popular, as they claim in these two constituencies? Not even Mr Edgar Lungu and the PF were so afraid of defeat that they excluded their political opponents from the ballot. Let Mr Lusambo and Mr Malanji stand. Defeat them fairly and through the ballot.

We ask the ECZ to reverse the decision they have made and wait for the active court processes to be completed. Destroying the credibility of this important institution just to disqualify Mr Lusambo and Mr Malanji is akin to shooting down an Airbus A380 plane carrying 853 passengers just to kill 2 people! We repeat: if Mr Ali Simwiinga, Madam Ndiyoyi Mutiti and Maj Gen Vincent Mukanda Rtd cannot comply with the provisions of our Constitution, we demand that they resign from their posts instead of setting the country on fire. No elections should be held in Kabushi and Kwacha without fresh nominations.

We also ask the UPND to stop abusing the ECZ and the justice system all in an attempt to block Mr Lusambo and Mr Malanji from standing. Yes, there are loopholes in our electoral laws but until the relevant law is changed, Mr Lusambo and Mr Malanji have the right to benefit from those loopholes. It is not the job of the UPND to determine who should lead our people. The job of the party in power is to deliver what they promised people when they were in opposition and hope that voters will reward them at the ballot. Mr Hakainde Hichilema and your UPND, muletutwala kwisa? Please stop destroying the credibility of our institutions. You were elected to rebuild, not worsen, the standing of ECZ and the judiciary in the eyes of the public.

Finally, we ask Mr Hichilema to appoint the substantiative leadership at ECZ so that they can in turn appoint the new CEO, as per the law. It is not healthy to our democracy and the strength of our formal institutions to leave such vital institution like ECZ being run by people on an acting basis. This leaves room for the manipulation of the ECZ that we continue to witness.

Fred M’membe

President of the Socialist party

An appeal of the Commission for international Cooperation & Support of Compatriots Abroad of the General Council of the All-Russia political party “UNITED RUSSIA” to partner parties on the situation around the Ukrainian crisis of 2014-2022

An appeal of the Commission for international Cooperation & Support of Compatriots Abroad of the General Council of the All-Russia political party “UNITED RUSSIA” to partner parties on the situation around the Ukrainian crisis of 2014-2022 Featured

Dear colleagues, friends, comrades! We appeal to you, our partners in the international inter-party relations, so that each of you and the peoples that you represent on all continents of the Earth can get first-hand information about what is actually happening in Ukraine and around it, about the reasons for the extreme aggravation of the protracted crisis that arose in a country neighboring Russia after the anti-constitutional coup d’etat committed there in 2014 with the participation of the United States and a number of other NATO countries.

The attempt of the organizers of this coup to turn Ukraine into an anti-Russian springboard over the past eight years not only turned into the beginning of the of the collapse of the Ukrainian state, the collapse of it’s economy ,a social crisis, rampant terrorism and neo-Nazism,but also led to thousands of civilian casualties as a result of the civil war in the region of Donbass (in the Southeast of Kyiv). Year upon year, the pro-American puppet regime had been intensifying its preparations for a war with the Minsk agreements approved by the UN Security Council for seven years in a row. As a result, through the fault of the official Kyiv, the agreements were completely thwarted and Russia had no other choice than,given Ukraine’s refusal to accept a peaceful settlement, to recognize on February 21, 2022 the independence of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic based on the referendums held there and numerous official requests for assistance sent to Moscow by the authorities of these long-suffering territories. After the recognition of republics, Treaties of friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance were concluded and ratified by the Russian parliament unanimously, with the participation of all the parliamentary parties of Russia.

At the same time, the Ukrainian regime was preparing a large-scale punitive military operation against the inhabitants of Donbass. It could lead to hundreds of thousands of victims among the civilian population, including among Russian citizens who have long and permanently lived in these territories. In accordance with article 51 of Chapter 7 of the UN Charter and based on the consent of the Federation council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, it was decided to launch a special military operation.

Among the tasks of this operation, the demilitarisation and denazification of the Ukraine were announced. It should be recalled that since the declaration of independence of Ukraine, it’s leadership has announced a firm intention to maintain the status of a neutral non-bloc state. However, after the putsch of 2014, amendments were made to the constitution, fixing the country’s desire for membership in the NATO bloc, which officially declared Russia to be its adversary. At the same time, the West categorically refused Moscow’s requests for guarantees of the non-expansion of NATO to Russian borders and started mass deliveries of weapons to the Ukrainian authorities, encouraging the actions of nationalist anti-Russian armed groups and foreign mercenaries.

It even came to the point that the President V. Zelensky explicitly expressed his intentions to make Ukraine a nuclear power and seize part of the Russian territories by force. Moreover, there was reason to believe that the extremists would try to use the Ukrainian nuclear repository at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant near the Russian and Belarusian borders for the terrorist act that would become a real threat to the inhabitants of all Eastern and Central Europe. The timely actions of the Russian military eliminated this opportunity and thus protected millions of Europeans.

It is impossible the fact that the current Ukraine over the past years has become a real hotbed of Nazi and neo-Nazi ideas, and the matter was not limited to street possessions with the symbols of the criminal organization “SS” and other fascist attributes, the voting of the present-day Kyiv against all UN resolutions,condemning the glorification of Nazism and neo-Nazism. The combat detachments of these extremists,armed with the help of foreign patrons, openly terrorize civilians in Ukraine, actually take them hostage and try to pass their war crimes off as the actions of the Russian military personnel. We will seek to bring to justice those who have committed and are committing these bloody crimes.

The same applies to the fact that for eight years the Ukrainian authorities have been pursuing a targeted policy to infringe on the rights of the Russian-speaking population living on the territory of Ukraine. At the suggestion of the nationalist elite, the Verkhovna Rada adopted draconian laws prohibiting the free use of the Russian language in all spheres of the public life, including education, the media, and consumer services. Any manifestations of dissatisfaction with ordinary citizens on this score were severely suppressed by right-wing radical groups with the complete inaction of the local law enforcement agencies.

It is important to state with all certainty that the Russian Federation has not waged, does not wage and does not intend to wage war on the Ukrainian people. Our political activity, as the President of the Russian Federation V.V Putin declared, “is based on the freedom for everyone to independently choose and determine their own future and the future of their children….. what is happening today does not come out of a desire to infringe on the interests of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. It is related to the protection of Russia itself from those who took Ukraine hostage and are trying to use it against our country and its people.” The position of the Russian leader is fully shared and supported by the UNITED RUSSIA party.

Against this background, the behaviour of the United States and its European satelites, those who helped plan and implement the criminal coup in Ukraine in 2014, armed the Ukrainian regime, purposefully contributed to the transformation of the neighboring, fraternal country into the an anti-Russian project and fueled the conflict in the Donbass for eight years, arming the Kyiv regime, encouraging its inadequate actions and belligerent rhetoric, is seen as especially cynical and irresponsible. These destructive forces-the so called collective West-they don’t want peace for the Ukrainian people, they are ready to “fight with Russia to the last Ukrainian.” The United States, the European Union, NATO show their true bloodthirsty face: they declare their intention to increase the supply of lethal weapons to Ukraine and continue to send military specialists there. Thus, they are also bringing the world to the brink of a new global war, risking the fate of all mankind for the sake of their ambitions to contain Russia. At the same time, Western-controlled means of the propaganda that for eight years did not notice the suffering of ordinary people in the Donbass, deliberately distort what is happening today in Ukraine and around it, and thereby further and thus further exacerbate the already crisis situation.

Dear colleagues,

By imposing illegitimate unilateral sanctions against the Russian Federation, the West will not force us to change its principled line aimed at ensuring national security and protecting its citizens. We hope that you and the people’s you represent will bear with Russia on its position at this complicated moment for peace and security. Together we are able to thwart the West’s policy of containment. The sad experience of the Ukrainian events clearly shows what the impudent intervention of the NATO countries in the sovereign affairs of states, disregard for the UN charter, flirting with Naziz, neo-Nazis, terrorists and other extremists leads to. Together, we are able to prevent the sanctions policy pursued by the West against anyone who is not ready to follow their imperial instructions, their desire to ensure their own security at the expense of the security of others, incitement of local wars and an arms race, and other acts dangerous for humanity.

We hope that you, like us, fully share the principles of peaceful coexistence of states with different political systems, respectful cooperation, unacceptability of the illegal policy of sanction pressure, uncompromising struggle against any manifestations of Nazism, neo-Nazism and terrorism.

The “UNITED RUSSIA” party is ready to continue mutually beneficial cooperation with its partners,is open to interaction with all responsible political parties and public organizations of the world.


Ambassador of the Russian Federation

Lusaka literacy campaign graduation ceremony speech by Dr Fred M’membe

Lusaka literacy campaign graduation ceremony speech by Dr Fred M’membe Featured

Dear Comrades, friends, invited guests and members of the press in attendance greetings to you all!

And great thanks for making it to this humble graduation ceremony of our Matero and Mandevu literacy classes.

Why this literacy campaign?
Why is the Socialist Party spending so much time and resources on this literacy campaign? What is it for?

It is said that the future starts with the alphabet. And the future is not built in the future; it is built on the threshold of what we do today – the decisions and actions we take today. And with this literacy campaign, small and humble as it may seem, we are starting the process of building a future Zambia, a socialist Zambia, which will be more just, fair and humane.

Literacy, as part of education, is a fundamental human right. It’s also one of the key ingredients to ending extreme poverty.

Yet today there are 1.27 million illiterate adults (over the age of 15) in Zambia – this is 57 years after attainment of our political independence!

Zambia’s literacy rate stands at 55.3 per cent, with illiteracy much more pronounced in females than males.

Fundamental human rights are just that — fundamental.

Literacy improves health. Growing research shows positive correlations between adult literacy and lower infant and maternal mortality rates.
Literate women are more likely to seek medical help for themselves and their children when needed. They are also more likely to adopt more preventive health measures, like immunisation.

There’s a connection between increased literacy and attitude shifts around family planning. Literate patients also have an easier time following instructions from their doctors, and literacy is of key benefit during a health crisis.
During health crises being able to read can mean the difference between life and death. We continue to see this now during the COVID-19 pandemic: With so much misinformation about the novel coronavirus, one of the best — and most cost-effective — responses we have is education, including educating our people on prevention, symptoms, and what to do if they need treatment.

Posters, leaflets, and other materials about COVID-19 have been created and circulated across the width and breadth of our country, meaning that literacy is one of the key tools in keeping our people safe and healthy.

Literacy promotes lifelong learning and builds skills. As many of us realise after we have graduated, learning is a lifelong journey. The more we learn, the more we are able to adapt to a fast-changing world. The more we are able to adapt, the more we can continually improve our standard of living and lead longer, healthier, and more creative lives.

When we have the confidence to read, we have the confidence to learn.

Literacy improves the economy and creates jobs. Literacy is a powerful tool against  poverty. Illiteracy comes at a high price.
Illiteracy costs our country’s economy billions of kwacha annually. A lack of basic literacy skills means that many people are immediately disqualified from a high number of decent livelihoods.
As part of lifelong learning, literacy skills don’t just mean better job opportunities now. They also set people up with the ability to develop their skills and find better livelihoods in the future.

Literacy promotes gender equality. It is said that every literate woman marks a victory over poverty. Women are the most powerful agents of change, and that power is even greater when they can read.

Literacy promotes justice, equity and peace. Illiteracy weakens communities and undermines democratic processes through marginalisation and exclusion. These and other impacts can combine to destabilise a nation.

When citizens are literate, they are more able to follow politics and be informed of the issues that matter to them. They are also more likely to vote and find other ways of participating in the governance of their country.

Literacy builds self-esteem and overall quality of life. If nothing else, literacy builds self-esteem. Readers who struggle are more likely to have difficulty expressing themselves, even verbally. This can lead to anxiety, depression, or other issues that impact an overall quality of life.

The more able a person is to express themselves, the greater their confidence, their self-esteem, and their chance at living a happy, healthy life.

Comrades, let’s do all that we can to combat illiteracy. This is a humble and dignified task. The socialist character of our party will be enhanced through this humane effort that provides a lifetime opportunity to read and write to the masses of our people.

I am proud of the tireless efforts put in by our literacy campaign team. I am equally humbled by the enthusiasm and effort exhibited by the learners themselves. There is much to look forward to for mother Zambia.

Fred M’membe
President of the Socialist Party

February 12, 2022

Nsingu day commemoration speech by Dr Fred M’membe

Nsingu day commemoration speech by Dr Fred M’membe Featured

THIS MONTH marks 124 years since Commander Nsingu was murdered, assassinated by the British force of Cecil Rhodes and his British South African company, which is today represented by the Anglo American Corporation.

February 4 is both a sorrowful and joyous day. Sorrowful in the sense of the pain suffered by Commander Nsingu, his father, the old man Mpezeni, at that time the Ngoni indunas, and 10,000 young Ngonis who Commander Nsingu had organised in an army to resist the occupation of the Chipeta area, which was Ngoni land.
The Ngoni capital fell to Cecil Rhodes’ army on February 4 and it was 124 years ago that Commander Nsingu was captured and court-martialed, with a decision made to execute him the following morning. On February 5 at dawn Commander Nsingu was executed in front of his lieutenants. Why did this happen? It happened because of minerals and land. 

In 1891, six years after the Berlin conference that divided Africa among European powers, this territory today called Zambia was colonised by Cecil John Rhodes, a businessman – what today you call a foreign investor – and his company, the BSA. 

Why did they colonise this territory?  What was Cecil Rhodes looking for here? He was looking for minerals, and for those minerals Cecil Rhodes was ready to kill whosoever stood in his way. He would send his agents, his representatives, to negotiate concessions with our chiefs, with our leaders. If they refused to give him concessions to prospect and mine minerals in their chiefdoms, he attacked them. He had an army, a very big army that he had set up in Kotakota in Northern Malawi. That army was well resourced, it was equipped with maxim guns and seven-pounder artillery.

Cecil Rhodes believed there was gold in the Chipeta area occupied by the Ngonis, because Rhodes had found it south of the Chipeta, in what is now Zimbabwe, under Lobengula.  He believed there was also gold up north in the Chipeta in the area occupied by the Ngonis and he sent his people to prospect for it in the Chipeta area.

One morning these Ngonis woke up to see white people with all sorts of gadgets moving around the Chipeta. It was scary but these were the descendants of the Zulu who had defeated the British army at the battle of Insandlwana in South Africa a few years before. These were very brave people, they confronted the white people and asked them what they were looking for, who they were.

“We are from Cecil Rhodes, we want gold,” they replied.

“Who gave you permission to look for gold here?” the Ngonis asked.

“This is Cecil Rhodes’s land, we don’t need permission,” the white men replied.

“How can this be Cecil Rhodes’s land when it’s Mpezeni’s,” the Ngonis continued.

“No, this is not Mpezeni’s land, it’s Cecil’s,” came the reply.

The Ngoni leadership realised there was a problem that might end in a war and this troubled Mpezeni, who was already an old man at that time. He pondered over it. He was even more worried because he knew Cecil Rhodes had an army in Kotakota that was well resourced and well equipped. Although at that time the some Ngonis had guns because they were trading, they were no match for the seven-pounders, and moreover, to use their guns they had to get ammunition and gun powder from the same place that they were fighting. Mpezeni realised that it was going to be a difficult war.

But while Mpezeni and the Ngoni elders were pondering over what to do, his young son Nsingu made it very clear that it was “over our dead bodies” that Cecil Rhodes and his company would take their land and minerals.

He organised 10,000 young Ngonis to resist the imperialist occupation of the Chipeta area they occupied, but could not use guns so they had no alternative but to fall back on their Asegai spears, developed by Shaka some years back. It was the only weapon the Ngonis had to defend themselves against maxim guns, seven-pounders. True to the Ngonis’ fears, the Cecil Rhodes army attacked the Chipeta area in December 1897. The Ngonis did not attack the Cecil Rhodes army there, they were attacked and had no alternative but to defend themselves with their Asegai.

It was a difficult war for the Ngonis. Cecil Rhodes’s army killed Ngonis indiscriminately, burning their crops , and overran the Ngoni capital on February 4, when Commander Nsingu was captured. His father, the old man Mpezeni, fled into the hills. Nsingu was court-martialed and sentenced to death, and was executed at dawn the following morning, murdered by Cecil Rhodes’s lieutenants. They did not want us to know where his grave was so they buried him secretly. His father was also eventually captured and imprisoned, and that was very painful for an Ngoni king, to be paraded in handcuffs in front of his people. When he was eventually released, our grandfather Mpezeni died from depression. 

We can say Cecil Rhodes and his company killed Mpezeni, Nsingu and the 10,000 young Ngonis over minerals and their land. By the time the war ended in February 1898, the Ngonis had lost 12,000 head of cattle, worth a great deal. With that wealth the Ngonis could have built themselves schools, hospitals and other infrastructure needed for development. Their economy, built over 62 years, was destroyed in two months of war, from December 1897 to February 1898.

The Ngonis landed in this territory from South Africa in 1835. They were soldiers from Shaka Zulu’s army, not ordinary people. They were about to be court-martialed for some offence they had committed and decided to flee, leaving behind their wives and children, and crossed into what is now Zambia around Feira or Luangwa in 1835. Actually, on the day they were crossing the Zambezi River there was an eclipse of the sun and the Zulu soldiers thought it was their god protecting them from their enemies as they were crossing, pursued by Shaka’s army. They were helped to cross the Zambezi River by the Chikudas who had canoes, and some of them travelled all the way up to Tanzania, while others moved all the way into Western Malawi and settled there. The rest settled in what is now called Eastern Province, in the Chipeta area, and it was those who eventually became known as the Ngonis.

These Zulu soldiers started marrying Nsenga, Chewa and Tumbuka women and the children they produced with Nsenga women started speaking Chinsenga, those with Chewa women started speaking Chichewa, and those with Tumbuka women spoke Chitumbuka. The Zulu language, the Ngoni language the soldiers spoke, eventually died. Today, his majesty Mpezeni speaks Chinsenga. We have an ethnicity called Ngoni but there is no Ngoni language because it died out. You can hear some Zulu words in songs, but that’s where it ends. 
As if this were not enough for Cecil Rhodes, in 1904 he took over the village of induna Kapatamoyo and turned it into Fort Jameson, which became the headquarters for the colonisation of north-eastern Rhodesia. He headquartered troops from Kotakota at induna Kapatamoyo village (Fort Jameson).

This bandit Cecil Rhodes and his company, the BSA, were later taken over by the Oppenheimer family and became the Anglo-American Corporation. They continued with Cecil Rhodes’s policy of colonisation, humiliation, exploitation and killings. Cecil Rhodes and his BSA company ruled us for 33 years, from 1891 until 1924 when he handed over power to the British foreign office because it was too much for him to run the government, army, police, judiciary and so on. He wanted to concentrate on his business. For some time we were governed from South Africa and later on from Livingstone and then Lusaka.

Anglo American and the Oppenheimer family continued with the same policies of Cecil Rhodes in an indirect way. Although indirect, the principles were the same and they continue today to try to expand their influence so they can control the minerals. They now sponsor political parties on the continent and in this land, where they have representatives of Cecil Rhodes today ruling us funded by a foundation.

These bandits now sponsor political parties in Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Mozambique, Uganda, and Kenya.  They have found good Africans to use. The chairman of their project (chair of the African Union) is no other than General Obasanjo, the former Nigerian President. He no longer represents the Nigerian government, he represents Anglo American. Why is Anglo American interested in the governance of Africa? Minerals. 

Comrades and friends, this humble ceremony honours our Ngoni ancestors, honours the sacrifices of Commander Nsingu, honours the life of the 10,000 young Ngonis and Mpezeni, who perished defending our land, defending our minerals. The issue is not a small one.

This history I am telling you, they don’t want us to know, it’s not taught in our schools, it’s not taught to our children, it’s not taught to us. It’s not written in our books. They don’t want this history to be known by you. Why don’t they teach us? They teach us about David Livingstone, Vasco da Gama, Marco Polo, but they don’t teach us about commander Nsingu. They don’t teach us about the old man Mpezeni, and the 10,000 young Ngonis who perished in the war. Why? Because they don’t want Nsingu to live in us. They have tried to destroy this history, but you have heard it. Our young people were singing this history. They were repeating the words of Commander Nsingu. We are here today to draw inspiration from this history, from the sacrifices, the bravery, the selflessness. 

Our people respect the brave, selfless patriots, and that is why this history of struggle, of resistance to colonialism, exploitation, humiliation, cannot be stopped, cannot be destroyed. We will continue to honour this history. Commander Nsingu is the highest hero of our homeland. 

As Comrade Cosmas Musumali says, “It doesn’t now matter whether you are Lozi, Luvale, Bemba, Mbunda or whatever, this is our national hero number one.” There is no other army in the history of this territory today called Zambia that has fought a foreign army, only the Nsingu army. There is no military commander in the history of this territory called Zambia who has commanded an army in a war against a foreign army other than Commander Nsingu. This is heroic history.

We in the Socialist Party look up to the Ngoni history, look up to the Ngoni sacrifices and bravery. Every Ngoni in this territory is a descendant of a fighter. There are no other Ngonis who came another way. The Zulus who came here were troops, they were fighters, warriors, Impis, and they have shown that time and time again. This history needs to be known, this history needs to be taught to our children.

Today, we cannot even find a picture of Nsingu. We have hunted in the archives in South Africa and Europe for the past five years but have failed to find a picture of Nsingu. We hope that one day we will find one so that our young people can see who Commander Nsingu was and what he looked like so we can erect a proper statue that reflects the image of our commander, our national hero, the apostle of the independence of this country. Comrades, without your history, without your roots you are nobody.

We have been on this path before

We have been on this path before Featured

Let’s not cheat ourselves or allow ourselves to be deceived. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme guarantees us nothing. We have been on this path before. Yes, the language has or is changing slightly, but the fundamentals of these programmes have remained the same. The IMF management would like recipient countries to “own” the policy conditionalities much more than they have done. But genuine ownership can only be derived if the countries themselves participate in the making of the policies; and this is generally not the case as the policies are usually imposed by the IMF, often against the wishes of the governments or people.

Still, the policies would be more acceptable if they work. But generally they have not worked. Instead of recovery, growth and getting out of debt, many recipient countries have experienced stagnation or worse, and many are still trapped in debt. Thus, more “country ownership” of IMF programmes does not simply mean improving the methods of getting countries to really accept and internalise IMF policies which, it is assumed, are good though tough. It is not a communications or public relations task.

Ownership can or should be increased only if there is genuine participation by the government and people of recipient countries; and only if the content of conditionality (i.e., the policies) are appropriate and bring about good outcomes. Thus, the key issues are the democratic (or rather non-democratic and non-participatory) process of IMF policy-making, and the appropriateness (or rather inappropriateness) of the IMF policies. Unless these issues are resolved, no amount of persuasion or arm-twisting (ultimatums such as “convince us beforehand that you are a believer or we won’t agree to giving you a loan”) will bring about genuine ownership.

The issues of non-participation and inappropriate policies are not academic but of life and death dimensions. From the mid 1980s we have lived through IMF programmes. We closely followed policy debates and policies in the different affected countries, saw the effects of the market practices and the IMF-led policies, the social and political upheavals, the traumatic economic downturn, the devastating effect on the lives of millions of people and on the viability of thousands of local firms, big and small. Due to the evidence of recent events, there is a crisis also in development thinking and the development paradigm. In the past there was a bias or blind faith in predominantly relying on the state for development. Then, there was a swing to the other extreme of having total reliance and blind faith in the private sector and on globalisation (rapid opening up to international finance and trade). Now the pendulum is swinging back.

The emerging view is that openness can have good or bad effects, depending on the specific condition and stage of development a country is in, for example, whether the local firms and banks are prepared for external competition, whether there are regulations or knowledge on managing and utilising foreign loans so that they can be repaid, whether there is reciprocal benefits from opening up, whether there are opportunities for increasing exports or if the capacity to produce and market for export has been built up, and what are the balance of payments effects of opening up given the conditions the country finds itself in. Although if conditions are right there can be many benefits from opening up, there are also great risks and costs to be borne if the conditions are not right. For many countries, the conditions are not or may not be right, at least not yet. If they nevertheless open up, they may suffer the risks and the costs.

Thus, the balance, degree, timing, sequence of liberalisation must be tailored to each country. Though it may become the new wisdom in rhetoric, this principle has not yet been translated into policy by international agencies like the IMF, nor into national policy of most developing countries. Many countries are unable to do so, even if they want to, due to conditionality or binding rules. Many, if not most, developing countries are neither growing nor developing. The situation is bleak for many. Business as usual cannot be the response, as it has generally failed. The issue of conditionality and ownership should be viewed in a broad perspective, and this includes looking critically not only at the roads taken by the IMF but also at the roads not taken.

The raison d´etre of the IMF at its creation and in the era of the Bretton Woods system is to ensure global financial stability. This arose from the recognition that left to itself the financial institutions, markets and players, can become a too-powerful force with the potential of destabilising the financial system itself as well as undermining the real economy. The IMF’s implicit mission included taming and regulating global and national finance so that finance would serve the real sector objectives of growth of output, income and employment.The original Post WW2 framework supported this function. It included a system predominated by fixed exchange rates (which could be adjusted with IMF assistance when needed by objective conditions), BOP adjustment through country-IMF discussion when needed, limited cross border financial flows, and the normality of national capital controls.

Policy was influenced by an understanding of the need for caution on the potential for instability, volatility and harm to the real economy that can be caused by unregulated finance and by speculative activity. This regulatory system and the period of relative financial stability ended with the 1972 Smithsonian Agreement. Floating replaced fixed exchange rates, financial deregulation and liberalisation took off in the OECD countries, new financial instruments developed, there has been a massive explosion in crossborder short term capital flows and in speculative financial activity.

There has also been the spread of capital liberalisation to developing countries, to which advice from developed countries and from the IMF contributed. These developments underlie the frequent occurrence of financial crises. The failure of the IMF and other international financial agencies to prevent such crises should be recognised as one of its major flaws, and this should be rectified. Indeed, the failure of the IMF in preventing the global financial system from going down the road of such rapid deregulation and liberalisation (with the consequences of currency instability, volatility of capital flows and financial speculation), and instead presiding over this road that was taken, is a major mistake. It also goes against the original role of the IMF to establish and maintain a stable financial order.

There needs to be a backtracking to the crossroads and take a new turning which is more true to the IMF’s original mission of establishing financial stability. That is the road of crisis prevention through establishment of greater stability through better understanding and regulation of capital flows and capital markets; and a more stable system of exchange rates (including among the major reserve currencies, and in the currencies of developing countries). There is need to understand capital markets and the role and methods of players like highly leveraged institutions (for example hedge funds) which are now non-transparent and unaccountable but have major impact on global and national finance and real economy. There is need especially to curb manipulative financial activity. There is need to understand the behaviour and potential and real effects of various kinds of capital flows to developing countries – including credit (to the public and private sectors), portfolio investment, foreign direct investment (and its varieties, such as mergers and acquisitions, Greenfield investment, and FDI that produces for the domestic or the foreign market).

There is need to look at inflows and outflows arising from each, including the potential for volatility of each and the effects, especially on reserves and the balance-of-payments. What are the implications for policy and what guidelines should be given? For example, when should (or should not) a government or company borrow in foreign currency? Regulations and guidelines are needed because the market lacks a mechanism that can ensure appropriate outcomes. One guideline that is most relevant could be that local companies should be allowed to borrow in foreign currency only if (and to the extent) the loan is utilised for projects that earn foreign exchange to repay the debt.

The potential for devastating effects of short-term capital flows should be recognised and acted on, to prevent developing countries from the dangers of falling into debt traps. The IMF must recognise this and have an action plan A(or at least be part of a coordinated action plan) that:

(i) regulates global capital flows, through international regulations or through currency transaction taxes; (ii) establishes surveillance mechanisms and disciplines on countries that are major sources of credit so that the authorities in these countries monitor and regulate the behaviour and flows emanating from their capital markets and institutional sources of funds;

(iii) provides warnings for developing countries of the potential hazards of accepting different types of capital inflows and provides guidelines on the judicious and careful use of the various kinds of funds ;(iv) educates members and the public on how capital markets work and establishes surveillance and accountability mechanisms to guide and regulate the workings of the markets; (v) appreciates and advises countries on the functions and selective uses of capital controls at national level, and helps them establish the capacity to introduce or maintain such controls; (vi) identifies and curbs the use and abuse of financial instruments and methods that manipulate prices, currencies and markets, and prevents the development of new manipulative or destabilising instruments and methods;(vii) stabilises exchange rates at international and national levels, which could include mechanisms to stabilise the three major currencies, and measures that can provide more stability and more accurate pricing of currencies of developing countries; (viii) provides sufficient liquidity and credit to developing countries to finance development.The prevention of crises through a more stable global financial order is more beneficial and cost effective than allowing the continuation of a fundamentally unstable and crisis-prone system which would then throw up the need of frequent bail-outs with accompanying conditionality.

IMF conditionality policies have come under severe criticism for at least three reasons: (i) that there has been “over-reach” in that the conditions widened in range through time to include “structural policies” not needed for managing the crisis; (ii) that the policies in the core economic and financial areas of IMF competence have also been inappropriate as they were contractionary and did not generate growth; and(iii) that the policies were designed in ways insensitive to social impacts, and the burden of adjustment fell heavily on the poor and at the expense of social and public services.

The scope of IMF policy conditions has been increasing through the years and has become far too broad. Many of the conditions were not relevant or critical to the causes or the management of the crisis the countries found themselves in. Some of these conditions were put into the conditionality package under the influence or pressure of major IMF shareholders for their own interest or agenda, rather than in the interests of the debtor country. On many areas where conditions are set, neither the IMF nor the World Bank has the expertise to give proper advice, and thus the potential to commit a blunder is high and the negative effects can also be high. This includes the area of political conditionality and issues relating to “governance”. In many countries, import liberalisation has led to domestic firms and industries having to close down as they were unable to compete with cheaper imports, and de-industrialisation has been the result.

There is now strong emerging evidence that trade liberalisation can successfully work only under certain conditions. Factors for success or otherwise include the ability of the country’s enterprises and farms to withstand import competition, its production and distribution capacity to export, as well as the state of commodity prices and the degree of market access for its products. In the absence of positive factors, import liberalisation may cause the country into deeper problems.

The implications for conditionality are significant. Evidence is emerging that wrongly sequenced and improperly implemented trade liberalisation is adding to developing countries’ trade deficits. The IMF should thus review its trade liberalisation conditionality to take account of the need to enable countries to tailor their trade policy to their particular conditions and their development needs. In areas of its core competence, there are also serious problems with IMF policies. The problems with conditionality do not lie only in “new areas” outside the traditional areas of the IMF’s concern. The criticism is now widespread that even in the areas of the IMF’s core competence (macroeconomic, financial, monetary and fiscal policies), there are major problems of appropriateness of policy and conditionality.

Policy objectives and assumptions and policy instruments on how to obtain them are under question, given the poor record of outcome. This questioning of the appropriateness and outcomes of policy had already been going on for several years (especially in relation to policies and results in Africa), but the doubts and criticisms grew much more intense as a result of the IMF handling of the Asian crisis.The IMF policies tend to be biased towards restrictive monetary policies (including high interest rates) and fiscal contraction, both of which tend to induce or increase recessionary pressures in the overall economy. The contraction in money supply and high interest rates decrease the inducement for investment as well as consumption (thus reducing effective demand). The high interest rates also increase the debt-servicing burden of local enterprises and cause a deterioration in the banking system in relation to non-performing loans.

The Fund has also maintained the strong condition for financial liberalisation and openness in the capital account. Thus, the country is subjected to free inflows and outflows of funds, involving foreigners and locals. The country’s exchange rate is in most cases open to the influence of these capital flows, to the level of interest rate, and to speculative activity. Often, there are large fluctuations in the exchange rate. Given the fixed assumption that the capital account must remain open, there is thus the need to maintain the confidence of the short-term foreign investor and potential speculators. A policy of high interest rate and lower government expenditure is advised (imposed) in an effort to maintain foreign investor confidence. But since this policy causes financial difficulties to local firms and banks, and increase recessionary pressures, the level of confidence in the currency may also not be maintained.

The narrow perspective on which the restrictive policies are based neglects the need to build the domestic basis and conditions for recovery and for future development, including the survival and recovery of local firms and financial institutions, the encouragement of sufficient aggregate effective demand, the retention of the confidence of local savers, consumers and investors.

Most IMF policies imposed on countries that face financial problems and economic slowdown are opposite to the policies adopted by (and encouraged for) developed countries, such as the US, which normally reduce interest rates to as low a level as needed and which boost government expenditures, so as to increase effective demand, counter recessionary pressures and spark a recovery. Thus there have been criticisms by mainstream and renowned Western economists (including Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz) that criticise the IMF for imposing policies on developing countries that are opposite to what the US does when facing a similar situation.

Since the type of policies that are linked to IMF conditionality have been increasingly criticised for not working, including because they are contractionary and recessionary in nature and effect, it is no wonder that there is a lack of credibility and confidence in the substance of IMF conditionality, even in its core areas of competence. There is thus a need for IMF to review its macroeconomic package, re-look the policy objectives and assumptions, compare the trade-offs in policy objectives with the number and effects of policy instruments, and widen the range of policy options and instruments. This review should be made in respect of government budget and expenditure, money supply, interest rate, exchange rate, and the degree of capital account openers and regulation.

The IMF has also been heavily criticised, especially by civil society, for the inappropriate design of their policies from the viewpoint of social impact, including reducing access of the public to basic services, and increasing the incidence of poverty. The adverse social impacts are caused by several policies and mechanisms. The contractionary monetary and fiscal policies induce recessionary pressures, corporate closures, lower or negative growth rates, retrenchments and higher unemployment. Cutbacks in government expenditure lead to reduced spending on education, health and other services. The switch in financing and provision of services from a grant basis to user-pay basis impacts negatively on the poorer sections of society. The removal or reduction of government subsidies jacks up the cost of living including the cost of transport, food, and fuel.

These and other policies have contributed to higher poverty, unemployment, income loss and reduced access to essential goods and services. It is not a coincidence that countries undergoing IMF conditionality have been affected by demonstrations and riots (popularly called “IMF Riots”). The social impact of IMF policies is another major cause of the crisis of credibility in IMF conditionality. It must be recognised by the IMF that the major problem with its conditionality is that the policies associated with it are seen to be inappropriate and harmful. This view is not confined to critical academics or NGOs but is now adopted by renowned mainstream scholars, by parliamentarians of many countries, and also by policymakers of the countries taking IMF loans and undergoing IMF conditionality.

The growth of the criticism is caused mainly by the poor record of the policies adopted, and not so much by the lack of implementation of the policies. Therefore, the most urgent task is not so much to “sell” the old conditionality better to the client governments or to the public, but to review the content of conditionality itself and to come up with a better and more appropriate framework and approach. For years the IMF had been advocating that developing countries open their capital account, which would open them more directly to the forces of international capital markets. Also, there were strong moves to add capital account liberalisation to the mandate of the IMF through an amendment to the articles of association.

This advocacy that developing countries open themselves to the full force of global capital markets, when the Fund itself had inadequate knowledge of the capital markets, was surely remarkable, and in hindsight a great mistake with so many adverse consequences.With the recent admission of lack of knowledge, let us hope the Fund is starting a learning process that will lead to recognition of previous errors and a more appropriate, cautious approach with a change in policy advice to developing countries.It should go without saying that appropriateness of conditionality policies in terms of being in the interests of the debtor countries is the key issue to be resolved. “Acceptance” of externally imposed conditionality by the debtor countries is secondary and dependent on it. Moreover, the right to participate in policy making, and thus genuine ownership, is a critical element in ensuring appropriate conditionality and its implementation.

The role of the major shareholder countries is even more important. The public perception is that they would like to make use of the Fund for their interests, often at the expense of recipient countries and their people. The perception is that the major shareholders (who are also the home countries of the major creditor and investor institutions) make use of their position to skew the policy conditions in a manner that is biased in favour of creditors and investors. Is there a conflict of interest in their making use of the vulnerable state that debtor countries find themselves in, as leverage for imposing policies that are in their own narrow interests, even if these are against the interests of the debtor countries?

Finally, it is difficult or even impossible to ensure that the interests of debtor countries will be adequately reflected in conditionality and Fund decisions when the voting rights in the Fund are so skewed towards the creditor countries. Thus, the issue of the relationship between ownership and conditionality has to face up to the issue of the ownership of the IMF itself.

When decision-making rights are so imbalanced as they now are, it is not a wonder that the developed countries are perceived to be controlling the Fund’s policies, and in a manner that reflects their own interests rather than the interests of the whole membership. This situation is likely to continue until there is a fairer balance in the decision-making system.There is a dire need for the modernisation and democratisation of the governance system, including a revision of the quota and voting system. This can be accompanied by genuine reform of IMF policies and priorities. The issue of “ownership and conditionality” can then be better resolved in that context.

Fred M’membe
We are in real danger of extinction

We are in real danger of extinction Featured

We are really in danger of extinction if we don’t take this issue of global warming very, very seriously. It’s no joke. An important biological species — humankind — is at risk of disappearing due to the rapid and progressive elimination of its natural habitat. We are becoming aware of this problem when it is almost too late to prevent it. It must be said that consumer societies are chiefly responsible for this appalling environmental destruction. They were spawned by the former colonial metropolis. They are the offspring of imperial policies which, in turn, brought forth the backwardness and poverty that have become the scourge for the great majority of humankind.

With only 20 per cent of the world’s population, they consume two-thirds of all metals and three-fourths of the energy produced worldwide. They have poisoned the seas and the rivers. They have polluted the air. They have weakened and perforated the ozone layer. They have saturated the atmosphere with gases, altering climatic conditions with the catastrophic effects we are already beginning to suffer. The forests are disappearing. The deserts are expanding. Billions of tons of fertile soil are washed every year into the sea. Numerous species are becoming extinct. Population pressures and poverty lead to desperate efforts to survive, even at the expense of nature. Third World countries, yesterday’s colonies and today nations exploited and plundered by an unjust international economic order, cannot be blamed for all this.

The solution cannot be to prevent the development of those who need it the most. Because today, everything that contributes to underdevelopment and poverty is a flagrant rape of the environment. As a result, tens of millions of men, women and children die every year in the Third World, more than in each of the two world wars. Unequal trade, protectionism and the foreign debt assault the ecological balance and promote the destruction of the environment. If we want to save humanity from this self-destruction, wealth and available technologies must be distributed better throughout the planet. Less luxury and less waste in a few countries would mean less poverty and hunger in much of the world.

Stop transferring to the Third World lifestyles and consumer habits that ruin the environment. Make human life more rational. Adopt a just international economic order. Use science to achieve sustainable development without pollution. Pay the ecological debt. Eradicate hunger and not humanity. Enough of selfishness. Enough of schemes of domination. Enough of insensitivity, irresponsibility and deceit. Tomorrow will be too late to do what we should have done a long time ago.

Over and over at the U.N. climate summit in Glasgow, world leaders stressed the need to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The 2015 Paris Agreement commits countries to limit the global average temperature rise to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and to aim for 1.5°C. Scientists have warned that crossing the 1.5°C threshold risks unleashing far more severe climate change effects on people, wildlife and ecosystems.

Preventing it requires almost halving global CO2 emissions by 2030 from 2010 levels and cutting them to net-zero by 2050 — an ambitious task that scientists, financiers, negotiators and activists at COP26 are debating how to achieve and pay for. But what is the difference between 1.5°C and 2°C of warming? Already, the world has heated to around 1.1°C above pre-industrial levels. Each of the last four decades was hotter than any decade since 1850. We never had such a global warming in only a few decades. Half a degree means much more extreme weather, and it can be more often, more intense, or extended in duration.

Climate change is already affecting every inhabited region across the globe. More warming to 1.5°C and beyond will worsen such impacts. For every increment of global warming, changes in extremes become larger.For example, heatwaves would become both more frequent and more severe. An extreme heat event that occurred once per decade in a climate without human influence, would happen 4.1 times a decade at 1.5°C of warming, and 5.6 times at 2°C, according to the U.N. climate science panel (IPCC).
Let warming spiral to 4°C, and such an event could occur 9.4 times per decade.

A warmer atmosphere can also hold more moisture, resulting in more extreme rainfall that raises flood risks. It also increases evaporation, leading to more intense droughts.
The difference between 1.5°C and 2°C is critical for Earth’s oceans and frozen regions. At 1.5°C, there’s a good chance we can prevent most of the Greenland and west Antarctic ice sheet from collapsing.
That would help limit sea level rise to a few feet by the end of the century – still a big change that would erode coastlines and inundate some small island states and coastal cities. But blow past 2°C and the ice sheets could collapse with sea levels rising up to 10 metres – though how quickly that could happen is uncertain.
Warming of 1.5°C would destroy at least 70 per cent of coral reefs, but at 2°C more than 99 per cent would be lost. That would destroy fish habitats and communities that rely on reefs for their food and livelihoods. Warming of 2°C, versus 1.5°C, would also increase the impact on food production.

If you have crop failures in a couple of the breadbaskets of the world at the same time, then you could see extreme food price spikes and hunger and famine across wide swathes of the world.
A warmer world could see the mosquitoes that carry diseases such as malaria and dengue fever expand across a wider range. But 2°C would also see a bigger share of insects and animals lose most of their habitat range, compared with 1.5°C, and increase the risk of forest fires – another risk to wildlife.

As the world heats up, the risk increases that the planet will reach tipping points where Earth’s systems cross a threshold that triggers irreversible or cascading impacts. Exactly when those points would be reached is uncertain. Droughts, reduced rainfall, and continued destruction of the Amazon through deforestation, for example, could see the rainforest system collapse, releasing CO2 into the atmosphere rather than storing it. Or warming Arctic permafrost could cause long-frozen biomass to decompose, releasing vast amount of carbon emissions. That’s why it’s so risky to keep emitting from fossil fuels because we’re increasing the likelihood that we go over one of those tipping points.

So far, the climate pledges that countries have submitted to the United Nations’ registry of pledges put the world on track for 2.7°C of warming. The International Energy Agency says that new promises announced at the COP26 summit – if implemented – could hold warming to below 1.8°C, although some experts challenged that calculation. It remains to be seen whether those promises will translate into real-world action.

Warming of 2.7°C would deliver unliveable heat for parts of the year across areas of the tropics and subtropics. Biodiversity would be enormously depleted, food security would drop, and extreme weather would exceed most urban infrastructure’s capacity to cope.
If we can keep warming below 3°C we likely remain within our adaptive capacity as a civilisation, but at 2.7°C warming we would experience great hardship.

Fred M’membe

Climate change is a very serious religious issue

Climate change is a very serious religious issue Featured

Following last week’s COP26 in Glasgow the issue of climate change is still very much on my mind. And this Sunday I turn to the religious for leadership and guidance on this very serious and urgent challenge facing humanity.

There is a long history of religious thinking and attention to the role of humans as stewards of the earth and the environment. These theological underpinnings stem from the idea that God created earth and humans, therefore, God’s children have a responsibility to care for his creations. This perspective is shared across a number of faiths.

In June 2015, Pope Francis issued an encyclical urging Catholics and all people on earth to focus on a broad range of issues and problems in the environment including pollution, climate change, biodiversity and global inequality of ecological systems.In February 2006, a group of 86 evangelical leaders, under the auspices of the Evangelical Climate Initiative, challenged the Bush administration on global warming. Other religious groups and leaders in the USA, and other countries, have taken positions as well.

A robust policy strategy – regarding support in the religious community – should pay careful attention to the effects of both climate change and climate policy on the poor in both developing nations and the developed world itself. Understanding the cultural dimensions of climate change requires understanding its religious aspects. Insofar as climate change is entangled with humans, it is also entangled with all the ways in which religion attends human ways of being.

Religious leaders should continue to call for bold action in defense of God’s creation.Pope Francis, who attended the Earth Day summit, encouraged the leaders of the world’s largest economies to “take charge of the care of nature, of this gift that we have received and that we have to heal, guard, and carry forward.” These words are increasingly significant because of the challenge the world faces. As Pope Francis said, “We need to keep moving forward and we know that one doesn’t come out of a crisis the same way one entered. We come out either better or worse. Our concern is to see that the environment is cleaner, purer, and preserved. We must take care of nature so that it takes care of us.”Meeting the scale and scope of the climate crisis will require all religious leaders and activists, along with political leaders of all faiths and no faith, to unite around climate justice priorities.

The moral case to address the climate crisis is resounding in faith communities around the world. It’s up to political leaders to make the investments and changes necessary to safeguard and secure humanity’s survival and protect God’s creation.

Fred M’membe

Our initial brief reaction to the 2022 Budget

Our initial brief reaction to the 2022 Budget Featured

From their posturing, boasting and unending promises of a paradise, a heaven on earth, we
expected the UPND government to do better than this in their first budget. But it seems they are still in their unending campaign mode of making unnecessary promises of being Macgyvers who will easily fix this and that.
They have promised heaven but they seem to have serious difficulties delivering even purgatory. Their 2022 Budget is expansionary yet with tax concessions given to mining corporations, a clear demonstration that the UPND government is about to surrender our sovereignty to capital and not the people.

Suffice to say, we are known as the second largest producer of copper in Africa. By implication, the copper industry is the most important part of our economy. Be that as it may be, this sector has only been contributing an average 13 per cent to our GDP before Covid-19 hit and around 25 per cent after the pandemic hit us due to disruptions in trade and global supply chain. Ironically, it’s the retail business and PAYE that have been the major contributors to our GDP, meaning our country’s economic prospects is funded by poor people for the benefit of the rich.

You may wish to know that out of the 8 major mining corporations operating in Zambia, only two companies have been paying Company Income Tax (CIT) in the last 25 years. Meaning the rest have been declaring loses as our tax authorities have no capacity to find loopholes in their tax declarations. Base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) seems to be very easy for these corporations. To maximise value from this sector, the Zambia Revenue Authority proposed the introduction of Mineral Royalty Tax (MRT) to bring certain “loss making” companies on the tax base. Mineral Royalty Tax is not a fee, it’s a tax. Currently it’s paid as final tax by both loss making and profit declaring mining corporations as a final tax. So it is net tax income to the Zambian people.

At the time when the copper prices are historically high, the UPND government has proposed in the 2022 Budget that MRT becomes a deductible tax. Meaning whatever losses they make off CIT can be netted off MRT. This may result in a significant resource mobilisation loss. In the end, the only benefits we may get from the mining sector are only business and job opportunities and PAYE.
Consequently, the named mine they are targeting to benefit from these concessions make super profits and externalise the money. There is no law that will hold them accountable for the promise of the USD2bn a named mine has promised to invest in Zambia. Moreover, in the unlikely event that decency prevails, the named beneficiary mine will use the same extra money saved from tax concessions after exporting Zambian minerals to reinvest in Zambia.

It’s public knowledge that only a named corporation had a legitimate complaint regarding double taxation with non- deductible MRT and Company Income Tax. Why didn’t those brains in government address this specific issue instead of mutilating the revenue base from the industry? One option was to reduce Income Tax to 5 per cent from 35 per cent or even reduce to 0 per cent and compute MRT at a level that protects Zambians.

Why do mining corporations love income tax? Simple transfer pricing and exaggeration of costs to declare lower taxable income. Why do they hate MRT? It’s based on extracted minerals and easy to administer by ZRA and difficult to cheat. Remember this, countries with deductible MRT and lower taxes in this industry have higher stakes or even controlling shares in private mining corporations. So they collect lower taxes and get dividends. In Zambia some mining companies are 100 per cent privately owned. Why such concessions? If Parliament has any spine, this is the time to show it.

Moreover, government just added K4bn non-discretionary expenditure by hiring 40,000 people at one go. It looks good on paper as a percentage of GDP, but that is a lot of pressure on the Treasury given that our wages plus debt service is equal to 114 per cent of domestic revenues. So, at the very least, pretty much all non-wage expenditure is coming from borrowing, which is unsustainable. Given their promises on debt contraction, one would have expected them to match their words with action by reducing on both domestic and foreign debt. If they are going to borrow $4.2 billion in one year yet reducing on the tax base, then they are further plunging the country into a vicious debt cycle.

Like PF, the UPND are continuing on the path of funding their budgets through debt. When you starting funding education – the building of schools – from borrowings – then you know you are on a very dangerous path. For many reasons – economic, cultural and otherwise – education should be funded from your own generated resources no matter what the difficulties or challenges. They seem to have no ideas on how to reduce the budget deficits yet they have unnecessary think tanks on their payroll such as ZIPAR, PMRC and National Economic Advisory Council who get paid for doing nothing and don’t even apply for competitive consultancy works for sustainability. You have 14 grant aides institutions under the Ministry of Health that are embroidered in the duplication of efforts. You have unnecessary courts, unnecessary service commissions and other grand aided institutions that can be merged and leverage on the usage of IT, internet of things and blockchain for less cost and less time while having more impact on productivity.

There has been a significant increase in CDF with no systems in place to manage that. As a socialist party, decentralization is one of our key pillars but it has to been done in a well thought out manner beginning with the transfers of key officers from the ministries that have been merged so that Lusaka only plays an oversight role. What has been assured is the what, the how has not been clearly stated.

We expected the UPND government to give a clear policy direction on the importation of fuel, especially through some government to government arrangement or private sector participation through their own pronounced Private Public Partnership in an attempt not only to stop wastage in terms of subsidies that only benefit middlemen but also to reduce the pressure on the exchange market each time we go to buy dollars to pay for fuel. In a word, they have continued on the same PF path of lack of innovation, generation of new ideas and strictly adherence to the same modus operandi.

Their fears of China shouldn’t be ours

Their fears of China shouldn’t be ours Featured

Let’s not allow others’ fears of China to be our fears.We really should have nothing to fear about China. Everyday we are being bombarded with anti-China propaganda on their television channels and other news media outlets.
Those who have enslaved us, exploited us, humiliated and colonised us for centuries are today trying to scare us about China doing the same to us. Why? Is it because they now love us more, care about us more?

It’s not about us they are worried; it’s about themselves. They are very worried about being surpassed by China economically, technologically and consequently militarily.
They must let others develop while seeking their own advancement; they must let others live better aspiring to live better themselves; they must let others feel secure while seeking their own security.

Let’s not blindly follow them on China. Every country’s situation is different, and every path is different. Whether the shoe fits or not, only the wearer knows.

We have more to learn and benefit from cooperation with China. But this is not to say dealing with China will be without problems or challenges. There’s no relationship without problems or challenges. But these have to be understood, weighed and dealt with as they arise. But our problems and challenges with China are very different from their problems and challenges with China. And they openly state their problems and challenges with China.
For instance, in early October, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the United States announced that it had created a top-level working group on China. CIA Director William Burns said that the United States is facing its “toughest geopolitical test in a new era of great power rivalry,” and so the CIA stated that it would focus its attention on this test. What is the test? The test is, as US President Joe Biden put it, China’s “aggressiveness.”
What is the evidence of Chinese “aggressiveness”? The last time the armed forces of the United States and China had a serious clash was in 2001, when a US Navy intelligence aircraft, which was conducting a reconnaissance mission extremely close to South China’s Hainan Province, collided with a Chinese fighter jet. Since then, there has been no direct clash between American and Chinese forces. However, the US has continued to build up military capabilities in the Pacific Ocean, strengthening its Indo-Pacific Command, establishing two new military and strategic channels (the QUAD with Australia, India, and Japan, as well as AUKUS with Australia and the United Kingdom), in addition to ratcheting up its rhetoric versus China. China, meanwhile, has built up its defensive capabilities, including military means to defend its territory and its regional interests.

Even the US military has acknowledged in a key report that China does not seek to attack the US nor threaten its interests outside of Asia (Pentagon, Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China, 2020). This same document from the US military makes it clear that China, unlike the US, has adopted a “no first use” nuclear policy. As the US military document notes, “China will never use nuclear weapons first at any time nor under any circumstances, and China unconditionally undertakes not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against any nonnuclear-weapon state or in nuclear-weapon-free zones.”

If the US military’s own assessment is that China is not a threat, then why does the White House continue to advance the view of a “China threat”? In his first speech to the US Congress as President in April 2021, Joe Biden said that “China and other countries are closing in fast.” Biden was not referring to any specific military developments. Despite all the rhetoric, the US still boasts a vast military, much more powerful than any other military force on the planet.

So, when Biden says that China is “closing in fast,” he is not in fact referring to a military challenge but to an economic challenge. It is now widely recognized that in certain key fields, such as telecommunications, high-speed rail, etc., China’s scientific and technological achievements are already one or two generations ahead of the US. This is a serious challenge to US-based high-tech firms, which have come to believe that they have a divine right to retain their superiority. This challenge from China has been something of a surprise to them, and one that they feel can only be remedied by non-market forces, such as a US-imposed hybrid war. It is this rising economic threat that has provoked the US to adopt its increasingly war-like rhetoric and a military build-up on China’s shores.

Fred M’membe
President of the Socialist Party (Zambia)

My two cents on the growing intolerance-Dr M’membe

My two cents on the growing intolerance-Dr M’membe Featured

Intolerance – the unwillingness to put up with disagreeable ideas and groups – is increasingly becoming a staple of those who want to hear only one narrative in this country.

The topic is today no less important than it was in the days of UNIP and Dr Kenneth Kaunda. In those days people were dissuaded in all sorts of ways from uttering words against, or in opposition of, UNIP and Dr Kaunda.

The failure of truly democratizing our politics to embrace political freedom for all, even those in the opposition, is one of the most important impediments to the consolidation of our multiparty or plural politics.

Without protection of the right of all to participate in politics, the marketplace of ideas cannot function effectively. The idea of a marketplace is that anyone can put forth a product—an idea—for political consumers to consider. The success of the idea is determined by the level of support freely given in the market. The market encourages deliberation, through which superior ideas are found to be superior, and through which the flaws of bad ideas are exposed for all to see – almost as if guided by an invisible hand. Without a willingness to put up with all ideologies and ideas seeking to compete for the hearts and minds of the citizenry the market is likely to fail. Thus, a fairly simple theory is that democracies require the free and open debate of political differences, and such debate can only take place where political tolerance prevails.

Political tolerance in a democracy requires that all political ideas – and the groups holding them – get the same access to the marketplace of ideas as the access legally extended to the ideas dominating the system. This definition obviously precludes any form of violence, bullying and therefore I make no claim that political tolerance extends to the right of violent elements to engage in violence. It may, however, protect the speech rights of violent elements, or, more precisely, those who advocate violence.

Actions and behaviors related to efforts to persuade people and to compete for political power must be put up with. Obviously, illegal activity need not be countenanced, even if I acknowledge that the line between legal and illegal is often thin, given the power and propensity of our rulers to criminalize political activities by the opposition and other dissenters.

The marketplace of ideas approach anticipates two important – and interconnected – restraints on freedom. First, many fear that the government, typically under the guise of regulation, will usurp power and deny the expression of ideas threatening to the status quo – i.e. the power of the government of the day.

A second constraint on freedom is more subtle: it originates in the political culture of a polity – the beliefs, values, attitudes, and behaviors of ordinary citizens. Restraints on freedom can certainly emanate from public policy; but they can also be found in subtle demands for conformity within a society’s culture. To the extent that ordinary citizens are intolerant of views challenging mainstream thought, the expression of such viewpoints is likely to generate sanctions and costs. This can in turn create a spiral of silence: a dynamic process in which those holding minority viewpoints increasingly learn about how rare their views are, thereby leading to silence, which in turn makes the ideas seem to be even less widely held, and therefore more dangerous or costly to express.

This growing intolerance, if not stopped, will create a silent generation, a cohort unwilling to express views that might be considered controversial or unpopular. And, to complete the circle, mass political intolerance can be a useful form of political capital for those who would in turn enact repressive legislation. To the extent that a political culture emphasizes conformity and penalizes those with contrarian ideas, little tolerance exists, and the likelihood of political repression is high.

Farewell dear comrade, dear brother, dear friend – Fred M’membe

Farewell dear comrade, dear brother, dear friend – Fred M’membe Featured

Dear comrades;

Fellow Zambians;

Today we begin to mourn the passing of a leader, a revolutionary, a patriot, a father, a fighter, an internationalist, a theoretician and an organizer. Indeed, it is the combination of all these qualities so splendidly in one individual, which made Comrade Simon Zukas the great African revolutionary that he was.

Men and women of rare qualities are few and hard to come by. And when they depart, the sense of loss is made the more profound and the more difficult to manage. Yet we do draw comfort, Comrade Simon: – from the knowledge that you left a legacy which we shall all strive to emulate; – from the knowledge, Comrade Simon, that you continue to live in each one of us through your force of example, vitality of spirit and passion for justice, fairness and humaneness.

Today, as the nation starts to mourn your death, we are at the same time starting to celebrate a life lived to the full; the richness of which touched the hearts of millions and made an indelible mark on the history of our country.One day when our people start enjoying a rising standard of living in a more just, fair and humane Zambia, they will be right to say, Comrade Simon was a chief architect who helped lay the foundation for a better life.

Comrade Simon was one of those who taught us that individuals do not make history. Yet, in each generation there are a few individuals who are endowed with the acumen and personal bearing which enable them to direct the course of events.

Comrade Simon, the first recipient of the Socialist Party’s highest honor – the Nsingu award, belonged in that category. In that sense he was a rare species, an institution. To reflect on Simon’s contribution is, therefore, to retrace the evolution of Zambian politics in the past six or seven decades. Such is the life we have started celebrating today: a life not so much of white generosity to the black people of our country; for Comrade Simon did not see himself as a white Zambian but as a Zambian. He was a full part of our people, his people, acting together with them for a more just, fair and humane order.

Comrade Simon lived the life not merely of a theoretician, confined to the boardroom and library. He was at all stages of struggle there at the forefront, generating ideas, and there too, in their implementation.

Comrade Simon was a full human being at heart. And he possessed the passion and natural intellect to see reality for what it was. He had, at an early age joined the Communist Party of South Africa. He had decided that in his life there was only one target, and that target was to remove the racist regime in South Africa and colonialism in Africa and obtain power for the people.

Those of us who had the honor to be closely associated with Comrade Simon, know that he lived true top the dedication he knew fully well that he would walk again and again through the valley of the shadow of death to reach the mountain-tops of his desires. I was fortunate to be close to him and to be with him in many struggles. With his wife, Cynthia, we would debate many issues.His sharp intellect and incisive mind would always light the way.

Comrade Simon was a well-rounded human being. Up to his last days, he lived life to the full. It is this passion for happiness in his life and the lives of others that we saw in his contribution to the campaigns of the working people and the poor. It is precisely because of his seminal contribution to the liberation struggle that Comrade Simon was loved by those struggling for freedom.

Though the defenders of apartheid and colonialism sought to obliterate his memory, the struggling people knew that he was an effective and skillful freedom fighter.The most central factor in his approach to struggle on any front was the understanding of the political situation, the balance of forces and thus the approaches necessary to advance that struggle. Thus he was able to appreciate changes in the objective conditions and initiate discussions on changes to the tactics to be applied.He knew when to compromise. Yet he never compromised his principles.

He was a revolutionary. Yet a revolutionary who knew how to plan, assess concrete situations and emerge with rational solutions to problems.The advocates of racial superiority could not understand how Comrade Simon could be part of the liberation struggle and operate under the leadership of the hapless inferiors they despised. But Comrade Simon took part in struggle as an equal, as part of the people.

The defenders of colonial exploitation and subjugation could not understand why Comrade Simon would seek to end the dominance of his racial kith and kin. But Comrade Simon’s kin was all humanity, especially the very poor. The champions of privilege and concentration of wealth could not fathom why Comrade Simon identified with the wretched of the earth. But Comrade Simon knew that these were the creators of wealth and they deserved their fair share.

Let it be said loud and clear today, that the qualities Comrade Simon demonstrated in abundance in the past few decades were the same attributes that spurred him to struggle, the qualities that drove him to join the Communist Party of South Africa, the independence struggle in Zambia and the qualities that he helped engender in these struggles.

We in the Socialist Party know intimately what vacuum Comrade Simon’s departure has left in our midst. We shall miss not only his incisiveness, experience and verve. We are conscious that it is given to a few to so ably combine theory and practice, as Comrade Simon demonstrated in our struggles.But we know too that he has left us a legacy which will continue to guide our approach. And that is to mobilize all the role-players in any area of work for joint efforts to build a better life for all. If we have taken liberty to claim Comrade Simon as ours today, this merely underlines that there are those to whom he was more than just a revolutionary and a friend.

We know, dear dear Comrade Cynthia and your family that you feel this pain more deeply. We cannot fully grasp the magnitude of your grief. Please be comforted by the fact that the nation shares your grief; and we shall always be at your side.Like you, our sorrow is made the more intense because we have lost not just one of our leaders; we have lost a veteran whose qualities are in many respects unequaled. He is irreplaceable.

Comrade Simon, if you see tears welling in our eyes, it is because we cannot bear saying:

Farewell dear comrade, dear brother, dear friend!

Comrade Grey Zulu was a selfless, incorruptible leader – Dr M’membe

Comrade Grey Zulu was a selfless, incorruptible leader – Dr M’membe Featured

Last week was a year after the death of the great freedom fighter and nation builder Comrade Grey Alexander Zulu.

And on Sunday we gathered at Agrippa Village in Chipangali where he is buried for a memorial service.

Comrade Zulu’s very high sense of patriotism, selfishlessness, and spirit of sacrifice will continue to inspire those of us committed to building a more fair, just, and humane society – a socialist Zambia.

Comrade Grey Zulu was a sincere, selfless, humble, incorruptible, and reliable leader of our people who dedicated his whole life to the cause of the people.

Comrade Zulu was a strong, honest and wise man who always looked into the future with confidence. He embodied the high ideals of a politician, citizen and patriot who wholeheartedly believed in the cause of the people, to which he devoted his entire life.

Socialists in Zambia and beyond will always cherish his memory in their hearts. We are fully confident that this spirit will never die and that it will continue to enlighten and inspire our people, especially the youth, for continuing to peacefully struggle to finally liberate our nation from capitalist neo-colonial domination, humiliation and exploitation.

May his indomitable spirit live on in the struggles of our poor people.

Fred M’membe

A Message from the Socialist Party President to the President Elect

A Message from the Socialist Party President to the President Elect Featured

The day after the elections, I wished our President-elect and his party well, I do so again.

Socialists are patriots and we wish to see our country succeed, with or without us. We wish to see the economy and the living conditions of our people improve. There has been a lot of talk about national unity. And the focus has mainly been on tribalism and regionalism. The ultimate strength of our country will lie not in the power of our security and defence forces or financial resources but will lie in the unity of our people.

Speaking of Kwa and Ku, I am absolutely convinced that as long as there is enormous inequality among the people of our country, there can’t be any meaningful unity. A country that has enormous social differences, inequality and social injustice or one where millions of people are unemployed, lack medical attention or have no schools, have no food cannot have meaningful national unity.
The existence of a glaring disparity in income levels indicates an intolerable imbalance in the way wealth and resources are distributed. Our reality is such that poverty levels in some of our provinces are above 80 per cent and rural poverty averages 76.6 per cent.

History abounds with instances where the rich and powerful have brought about their own downfall by refusing to recognize in good time the legitimate demands of the majority. And as long as this gap remains at its current scandalous level, the future of our country is at risk and our people will look for alternative leadership.
By tolerating such high levels of poverty, the Zambian economy undermines the common good, and fails to demonstrate the solidarity that our shared human dignity demands and consequently undermines national unity.

Politicians can ask, plead for national unity, but unity comes only from the hearts of people, from establishing a system of governance anchored on honesty, equity, humility and solidarity.
And we should never forget that this country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless it is a good place for all of us to live in.

To our new government – as you are ushered in we urge you to remember the cries of the Zambian people. The cries that the previous government ignored to their own peril.

You will soon be appointing your cabinet. This must be the beginning of a different trajectory for this country. A lean cabinet must be a priority. We hope this will be the beginning of the abolition of Ministries that can be government departments. As the Socialist party, we have stated that this country can be run effectively and efficiently by reducing the number of ministers from 22 to 10.

We promise to be a loyal opposition party – We will provide very strong checks and balances. It won’t be a one party state but we do recognize, that the journey to recovery will not be easy. Our voice will be heard loud and clear on all important national issues. For us, to see wrongs being committed, and not to speak will be a great betrayal to the Zambian people. Losing an election will not shut us up nor temper our resolve to call out the wrongs in our society.
For the sake of the Zambian people, we implore you to prove to us that you and the PF are not siamese twins.

Fred M’membe

Statement of the Socialist Party on the ongoing killings

Statement of the Socialist Party on the ongoing killings Featured

No political anger, no political differences, no electoral malpractices or violations can justify atrocious acts such as the physical elimination of political opponents.

No crime can be committed in the name of politics, elections or protecting the vote.

If people are caught trying to rig elections or commit any crime, it is not right to instantly kill them. This is lawlessness. It runs contrary to the rule of law. Make a citizen arrest and subject them to prosecution.

In our last virtual rally on Wednesday I said, “We go into these elections with blood on the hands of some of members of the PF and UPND. Its votes covered in blood. Theirs are not clean votes; they are blood soiled votes. They have confused electoral campaigns with a battlefield where the aim is to destroy the other.”

The killings have continued. The leaders of these two ‘siamese twins’ parties have failed to stop this violence. They are very quick to make condemnations when it is their own members at the receiving end. They are literary mute when it is their own members doing the killing. This is not leadership. To them, it would seem, the life that is valuable is only that of their members.

But all human life is sacred, holy, and precious. The sanctity of life is inherent as man cannot create life. Therefore, man has no authority to destroy life. It is the only way for humankind to exist.

We demand that the leaders of these two violent, and unfit to govern, parties take responsibility and stop these killings. These elections are competition to serve and not a ‘do or die’ contest.

Fred M’membe
President of the Socialist Party

August 12, 2021


Life is sacred – M’membe

Life is sacred – M’membe Featured

Equality among citizens and the demands of justice call for policies, which aim to provide adequate healthcare for all. People should never be reduced to the status of objects. Every person is of equal dignity. The value of one’s life is, therefore, not measured by one’s age, possessions, or position in society. Life is sacred. One cannot claim to uphold the principle of the sanctity of life if provision has not been made for even minimal healthcare for every person.

This is a priority we cannot ignore if we wish to be a caring and compassionate nation. It must be recognised that, if this problem is to be tackled, it will demand the allocation of more state resources.

Fred M’membe

Hearty congratulations to the people of Peru – SP

Hearty congratulations to the people of Peru – SP Featured

The Politburo of the Socialist Party (Zambia) sends its greetings and congratutions to Comrades Pedro Castillo and running mate Dina Boluarte and the entire leadership of the Marxist-Leninist Free Peru party on their election victory. The election victory of Comrade Castillo, a rural school teacher, gives us a lot of encouragement and confidence, as we approach our own elections on August 12, that even the poor, if well organised, can set themselves a political agenda and defeat their rich and better financially resourced right wing opponents. We know that the challenges for the Free Peru party will be many and tough as Congress is collectively dominated by right wing parties.

Fighting Peru’s entrenched corruption under such conditions will certainly not be an easy undertaking. Of the country’s nine presidents since 1990, one, Alberto Fujimori — the father of the candidate, Keiko, the Free Peru party has defeated — is in jail, another is fighting extradition from California, a third shot himself to avoid arrest, and four others are under criminal investigation.
The Free Peru party government has to also deal with the coronavirus. Peru constitutes one of the country’s globally with the highest covid-19 death rate, and public health experts are warning of an imminent third wave.

We wish our comrades in the Free Peru party all the best.

Issued by Fred M’membe,
President of the Socialist Party,

July 20, 2021
Lusaka, Zambia

Let’s pray for KK’s soul to rest in eternal peace – M’membe

Let’s pray for KK’s soul to rest in eternal peace – M’membe Featured

I am helpless. I do not know what to say or how to say it. No one is too old to die.

For now I can only urge you my fellow citizens to take a solemn pledge to work for unity, fraternity and peace as the best tribute we can all pay to KK’s memory. KK was a man of peace and justice. The first thing for all of us to remember now is that none of us dare engage in violence for whatever reason.

We have to behave in a disciplined manner and face all the perils that surround us, determined to carry out the mandate that our great leader has given us, remembering always that if his spirit looks upon us and sees us, nothing would displease his soul so much as to see that we have indulged in any small behaviour or any violence.

We must hold together, and all our petty troubles and differences and conflicts must be ended in the face of this great disaster.

Pray for KK’s soul to rest in eternal peace. And while we pray, the greatest prayer that we can offer is to take a pledge to dedicate ourselves to peace, justice and equity, and to the cause for which this great countryman of ours lived. That is the best prayer that we can offer him and his memory. That is the best prayer we can offer to Zambia and ourselves.

Fred M’membe
President of the Socialist Party

Pope Francis is a great source of my daily inspiration – M’membe

Pope Francis is a great source of my daily inspiration – M’membe Featured

I love this Pope – Francis. He is a great source of daily inspiration in my revolutionary work, and especially in these election campaigns. I closely follow his teachings.

Meeting a group of French priests pursuing higher ecclesiastical studies in Rome on Monday, Pope Francis recalled a favourite imagery of a pastor, urging that priests be “shepherds with the ‘smell of the sheep’”, grounded in the situation of their flock.
“The studies you undertake in the various Roman universities prepare you for your future tasks as pastors and enable you to better appreciate the reality in which you are called to proclaim the Gospel of joy”, he told some 19 priests of the ‘national church of the French’ in the Italian capital. He said they should not go into the field to apply theories without considering the environment in which they will be working or the people entrusted to their care. “I wish you to be shepherds with ‘the smell of the sheep'”, the Pope said, repeating once again the analogy he used in his homily at the Chrism Mass on March 28, 2013, a fortnight after his election.

He said pastors should be “people capable of living, of laughing and crying with your people, in a word, of communicating with them”. He expressed concern that sometimes reflections and thoughts on priesthood are laboratory sample: this priest, that priest and so on. He said priesthood isolated from the people of God, is neither a Catholic priesthood nor a Christian one.

“Strip yourselves of your pre-constituted ideas, your dreams of greatness, your self-assertion, in order to put God and people at the center of your daily concerns,” the Pope said, stressing that a pastor is one who puts God’s holy faithful people at the centre. For those priests who would like to be an intellectual, not a pastor, the Pope said, it is better for them to be lay persons. A priest has to be a pastor in the midst of God’s people because God has chosen him for that.

Pope Francis also advised the French priests regarding their community life, saying individualism, self-assertion, and indifference are some of the challenges of living together. He warned them against “the temptation to create small closed groups, to isolate oneself, to criticize and speak ill of others, to believe oneself superior, more intelligent”.

The Pope said that gossip is a habit of closed groups, of “bachelor’ priests who talk and malign others, undermining all. “We need to let go of this habit and look at and think about God’s mercy”. The Pope wished that they always welcome one another as a gift. “In a fraternity lived in truth, in the sincerity of relationships and in a life of prayer, we can form a community in which we can breathe the air of joy and tenderness.”

The Holy Father encouraged a community life of sharing and prayer with joy. He said, “The priest is a man who, in the light of the Gospel, spreads the taste of God around him and transmits hope to restless hearts”. To those visiting their community, they can communicate the Gospel values of a “diverse and supportive fraternity”, and make them feel the fidelity of God’s love and His closeness.
In this regard, the Pope offered to them the model of St. Joseph, inviting them to “rediscover the face of this man of faith, this tender father, model of fidelity and trusting abandonment to God’s plan”. St. Joseph, he said, teaches us that faith in God includes believing that He can work even through our fears, our frailties and our weaknesses.

Our frailties is a “theological place of encounter with the Lord”, the Pope said, adding, a “fragile priest”, who knows his weaknesses and talks about them with the Lord, will do well. Instead, “superman” priests end up badly. “With Joseph,” the Pope said, “we are called to return to the experience of the simple acts of acceptance, tenderness, and the Joy and sense of humour.

The Pope also urged the young French priests to build a Church that is entirely at the service of a world that is more fraternal and in solidarity. They should not be afraid to dare, to risk and to go forward, assured that with Christ they can be apostles of joy and be grateful for serving their brothers and sisters and the Church.

This joy should be accompanied by a sense of humor, the Pope pointed out, adding, a priest who does not have a sense of humor is not liked, something is wrong. “Imitate those great priests who laugh at others, at themselves and even at their own shadow,” he said, adding, “a sense of humor is one of the characteristics of holiness”, as he pointed out in his Apostolic Exhortation, Gaudete et Exultate.

Recalling their priestly ordination, he reminded them that they have been anointed with the oil of joy and are to anoint others with the oil of joy. He said only by remaining rooted in Christ can they experience a joy that moves them to win hearts. “Priestly joy is the source of your action as missionaries of your time”, he said.

Another virtue the Holy Father encouraged the young priests to cultivate is gratitude to God for what they are to one another. “With your limitations, your frailties, your tribulations”, Pope Francis reminded them, “there is always a loving gaze resting on you and giving you confidence”.

Gratitude “is always ‘a powerful weapon'”, he said, which “allows us to keep the flame of hope burning in moments of discouragement, loneliness and trials”.

Fred M’membe
President of the Socialist Party

(Image, Credit Reuters)

Zambia needs a new type of politics

Zambia needs a new type of politics Featured

Over the next eleven weeks, you will hear, from my opponents or competitors, how our country is flourishing, how happy we all are, how we trusted our government, and what bright perspective are unfolding before us.

I didn’t accept to be the presidential candidate of the Socialist Party so that I, too, would lie to you. Our country is not flourishing. Zambia is 123rd in the overall Prosperity Index rankings. Since 2010, Zambia has moved down the rankings table by 12 places.

A country once proud of its educational standards now spends so little on education that it ranks so low in the world. Our country which used to rank so low on the corruption index today is among the world’s most corrupt nations.

Today we live in a highly contaminated moral environment. We have lost our values, principles, standards and common aims. We learned to ignore each other, to care only for ourselves. In Zambia today love, friendship, compassion, equity, justice, solidarity, fairness and humility have lost their depth and dimensions.

When I talk about the contaminated moral atmosphere, I am speaking about all of us. We have all become used to a corrupt and intolerant system and accepted it as an unalterable fact of life, and thus we help to perpetuate it. None of us is just its victim; we are all its co-creators.

We urgently need a new type of politics based on morality, principles, values, standards and common aims. We need to teach ourselves and others that politics should be an expression of the desire to contribute to the happiness of the community rather than of a need to cheat or rape the community. Let us teach ourselves and others that politics can be not only the art of the possible, especially if “the possible” includes the art of speculation, calculation, intrigue, secret deals, and pragmatic maneuvering, but that it can also be the art of the possible, that is, the art of improving ourselves and the country.

We have a duty to struggle for a more just, fair and humane society. We should dream of such a Republic.

Fred M’membe
President of the Socialist Party

It’s time to choose between the future and the past – M’membe

It’s time to choose between the future and the past – M’membe Featured

ON AUGUST 12, Zambians will face a stark choice: a choice between the future and the past, Socialist Party president Fred M’membe has said.

“Today the case I put before the Zambian people is that if we are to secure the future for our children, for our communities and for our nation, the government of Zambia must now change in a real and revolutionary sense,” he said.

“The neoliberal, capitalist policies being pursued and advanced by our opponents belong to the past. Socialism is the future and we must build it now. After a decade in power, the PF has lost touch with the poor and working people. It no longer understands what fairness, justice, equity and peace actually mean. It simply doesn’t understand the new challenges we face, now, and in the future.”

In a statement ahead of the party’s official campaign launch, Dr M’membe spelled out some of the challenges Zambia was facing.

“One challenge is to revolutionise our hospitals and make health services free and socialised. And above all, there is the challenge to transform our education system and make it free and socialised,” he said.

“The PF has no plans for the future because it’s not going to be there to deal with the challenges of the future. It is being sent to the wire on August 12.

“The way forward for Zambia is to elect a revolutionary party and president with progressive ideas to meet the challenges of the future, a new president and government that understand and respect the values upon which our independence struggle was fought.”

Dr M’membe said those values were honesty, equity, humility and solidarity.

“We need to build a Zambia anchored on justice, equity and peace. We need a nation where there’s decency, fairness and respect,” he said. “You can’t have a plan for Zambia’s future if you have lost sight of such basic values. For us socialists, these values are in our DNA.”

Dr M’membe said Zambia needed a new leadership with fresh ideas for the future. “With barely three months to go in this election campaign, the PF government has put forward no real new ideas for the future. It has run out ideas. It has clearly run out of energy. And it has run out of time.

“The Socialist Party is offering new leadership with a plan for the future, and however many words and however much money the PF may yet throw at these longstanding challenges over the next 11 weeks, it is just not going to be real. The truth is, it’s all just too late to be believable.”

Dr M’membe said nation-building required vision. “And the cornerstone of our vision for Zambia’s future is an education revolution. We believe passionately in the power of education,” he said. “We believe education is the engine room of equity and the engine room of the economy. I would not be standing as a presidential candidate today were it not for the encouragement and instruction provided to me by the teachers who shaped my life. They made it possible for a child like me from Lubemba and Bulozi to finish school, go to university and be here today seeking to lead our nation into the future.

“I know the difference a great education can make. Our vision for Zambia is to build a very good education system so we produce an innovative, skilled and well-trained workforce.”

Dr M’membe said the economies competing against Zambia were making huge investments in education. “They know that knowledge-intensive economies will be the wealthiest economies of the future. We must take decisive action now,” he said. “We need nothing less than an education revolution now to improve radically the performance of the education system. Universities are critical to the education revolution that Zambia so urgently needs. Undoing the damage this government has done to our universities will not be easy. But this challenge begins today.

“Zambia cannot be put on the path of a knowledge economy if we do not help our universities attract and retain our best scientists, innovators and researchers into the future.”

Dr M’membe said he was approaching the election “with a passionate commitment to Zambia’s future”.

“The values I bring to leadership are the values instilled in me by my strong Bemba royal upbringing,” he said. “They are also the values that are intrinsic to this revolutionary party. I understand that life is sometimes harsh, but I believe that as a people we have a responsibility that when one of us falls down we must help to lift them back up. That’s what decency and fairness is all about.

“Another thing I have learnt is the absolute value of hard work, of not being wasteful, and the importance of planning for the future. For me, these are enduring values. And these are the values that, as president, I would bring to our nation’s challenges.

“The nation now needs new leadership for the future. The nation now wants new leadership for the future. And today, I am ready to deliver that new leadership for Zambia’s future.”

SP isn’t M’membe’s party

SP isn’t M’membe’s party Featured

The Socialist Party is not Fred M’membe’s party. It’s a poor people’s party. The poor own it. Those who tend to personify the Socialist Party in me as if the poor people who own this party don’t exist, as if only the leader – Fred M’membe – exists have gotten it very wrong. To them the thousands of poor people who work very hard everyday to build this party don’t exist. Only Fred M’membe exists.

Everyday more and more people are showing admiration for the Socialist Party because they see and understand the unwavering course we have pursued, they understand the party’s dignity and serenity. We have gone through very difficult times without making unnecessary mistakes.

We hear all sorts of accusations from our class enemies. Many slanderous things are said, but reality gradually tears such things to shreds. We have gone through very difficult times and we have gotten back on our feet. We have gone up one step and gone down another, but we have gone up two steps in terms of our people’s respect and consideration. To borrow from a song of our Mkushi North Constituency Socialist Party choir, ‘Nangu bameke lelo tukakumana kuma finals pa August 12!’

Fred M’membe
President of the Socialist Party

No place for vengeance

No place for vengeance Featured

Several times, I have been asked if I will avenge the injustice meted on me by some individuals in this regime. My response has been a categorical No. But the question keeps on coming up. Why? Is there fear of vengeance? From who against who? And for what? To achieve what?

Let me make it very, very, very clear: there’s no place for injustice in the mind of a revolutionary, no place at all. There’s no place for vengeance in the heart of a revolutionary. You can be very firm in the struggle, but you can’t do it out of hatred.
We are teaching our members ideas of justice; otherwise, our struggle for a more just, fair and humane Zambia is going nowhere. It is only upon such ideas that a more just, fair and humane society can be achieved and sustained. This can only be achieved based on principles, ideas and ethics. It’s the only way.
We believe in people, in human beings, in their capacity to forge ethics, a consciousness, in their capacity for great sacrifices.
In the course of history, we have seen people die for honour, for values they can understand. Someone instilled them with these values. Let the best human values of justice, fairness and humane ness be instilled in our people.
And our intellectuals can play a very important role in this today, because only people with a certain intellectual development can instill fear in heads of those who conspire and work against justice, fairness and humane ness.
We are convinced that a fascist-like regime will never be established, in any lasting fashion, in our country because our people have traditions, ethics and values that will prevent this. That is why those who want to impose a tinpot dictator and a third term on our people have to resort to lies.

We consider ourselves fortunate for having understood that hatred and prejudice are not political weapons. We have political weapons and, in addition to this, experience has taught us that principles are the best possible political weapons.

Fred M’membe
President of the Socialist Party

Free and responsible media key to any successful nation – M’membe

Free and responsible media key to any successful nation – M’membe Featured

Today, May 3, 2021, is a day to recognise the essential contribution of journalists and journalism to national and international efforts to achieve justice, equity peace, democracy and diversity.

A free and responsible media is the foundation of any successful nation, and a precursor for social and economic progress and sustainable development. Social and economic development, science and technology, innovation and entrepreneurship, all of these rely on the ideas and new ways of working brought to us by an independent media.
Good governance and media freedom are not mutually exclusive principles, rather they are ‘mutually dependent’. Only when journalists are given the space to operate freely – to observe, ask questions and report, without fear of arbitrary reprisal – can a nation be confident that decision-makers will be held to the highest standards. And only then can we truly be on the path of building a more just, more fair and more humane society, world.

Just as democratic institutions rely on the Third Sector, composed of charities and NGOs who defend the rights of the poor and weak groups, so too do they depend on a responsible, ethically-minded Fourth Estate, made up of well-trained, fair-minded and professional journalists.
At times of conflict, unrest and disaster, journalists are often the first to risk their lives to provide vital information and identify where humanitarian assistance is needed most.
In times of peace, journalists act as messengers, educators and advocates, putting the people’s concerns to the powerful and allowing voters to make informed decisions about who should represent them in office.
The democratic and development dividend created by a free and responsible media is highest when we respect and value the contribution that journalists make.

Today’s attacks on news media’s already tenuous freedom are proliferating. They often come in the form of violence against independent journalists. Those in power also attempt to assert control over media outlets, even if it means shutting them down.
Zambia needs traditional, independent, media to hold the powerful to account. Where independent media is silenced, coerced, or captured, the public has few options for gaining any information beyond the narratives pushed by those in power and special interests. Social-media platforms can play a role, but their main strength – their democratic nature – also has a fatal flaw. They have proved ideal for spreading fake news, which taints public debate and erodes trust in both facts and institutions.

Appetite for fake news is a threat to healthy independent media. While social-media platforms get a lot of attention for their speed and accessibility, a credible free press – one which does not simply parrot the official line of governments or special interests, but rather seeks the truth – remains essential to strengthening accountability in places where it can often be hard to find.
Chronic underfunding squeezes independent media further. Journalists not only lack resources to support their work, they are often so poorly compensated that they become vulnerable to corruption themselves. “Brown envelope, transport refund journalism” – when reporters are paid by individuals or organisations to publish favourable stories – is becoming increasingly commonplace. If traditional independent media are going to fulfil their essential role, they need resources.
Given the importance of a credible free press to both development and democracy, the Socialist Party in government will remove all constraints on press freedom, and create a more favourable financial, economic and political environment for the media to survive and prosper.

The Socialist Party has consistently reaffirmed its commitment to freedom of the media, as a guarantor of freedom of expression.
The Socialist Party will continue to work with and support various institutions
to help them make good on their individual and collective commitments.

Fred M’membe
President of the Socialist Party

May Day message from the Socialist Party

May Day message from the Socialist Party Featured

May Day message from the Socialist Party

May Day is not simply a time of celebration for our Party and those who toil.
May Day is also a solemn occasion, a time when we bow our heads in respect for those who have fallen.
On May Day, we remember that the flag of those who toil is not red simply by accident or for artistic reasons. As the traditional labour song goes, “Our life’s blood has dyed its every fold.”

We are revolutionary optimists. Those who toil have won many victories, and they have a great future. In fact, it is only those who toil who are capable of wiping out all the misery and suffering in this world brought about by centuries of exploitation and oppression. But, while we understand why the future of those who toil is bright, we are also sober, thorough-going revolutionaries. We know that the road ahead is tortuous, full of twists and turns.

May Day is a time for casting away illusions and preparing for the struggle for a more just, fair and humane society. It is a time for those who toil to heighten their vigilance against their enemies. It is a time to unite real friends to defeat real enemies.Not all those who wave the red flag or claim to speak for those who toil actually do so. Even at the time of the origins of May Day and the eight-hour movement, there were two lines in the labour movement.

On the one hand, there were those like Haymarket martyr Albert Parsons, who died on the gallows for the cause of labour. These revolutionaries insisted that the demand for the eight-hour day was only the opening shot in a long war, a war that would only end with the complete emancipation of those who toil and the total defeat of capitalism.

On the other hand, there were those like Samuel Gompers, who also claimed to support May Day. They argued that the eight-hour day, an improvement in wages, and trade union organisation would solve all the workers’ problems. Rather than overthrowing the capitalism, they argued that labour should try to win friends among the capitalist politicians and support one faction against another.
Who was right and who was wrong? The revolutionaries like Parsons and Eugene Debs? Or the reformist traitors like Gompers?
We can answer these questions by looking at our conditions today. Over one hundred years have passed and we are still fighting to defend – and attain the eight-hour day. On one hand, we have millions of those who toil who are being driven to the point of exhaustion with forced overtime, moonlighting or speedup. On the other hand, we have millions more who have a zero-hour day, workers thrown out into the streets without jobs, workers who make up the vast army of the unemployed.

Of course, the workers have made some gains in this century of struggle. There have been times when the capitalists and their agents were on the run.Faced with the alternative of massive rebellion, the capitalists made a considerable number of concessions to the workers and the oppressed peoples. But what are these gains, really?

To a certain extent, the gains won in struggle served to strengthen the unity and fighting capacity of those who toil. But when you consider the wealth that those who toil have produced, when you consider the power and potential for abundance of the productive forces that those who toil have themselves created, then these reforms are shown up for what they really are. They are nothing but crumbs, scraps left over on the table after the capitalists have had their feast.

It is socialism, and only socialism, that can help us eliminate exploitation, oppression, abuse and humiliation of those who toil – build it now!

Fred M’membe
President of the Socialist Party

Let’s rebuild our nation with pride

Let’s rebuild our nation with pride Featured

Let’s rebuild our nation with pride

We the Socialist Party, together with all Zambians, want to rebuild a nation with pride in itself, a thriving community, rich in economic prosperity, secure in social justice, equity and peace, confident in revolutionary change.

Our determination to bring real change, not just any change, is increasingly becoming the symbol of the trust the Zambian people can place in us to change the country. It is time to break out of the past and break through with a clear, radical and socialist vision for Zambia. And in fulfillment of our national anthem truly –

“Stand and sing of Zambia, proud and free,
Land of work and join in unity,
Victors in the struggle for our rights,
We’ve won freedom’s fight.
All one, Strong and Free.
Africa is our own motherland.
Fashion’d with and blessed by God’s good hand,
Let us all her people join as one,
Brothers under the sun,
All one, Strong and Free.
One land and one nation is our cry,
Dignity and peace neath Zambia’s sky
Like our noble eagle in its flight,
Zambia, praise to thee.
All one, Strong and Free…”

Rebuild a land in which our children can bring up their children with a future to look forward to. This is our hope, not just to promise revolutionary change – but to achieve it.

Fred M’membe
President of the Socialist Party

Why Socialism?

Why Socialism? Featured

Exactly 66 years ago Albert Einstein passed away. Einstein wasn’t just one of the greatest scientists in history, he was also a socialist.⁠

In his 1949 essay “Why Socialism?”, he wrote:⁠

“[Capitalism] as it exists today is, in my opinion, the real source of the evil. We see before us a huge community of producers the members of which are unceasingly striving to deprive each other of the fruits of their collective labor—not by force, but on the whole in faithful compliance with legally established rules.⁠

I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals. In such an economy, the means of production are owned by society itself and are utilized in a planned fashion.”

Source: Redfish

PF Stop it – says Musumali

PF Stop it – says Musumali Featured

NO POLITICAL party has ever shamed Zambia the way the Patriotic Front is at the moment by trying to buy off Socialist Party election candidates, party general secretary and first vice-president Cosmas Musumali told a televised and radio broadcast press conference.
Speaking at Kingfisher Garden Court in Lusaka – where only days before the party’s latest candidates had been celebrated – Dr Musumali said he was sorry to have to share “a massive, malicious, targeted buying off of our candidates happening on an unprecedented large scale”.

He said first reports of an approach by the PF at Luapula had been treated by the party as “just one of those issues, uncomfortable, but we have at times unruly adversaries who see solutions in buying people”.
The parliamentary candidate had been offered 200,000 Kwacha (US$9,015) to stand down. But since then there had been a total of 17 incidents involving 25 candidates – eight as MPs and 17 local councillors – touching all provinces except Southern.
“The impression we are getting is that this is well coordinated and well funded,” Dr Musumali said. “This cannot be the work of a few misguided individuals in the PF, this is something that is coordinated from the top.”

He said the approaches involved constituency level officials, civil servants, district commissioners, and intelligence officers, who were “basically blackmailing people to step down”. “You also have potential PF candidates participating in this, everyone is involved in it.”

Dr Musumali said cash offers ranged from 100,000 Kwacha (US$4,500) to 250,000 Kwacha (US$11,248), but there were also other bribes.
“If you are building a house they will offer you bricks or plumbing materials, they will offer you iron sheets and so forth,” he said.
The inducements also took the form of job offers. “Our trained teachers standing to be members of parliament are being told, ‘if you step down we will deploy you’,” Dr Musumali said. “Some of these people have been without jobs for the past four or five years, but now they are being assured they will get jobs. All they have to do is step down. Some of our youngest candidates are being told, ‘we will reserve a university place for you’. This is serious, extremely serious. Jobs are for sale, school places are for sale.”

Dr Musumali said that, in addition to coaxing SP candidates to cease campaigning, the corrupt PF tricksters were also taking a more sinister approach. “In one case, the candidate was told, ‘go ahead, but slow down with your campaign. On the nomination day, don’t appear. That way the Socialist Party will not have a parliamentary candidate’.”

Dr Musumali told his TV and radio audience that the Zambian people were being insulted by the dirty tricks campaign.
“The Socialist Party came to you and asked for candidates. We worked together for weeks, for months, and you provided us with the candidates,” he said.
“Today you are being insulted, your poverty is being used against you. Your suffering is being used against you. The people you gave us to represent you in parliament have become attractive, not attractive in that they are going to save you, but attractive as commodities. They are on the market. They are for sale. This is unacceptable.”

Dr Musumali said there was “a great possibility that this won’t stop and a high probability that we will lose some of our candidates”.
“So far, the 25 candidates have done well, except one, and we are investigating the case of Mufumbwe, our adopted MP, and this is a very sad situation.
“To those comrades who were entrusted by the masses of our country to represent them and who are today being bought for pieces of silver, we wish them good luck. But what they should know is that they are betraying the Zambian masses who put trust in them.”

Dr Musumali said that if the PF saw itself as the strongest party in the country and thought it was performing well, why did it have to sink to such a low level?
“This is stooping very low,” he said. “It’s unacceptable, it’s a mockery of our democracy, it’s big shame for this country. No political party has shamed this country as you are doing. Stop it!”

Comrade Raul Castro, First Secretary of the Cuban Communist Party

Comrade Raul Castro, First Secretary of the Cuban Communist Party Featured

We send you our revolutionary greetings as you continue to struggle “without pause and improvisation” to find solutions to the challenges facing the Cuban Revolution and humanity in general.

Comrades, your maturity, seriousness, wisdom, honesty, and courage give us inspiration and feeling of security and great confidence in the future as we prepare for our elections coming up in four months on August 12.

You have to cope with the objective problems of the international situation, the increasing number of economic and political measures the imperialists are taking against the Revolution.

Where as there are men and women and political parties and governments that have sold out to imperialism, been hired by imperialism, or surrendered to imperialism you have for 62 years stood steadfast. You have confronted every difficult; pressure and economic, political and all other kinds of attacks.

We have all the confidence that the new leadership of the Cuban Revolution will follow the example of those who created that Revolution and opened a new path for humanity and will adhere to their ideas loyally, and no force on earth can deter the PCC from its revolutionary course.

We wish you all the best dear Comrades!

Fred M’membe
President of the Socialist Party

Lusaka, Zambia

Modern day Lazarus

Modern day Lazarus Featured

THE ZAMBIAN people are like the beggar Lazarus in the Bible, eating filthy scraps that have fallen from the tables of the rich, Socialist Party general secretary and first vice-president Cosmas Musumali has said.
He was speaking at the second of two adoption ceremonies in late March and early April at Kingfisher Garden Court in Lusaka.
“The masses of our country have become, as a collective, a modern day Lazarus. And if you are the Lazarus of today, you have no say in your governance. If you are Lazarus, you don’t qualify to be a leader,” he said.
“Those who eat at the high table will pretend they will speak on your behalf, that they will bring development to you, that they will be the ones who will take care of you. But this is a lie. It’s evil actually. They only use violence and intimidation.
“Enough is enough. You are fed up with being harassed, being abused. This has gone on for too long. They will come with tokens of money, make you drunk, give you some salt, sugar, pieces of chitenge, to buy you off. But you are not that cheap,” he said.
“Your status as Lazarus will not change because of that. They are taking away your dignity. They are using your poverty to come back to you with hand-outs. “They come to you to campaign but they don’t have issues to bring to you. They leave you hanging four or five years, but at the last minute they come up with a manifesto. Cut and paste. They know you don’t even have time to read and understand it. That’s what is happening today.”

Dr Musumali said the adoption of a further 11 candidates – nine for parliament, one for a mayoral position and one as a councillor – would be the last official event. While there might be “one or two more” candidates, the party was by-and-large through with adoptions. Of the 11 latest candidates, seven are female, with six below the age of 35.

Dr Musumali said there was a world of difference between the Socialist Party’s manifesto, pledges and ideas, and parties that had nothing to offer the Zambian masses.
“We produced a manifesto two or three years ago and you have had the chance to look at it. This is your manifesto, these are your ideas,” he said. “Those who come to you without ideas are basically saying remain where you are. And because they don’t have much to offer you, they will resort to insults and jokes. The whole campaign becomes a cracking of jokes. Of course, we all like jokes, and at times even insults can be quite interesting.”
But he said jokes and insults from ordinary politicians would not put food on tables or build schools.
“This has gone on for too long. This has to change. Zambians are fed up with the greedy, irresponsible, corrupt establishment in Zambia. We are taking over,” Dr Musumali said.
“The Lazarus of today is saying ‘we want to rule ourselves’, and that is also in tandem with what democracy is. When you go to the villages today, people tell you they are fed up.”

Dr Musumali said the Zambian masses were cynical and no longer trusted the political establishment or what politicians had to say.
“The people of Zambia feel betrayed. We have been in those villages. My brother, comrade Fred M’membe, more than any Zambian leader, has spent days, weeks, months and years in the villages. He has not been in Lusaka, he doesn’t belong to Lusaka.”

Dr Musumali said Zambia was ready for political change. “People want self-emancipation, they want to change their own situation, and the Socialist Party is ready.”

Parliamentary adoptees are: Goma Dydas (Chama South), Mary Bukisa (Lukashya), Dorothy Mashingwele (Kabwe Central), Sharon Fulani (Lufwanyama), Ireen Musela (Mufulira), Sharon Muyupa (Kankoyo), Constance Bwalya (Kantanshi), Kalota Morris (Solwezi West) and Stanley Tembo (Kafue). In addition, Moses Makondo will contest to be mayor of Solwezi, and Ngulube Mukuka will stand as a councillor in Kupumaula ward, Kasama

We’re not headed for a battlefield

We’re not headed for a battlefield Featured

This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless it’s a good place for all of us to live in. The election campaigns we are entering should not be confused with a battlefield where the aim is to destroy the other.

This is simply a competition to serve and not the annihilation of one another. To have peaceful, free and fair elections, certain conditions have to prevail in our country and in our hearts. There ought to be a conducive atmosphere. The major players have to agree on the conditions under which these elections would be held. The contestants have to conduct themselves in a manner that does not put others at unfair disadvantage.

In the light of this, I make a special appeal to the government and to the ruling party to realise that they have a serious responsibility. As facilitators of the elections, they should ensure that the concerns of all key players are adequately addressed. We all need to be open and constructive in participating in the electoral process and addressing the challenges we face.

The forthcoming electoral process will provide all Zambians with a unique opportunity to show their political maturity and their sincere aspirations for peace and harmony anchored in justice.

The test of good leadership will not therefore be how many trees it pulls up by the roots but how it fits into a continuous process of adaptation in which leadership is combined with sensitivity to national mood.

Everyone’s life in this country is inevitably mixed with every other life and, no matter what Constitution or laws we come up with, no matter what precautions we take, unless the people we meet are kindly and decent and human we going nowhere. Decency, integrity and love come from human beings, rather than from constitutions, laws and institutions.

In any true democracy, more is needed than just laws and institutions. We must hold on to some values and norms, some expectations and aspirations. This is the environment, the atmosphere, that makes democracy work. This is the so-called ‘political culture’ which I feel is so necessary in Zambia today if our multiparty democracy is to succeed.

The fundamental value we must have is a respect for diversity and acceptance of pluralism. Gone are the days when everyone was supposed to think the same way, belong to the same political party, and support the same programme.

Fred M’membe
President of the Socialist Party

April 12, 2021

Reflections and meditations on our election campaigns

Reflections and meditations on our election campaigns Featured

We have an eternal commitment to the 10,000 young Ngoni warriors who died in the Cipeta between December 1897 and February 5, 1898 to end capitalist exploitation, humiliation and subjugation in our homeland.

These elections we are entering are just a battle in that war – a war without guns and orders to kill; a peaceful war. We have an eternal commitment with our glorious dead to continue this struggle and always be worthy of their example.

Current and future generations of Zambians will carry on, however big the difficulties may be, struggling ceaselessly to ensure that we are politically, economically and otherwise in control of our destiny. We will confront our shortcomings and mistakes with increasing energy. We will struggle on.

This is what our election campaigns led by the Nsingu Election Campaigns Brigade are all about.

Fred M’membe
President of the Socialist Party

Our education!

Our education! Featured

Underdevelopment is, among other things, lack of learning and lack of the possibility to learn. It is not only how many cannot read and write. It is also how many cannot read or write, or pass on to higher levels of education, due to the lack of teachers, schools and the minimum conditions beyond those most elementary for subsistence. That is why our dramatic educational and cultural problems cannot be isolated from our overall socio-economic situation.

A characteristic of illiteracy is that it is greater in our rural than in urban areas, and among women than among men.

It is not by chance, however, that the geographic and social distribution of illiteracy is almost the same as that of poverty. Illiterates are, as a rule, also the poorest, the most poorly fed, the least healthy, the most disadvantaged and exploited. The illiteracy figures reveal the frustrated development of human capacities and potential; the limitations on the individual as a human being and as part of a community; exploitation and ignorance as to a better future; the dramatic social effects of underdevelopment; loss of national identity; social and economic backwardness.

Many of our children today lack schools or the means and possibilities to attend school.
The rational behind this reality and its cause is the situation of poverty that forces them to drop out of school, the distances that have to be covered to get to school and the deplorable material conditions of many of the schools.

Another factor to be borne in mind is the insufficient training of teaching staff and the lack of ways and means to remedy this insufficiency, which has its effect on the limited and poor quality teaching provided. To add to an already gloomy situation, there is the number of university graduates that are lost every year due to the brain drain of the major capitalist powers.

It is imperative to stress another aspect that hampers our efforts in the pursuit of education and cultural development. Imperialist mass media are continuously, sometimes subtly and sometimes openly, carrying out a process of ideological and cultural penetration aimed at eroding our cultural identities, creating habits and patterns of conduct foreign to the needs of our people, belittling and deforming our people’s cultures in their own eyes. This, of course, has no bearing on the flow of ideas or on the legitimate exchange of the products of their cultures among peoples. These very mass media are working to create a consumerist image devoid of all rationality and are trying to impose mesmerising illusions on our people as absolute truths. An enormous percentage of the television programmes broadcast today in our country come from developed capitalist countries.

Fred M’membe
President of the Socialist Party

April 8, 2021

Real Change, Not Fixing

Real Change, Not Fixing Featured

The game of fixing, the promises of fixing things will take this country nowhere. It will be the same circle of capitalist oriented approaches that yield similar results we have seen before i.e. only uplifting a few bwanas here and there, and leaving the rest of us behind; the majority of us wondering what happened; and back again to the same circle of poverty, hunger and frustration. We need to truly look to alternatives! We need Real Change, Not Fixing!

When you fix something it breaks, you fix again, again, again and again and it still breaks. A broken system can’t be fixed and is not sustainable. And that is what capitalism and capitalist oriented parties have been doing to our country, and this has lead us nowhere but to deepening poverty, hopelessness, despair and never-ending human suffering. But what we the youth in Zambia want is real change in its real tangible sense, not fixing.

The Zambia we want, desire, dream of and long for can not be attained through fixing. The Zambia the youth deserve needs committed leadership grounded in the people’s ideology that serves the struggling, toiling masses; that struggles for a better transformed Zambia and tomorrow. We also need a leadership that truly involves the youth, that is true to our realities; a leadership with a vision to change and transform the education system, our universities, the agriculture sector, the health sector, mining, and create more jobs for us.

Today, despite the degrees and diplomas to our names, a number of us continue to languish on the streets.

The Socialist Party is clear about the change it proposes under the humble leadership of Dr. Fred M’membe. The SP has put forward a vision to qualitatively change this country and move it back on track through its manifesto. Our change agenda speaks to how we will ensure free health care, free education, transformation of peasant agriculture, new approaches to mining and the mining sector that takes a diversified approach, and in all these sectors creating multiple jobs for many Zambians – this is real change.

We invite Zambia’s young men and women, as well as all well meaning Zambians to join the revolutionary movement for real change today!

Christine Nawa Musole,

SP parliamentary candidate Mongu Central.

‘Real Democracy’ entails People Taking Power, says Musumali

‘Real Democracy’ entails People Taking Power, says Musumali Featured

MARKETEERS, peasant farmers, a chicken seller, hairdressers, unemployed trained teachers, and a mobile money booth agent who also sells tomatoes and fish, were among the 37 parliamentary and council adoptees presented to the world recently at Kingfisher Garden Court in Lusaka.

And Socialist Party general secretary and first vice-president Dr Cosmas Musumali praised them as representing “real democracy”.

“These are the men and women who are committed to and live in their constituencies,” he said. “This is real democracy, and real democracy entails people taking power into their own hands. Democracy can never be delegated.”

Dr Musumali said the Socialist Party was proving to the world that women and men could represent the values of equity in action.
“We are proving to the world that how much money you have is not a determinant for you to get into political office,” Dr Musumali said.
“We are proving to everyone today that age can never be limiting, in terms of you governing yourselves.”

Out of the 37 candidates, there were 34 parliamentary candidates, and three hoping to be Lusaka councillors.

“We have a total of 18 men and 19 women,” Dr Musumali said. “We don’t just talk about gender equity, we practise it as the Socialist Party.”
He said there was one candidate from Northern Province, one from Copperbelt Province, two from Muchinga, 10 from Luapula, six from Southern Province, five from Central, one from North-Western, five from Eastern, one from Western, and five from Lusaka.

“Out of these candidates, 15 are below the age of 30,” Dr Musumali said.

Separately, party president Fred M’membe told the candidates that it was time for the poor to rule both themselves and Zambia. He said poverty would not end if the poor did not take control in the August elections and reminded people how the rich, who owned other parties, had backed leaders who had exploited the poor ever since independence.

He said it was important to educate the poor who had previously voted for people with wealth to instead vote for themselves this time.

Parliamentary adoptees are: Levy Songiso (Sikongo), Janet Zimba (Lumezi), Misozi Kaleya (Chasefu), Lovemore Mvula (Kaumbwe), Edna Lungu (Luangeni), Alice Phiri (Msanzala), Precious Samalesu (Ikeleng’i), Oswald Chikwaba (Serenje), Simon Bwalya (Bwacha), Peggy Siamundele (Mumbwa), Laston Chibuye (Muchinga), Jonathan Katoota (Lufubu), Fitzwell Moomba (Chikankata), Carolijne Simwala (Namwala), Victor Siamulonga (Mapatizya), Teinson Musanje (Kalomo), Chilema Caesar Machila (Bweengwa), Gertrude Chikampa (Sinazongwe), Astridah Mubanga (Chipili), Clara Chomba (Mansa Central), Cleopatra Mweemba (Bahati), Hope Kalenge (Milenge), John Chenge Kasanda (Pambashe), Miriam Mwewa (Chifunabuli), Margaret Nakanga (Mwense), Justine Ngosa (Mwansabombwe), Charles Friday Kalumba (Chembe), Jackson Mukupa (Nchelenge), Purity Ng’ambi (Chama North), Agness Mwila (Mfuwe), Lilian Matowe (Kafulafuta), and Lewis Chizu (Mpulungu).

Parliamentary candidates for Lusaka are Henry Kalolo (Mandevu) and Eucridy Mwiinga (Chirundu), while local government candidates for Lusaka are Newton Ng’ambi (Mwembeshi, ward 27), Ronald Mutale (Matero, ward 28), and Treza Kayanda (Muchinga, ward 24).

We are the children of capitalist slavery

We are the children of capitalist slavery Featured

The story of our integration into the capitalist system is very, very sad.

I feel deeply on this subject; I cannot help it. Let’s take a little glance at the history of the African. It seems to me that the story would melt hearts of stone. This capitalism that some of our people defend so strongly, that they brag about is not something we got into voluntarily.

We got into it because we couldn’t help it. Our ancestors were captured in our jungles and on our plains, captured as you capture wild beasts, torn from their homes and their kindred; loaded into capitalist slave ships, packed like sardines in a box, half of them dying on the ocean passage; some jumping into the sea in their frenzy, when they had a chance to choose death in the place of capitalist slavery. They were bought and sold as slaves, to work without pay – they were commodities on the capitalist market. They were subjected to all this for generations.

The great grandmother of our first vice-president and general secretary, Dr Cosmas Musumali, was a run away slave. She was captured while collecting firewood and taken to the Atlantic coast in Angola. She escaped from captivity the way she was captured. While waiting for the ship to return from the Americas to come and take them, they were sent to collect firewood and she escaped. It took her three years to get back to home in the western part of what is now Zambia.

But it was not only those who were captured as slaves that suffered. Those who were not captured as slaves suffered too. They lived in perpetual fear of being captured as slaves. A human being living in perpetual fear has no peace – and loses self esteem, creativity and productivity. And the consequences of this life of fear are transmitted through the DNA to generations and generations of Africans even long after the classical capitalist slavery has ended. Today the African still a human being with relatively very low self esteem, creativity and productivity. It requires a struggle, a revolutionary transformation of the human being and the country to come out of this.

That is our history. We are the children of capitalist slavery. If capitalism owes anything to any human being, or to any power in the universe, it owes it to us. Above all other human beings, capitalism owes an obligation and a duty to us that can never be repaid. And if any African, or indeed any decent human being with a sense of justice, feels as he or she should feel, their emotions will be like mine.

I know we have a long and rough road to go. I believe that the life of an African has been a life of tragedy, of injustice, of oppression, of exploitation and of humiliation. Today the law has made us equal, but capitalism has not. And, after all, the last analysis is: what has capitalism done? – and not what has the law done?

I know there is a very rough road ahead of us before we can take the place which I believe we should take. I know before us there’s sorrow, despair and hopelessness. I will do whatever I can to end it.

What do you think is your duty in this situation?

Fred M’membe

Meaning and purpose of the radical transformations we are seeking

Meaning and purpose of the radical transformations we are seeking Featured

Human liberation is basically a question of moral and spiritual values. If a person sees the meaning of one’s life in one’s material well-being, accumulating wealth becomes an end in itself – “eat and drink for tomorrow you will be dead”. If, on the other hand, a person sees the meaning of one’s life in spiritual values, that is the love of God and the love of one’s neighbour, then material possessions become mere means towards an end.

Faith in God should free a person from enslavement to one’s material possessions and enable one to use the riches of this world towards truly human ends, that is living a life of love in communion with God and one’s fellow persons.

The radical transformation that is necessary to free a human being in the very depth of one’s heart from selfishness and greed is a gift from God. No one can give oneself this “new heart” (Ez 11: 18-19).

It’s not by fighting to the bitter end, but by analyzing the causes of the conflict and by resolving it, that we can create conditions in which the self-reliant efforts of our people will bear fruit. We can only build such a society with the free cooperation of all its members.

A human being finds fulfillment in committing one’s whole person in freedom to the service of one’s fellow human beings.

Our party has adopted many pastors or reverends as parliamentary and local government candidates. For them, only with God’s help can we transform a society inclined to greed, selfishness and hatred into a “new creation” (2 Cor 5:17), capable of love, compassion and generosity. It’s God’s work through them. As followers of Christ, put all their trust in the kingdom of God. Far from waiting its arrival in passivity, they strive with all their might towards its realization here and now well knowing, however, that God alone, who has announced its coming through Christ, will bring about its completion. This is the way in which we are pursuing our aim of radical transformation of our people and society.

Spirituality refers not only to our spiritual life. It refers to a human being as a whole, in his or her spiritual and bodily unity. In the Gospels, the totality of the human being is what brings life to the spirit. Thus, spirituality isn’t the way you feel the presence of God. Nor is it the way you believe. Jesus said, “Not every one who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Thus, spirituality is a way of living life according to the spirit. For Christians, living is the best way of believing. Faith without deeds is worthless; as James stated, “What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith, but has not works? Can his faith save him? If a brother or sister is all-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? So faith, by itself, if it has not works, is dead” (James 2:14 -17).

Our way of life is the result of what we believe.If we consider the Gospel accounts, we can clearly see that Jesus’ spirituality wasn’t one of withdrawal from the world, of moving away from everyday life in order to better serve God, or of denying earthly realities. In John 17:15, Jesus asked his Father to keep his disciples from evil without taking them out of the world.

Jesus’ entire existence was one of immersion in the ideological conflict, in the arena where different concepts and options for or against the oppressed, exploited, humiliated, marginalised were discussed. Nor was Jesus’ spirituality that of moralism. That is the spirituality of the Pharisees, who turn their moral virtues into a sort of conquest of sanctity. Many Christians have been trained along these lines and lose strength in their faith because they don’t manage to adjust to the pharisaical moralism they seek. God seems to live on top of the mountain, and spirituality is taught as a manual for mountain climbing to be used by Christians interested in scaling its steep slopes. Since we are of a fragile nature, we begin our climb over and over again – it is the constant repetition of the Sisyphus legend, rolling the stone uphill.

Fred M’membe

President of the Socialist Party

Seeing black where there’s black and white where there’s white

Seeing black where there’s black and white where there’s white Featured

“People will tell you that the economy is not booming, yet activities which indicate that there’s money in the economy and people are living well are there for all to see,” says President Edgar Lungu, and adds: “This is the contradiction of our political activity where we see white, you see black.

”Is President Lungu seeing a mirage and mistaking it for a river? Are these bridges that are being built where there are no rivers confusing him – making him to see water where there’s bitumen?

But we know that the “bent light from the sky” is refracted as it passes from cooler air into hotter air and back up to your eye. Combining all of this together, refracted light from the sky is interpreted as straight, letting us see an image of the sky on the ground. This is why many mirages appear as blue water.

Why do some people see black while others see white before their eyes when they are about to pass out? Why does the colour that is seen differ from person to person? This is about memory not colour. You can only be sure that it is the memory people have created that differs, not the actual experience.

We know human brain does not record or play back a linear stream of events like a machine does. We don’t fully understand any of the processes of memory or recall. But we are pretty certain that a memory is in some way edited each time it is recalled.

There would be many possible reasons and processes of ‘passing out’ and many different experiences, and some reasons might involve the sensation of light or darkness, but the memories may well be more ‘coloured’ by the expectations, and the most recent sensation on waking – darkness of closed eyes, or brightness of a lit space – might well confuse the creation of memory.

Most people can remember the fact of having sometimes woken remembering vividly, for a moment the dream from which they have just awoken; but can almost never remember again, any of the dreams! – I think that is probably the most common instance of the fact that memory is not always ‘recorded’ permanently or accurately.

It’s not in dispute that the President is living a comfortable life – no problems about food, no education problems for his family, no water and electricity problems, no problems with medicines, he doesn’t have problems with rentals and transport. There’s no joblessness in his family. But this is not the case with the great majority of our people. What he sees about himself and his family is not a reflection of the living conditions of all our people. Poverty is not reducing. Despair is growing. Hopelessness is on the rise. Monthly statistics are there from the Central Statistical Office to show the true living conditions of our people. There’s no need for guesswork, witchcraft or voodoo. Things are not good for our people. It’s not a question of seeing black where there’s white; it is seeing black where there’s black and white where there’s white.

Fred M’membe

President of the Socialist Party

We are not slaves – Simbeya

We are not slaves – Simbeya Featured

SOCIALIST Party Feira constituency coordinator Adamson Simbeya says the people of Zambia cannot continue to live like slaves in their own country.

Simbeya told an SP media team in Feira that this year was the time for real change under the Socialist Party with the stewardship of president Fred M’membe and first vice-president Cosmas Musumali.

Simbeya said Zambians had suffered for too long under the current government and its capitalist system of leadership. “For us here in Luangwa we really need change, things are not OK, the prices of goods are increasing every day,” he said.

Simbeya called on the people of Luangwa and Feira to vote for Dr M’membe and his visionary and pragmatic leadership. “Dr M’membe has a vision for this country, and the Socialist Party has already shown Zambians what it is capable of doing even before it has been voted into office,” he said.

Simbeya cited the training of small-scale farmers on how to make organic fertiliser as an investment as an example of the Socialist Party’s action.

No time to lose

No time to lose Featured

This is going to be the first time I contest an election in my life. And it will be against key opponents who have stood for elections several times – some of them very experienced losers.

But the Zambian people and I have stood together many times on many issues, challenging this or that together, campaigning against or for this and that together. In this year’s elections we have to stand together. And no time has been more important than this – the August 12 elections.

The election campaigns that are before us, that we are about to embark on are for the heart, the soul and the future of our country.

It’s a lot of work and responsibility for the Nsingu Elections Campaign Brigade leading our campaign. We are more than our nascent political party – the Socialist Party, more than its manifesto and programmes, more than all our election strategies and prospects put together.

We are the trustees of the struggle and dreams that began in the Cipeta area of our homeland by our Ngoni ancestors, those brave and selfless young warriors and their leaders. They lost the war on February 4, 1898 against a much more better equipped and resourced capitalist, imperialist army of Cecil John Rhodes and his companies. Nsingu, the commander-in-chief of the Ngoni warriors was executed on February 5, 1898 at dawn. But they left their vision, their values and the hopes they awakened.

In the thousands or millions of Zambians whose hearts, whose consciences they touched and aroused, we remember them now to remind ourselves that the struggle they started is unfinished, that we stand for real change, revolutionary change – not any other change – in order to march again towards enduring ideals, that we do not have to settle for things as they are.

We are today a struggling people with no time to lose. Our tomorrow has become our today. And as they say, we are confronted with the fierce urgency of now, in the unfolding life and history – and there’s no such a thing as being too late. We can’t wait for 2026; now is the time.

We must struggle without respite, we must work ceaselessly to lift the downtrodden masses of our people to the higher destiny – a more just, fair and humane society – full of honest, equity, humility and solidarity; a new plateau of compassion.

We are socialists. We care all the time. And for us, care is the essence of power, of strength – strength without care is savage, brutal and selfish. That is what socialism is about. Strength with care is compassion – the strength needed to help our poor people lift themselves out of poverty and to their full stature.

But where do we get that strength to provide that care? From some Macgyver, some 21st century Moses? No.

We cooperate, we collect, we coordinate so that everyone has responsibility, everyone has rights. That is how we make the weak strong, that is how we lift the poor out of poverty, that is how we cure the sick, that is how we give talent a chance to flourish. We do it together.

This is what socialism is about. This is socialism. This is the true meaning of revolutionary democracy – people deciding together, building together to transform their country and thus transform themselves; it’s a growth in fraternal love.

Fred M’membe

President of the Socialist Party

Meet Comrade Merra Mwansa

Meet Comrade Merra Mwansa Featured

PARLIAMENTARY candidate for Mwense Central, Merra Mwansa says she joined the Socialist Party because she believes the country not only requires a change in government, but also a poverty alleviation strategy that will revolutionise the system of governance and the country’s economic relationship with its technology.

Comrade Mwansa says one of the main poverty traps in her constituency is youth unemployment and that, if elected as MP, she will tackle it in three ways:

First, by working to provide employment and entrepreneur opportunities by encouraging investment in the local fishing, mining and agriculture industries.

Second, she says, together with the people in her constituency, she will strive to improve the quality of education, health and sanitation infrastructures, thereby boosting the quality of human capabilities in the area. Mwansa hopes her constituency will become a big mango or “yembe” juice producer in the future.

Third, she says she will work towards reducing transportation and communication costs by pushing for investment in the quality of roads.She believes a better road network will make local goods competitive and her constituency attractive to investors.

Socialist Party manifesto applauded – Nyimba resident

Socialist Party manifesto applauded – Nyimba resident Featured

NYIMBA residents in Eastern Province have applauded the Socialist Party manifesto, saying, “it resonates with the aspirations of the people”. Speaking to a Socialist Party media team shortly after a party mobilisation meeting in Chief Ndake area, Moses Lungu said the party’s manifesto was explicit in speaking to people’s challenges.

He said that for the first time he had seen a political party with a manifesto that offered “so much clarity” in speaking to the issues affecting the majority of Zambians. “I have never before seen a political party openly sharing hard copies of its manifesto,” he said.

Lungu said the manifesto commitments were very clear and would enable people to keep track of what had been achieved. He challenged other political parties to emulate the Socialist Party by producing hard copies of their manifestos so Zambians could compare and make informed decisions.

“If other political parties won’t produce hard copies of their manifestos, just know that they don’t mean well for Zambia,” he said. “Why are they just talking instead of producing hard copies so we can choose the best party?”Lungu said he was particularly impressed with the manifesto’s support of the education sector.

“Now we believe and understand that free education and free medicine is possible in Zambia. We have been in the dark for some time and we thank you for opening our eyes comrades, we are really grateful.

”Resident Maureen Miti said she was happy that the party had already started implementing programmes, such as the Fred M’membe Literacy Campaign.

Miti urged Zambians to vote for the Socialist Party in this year’s general election and stand with the country’s less privileged citizens.“Let’s give the Socialist Party our vote. It is a small party but it has shown us wonders in just few years. Its members don’t just talk, but also walk the talk,” she said..

SP Nyimba constituency coordinator Isaac Sakala also called on people to vote for the Socialist Party and for real change. He said the party’s aim was not just to fix the problems the country was going through, but to change the entire system of governance.

Meet Comrade Mukupa Mwenya

Meet Comrade Mukupa Mwenya Featured

LUNTE constituency parliamentary candidate Mukupe Mwenya says he joined the Socialist Party because he was moved by Dr Fred M’membe’s passionate words about Zambia, emphasising the need to help and care for others, especially the vulnerable.

Comrade Mwenya says he was also impressed by the party’s manifesto. “These are the only pillars that can make Zambia a better place and country. After looking around, I have discovered that Dr M’membe is the only level-headed presidential candidate who has the purest of intentions to develop this country together with all the Zambians. He doesn’t say ‘I will’ but says ‘we will’ deliver justice, equity, and peace to ourselves, that’s a true character of an honest leader.

”Comrade Mwenya says the key issues in his area include poor roads and fragile or no bridges, poor schools and health posts and a lack of storage space.

“There are no industries or jobs for the young and elderly. Poverty is very high.

“The Socialist Party has a clear and promising message that will help turn this situation around. It also has leadership and through my constituency I will be able to work with the people to develop the key sectors of agriculture, education, and health together.

”Comrade Mwenya went to Mulukuma Primary School, Laurent Chita Basic School and Luwingi Secondary School. He then went to Chipembi College of Agriculture.

He has worked for a number of companies, including Tanganyika Farm as a sales manager, Hi-tech Agrovet as a general manager, and Hope Channel Zambia as a photographer.

Multiparty democracy hangs by a thread in today’s Zambia

Multiparty democracy hangs by a thread in today’s Zambia Featured

Multiparty democracy hangs by a thread in today’s Zambia There’s need for those in government and those managing the electoral processes to ensure that the August 12 elections are as free, fair and peaceful as possible. So far those in government have not created an environment where all can mobilise freely, fairly and peacefully – there’s no level political play field.

I know that it sounds negative but I have always thought it positive to say that the thing about multiparty democracy is that we can remove without bloodshed the people who govern us.

We can get rid of a Lungu – the same way we got rid of a Kaunda, a Banda – by peaceful electoral processes. But that cannot be done when electoral processes are manipulated, elections are rigged.

We must ask what will happen when people realise that they cannot get rid of those who govern them through the ballot box because the electoral processes are manipulated and elections are rigged. If people lose the power to sack those who govern them one of the several things happens.

First, people may just slope off. Apathy could destroy our multiparty democracy. When the voter turnout drops below 50 per cent, we are in very serious danger.

The second thing that people can do is to riot. Riot is an old-fashioned method for drawing the attention of those who govern to what is wrong, unacceptable. It is difficult for those in government to admit it, but riots produce changes. The 1988 mealie-meal riots marked the beginning of the end of Dr Kenneth Kaunda and UNIP’s reign. Zambia was never the same after those riots. Ideas for change started to emerge.

Riot has historically played a much bigger part in our politics since the first miners’ riots of 1935 which started in Mufulira and quickly spread to Nkana in Kitwe and Roan Antelope in Luanshya than we are ever allowed to know. Thirdly, regionalism can arise. Regionalism is built out of frustration people feel when they cannot get their way through the ballot box. With regionalism comes repression and all sorts of negative things.

I hope that it is not pessimistic – in my view it is not – to say that multiparty democracy hangs by a thread in Zambia today. Unless we can offer people a peaceful route to the resolution of injustices through the ballot box they will not listen to politicians that have blocked off that route.

Fred M’membe

President of the Socialist Party

Don’t underrate us!

Don’t underrate us! Featured

Don’t underrate us, we are revolutionaries, we are socialists and we know how to struggle from very disadvantaged positions and win.

At the time of the August 12 elections, the Zambian voters will have had this Patriotic Front government of President Edgar Lungu in power for six years. They may hate them, but they know them. We want them now to know us – our values, our identity and our character as a revolutionary political party.

We want to win not because the Patriotic Front and President Lungu are despised, but because we are better understood, supported and trusted. We should win and we can win. For us, there’s no choice between being principled and unelectable; and electable and unprincipled. We should win because of what we believe. We are not going to win despite our beliefs. We will only win because of them. We will win to fulfil our principles.

The task of revolutional transformation of our nation is not one for the faint hearted, or the world of weary, or cynical. It is not a task for those afraid of hard choices, for those with complacent views, or those seeking a comfortable personal life.

We are confident that we can once again debate new ideas, new thinking – away from the neoliberal capitalist outlook – without fearing the taunt of betrayal. We say what we mean and mean what we say. Not just what we are against – capitalism, but what we are for – socialism.

We say what we do mean, what we stand by, what we stand for. We have a clear, up-to-date manifesto of the objects and objectives of our party. Our manifesto was launched last year in June. It has been in the public domain for almost a year. It was open to wide and deep debate.

We are proud of our beliefs. And we have stated them in terms that people are able to understand and identify with them in every workplace, every home, every family, every community in our country.

Our party’s determination to bring real change, not just any change, is increasingly becoming the symbol of the trust the Zambian people can place in us to change the country. It is time to break out of the past and break through with a clear, radical and socialist vision for Zambia.

We want to build a nation with pride in itself, a thriving community, rich in economic prosperity, secure in social justice, equity and peace, confident in revolutionary change. And in fulfillment of our national anthem –

“Stand and sing of Zambia, proud and free,

Land of work and join in unity,

Victors in the struggle for our rights,

We’ve won freedom’s fight.

All one, Strong and Free.

Africa is our own motherland.

Fashion’d with and blessed by God’s good hand,

Let us all her people join as one,

Brothers under the sun,

All one, Strong and Free.

One land and one nation is our cry,

Dignity and peace neath Zambia’s sky

Like our noble eagle in its flight,

Zambia, praise to thee.

All one, Strong and Free…”

A land in which our children can bring up their children with a future to look forward to. This is our hope, not just to promise revolutionary change – but to achieve it.

Fred M’membe

President of the Socialist Party

The law can only work for people when laws are fair

The law can only work for people when laws are fair Featured

There’s a mushrooming kerfuffle over the grade 12 minimum academic qualification required by the Constitution for one to stand as a councillor, member of parliament, council chairperson, mayor and President. Many people in our politics don’t seem to have it.

In the 2016 elections there was a more loose or liberal interpretation of this constitutional requirement. It was easy to meet this requirement. Last week’s Constitutional Court interpretation made it very difficult for many people to meet this requirement. The literary interpretation of this constitutional provision given by the Constitutional Court doesn’t seem acceptable to many people. It seems to have produced an absurd result.

The absurd result principle in statutory interpretation provides an exception to the rule that a statute should be interpreted according to its plain meaning. In an age of increasing debate about the proper approach to statutory interpretation, and of increasing emphasis on literal approaches, the absurd result principle poses intriguing challenges to literalism and to theories of interpretation generally. The absurd result principle is extraordinarily powerful. It authorises a judge to ignore a statute’s plain words in order to avoid the outcome those words would require in a particular situation. This is a radical thing; judges are not supposed to rewrite laws.

Ordinarily, such actions would be condemned as a usurpation of the legislative role, an unconstitutional violation of the separation of powers. Even when a genuine question exists about the actual meaning of the statute’s words, it is generally considered to be illegitimate for a judge to make the choice between possible meanings on the basis that the real-life result of one meaning strikes the judge as somehow objectionable. The absurd result principle apparently gives just that power and authority to a judge. Yet this principle enjoys almost universal endorsement, even by those who are the most critical of judicial discretion and most insistent that the words of the statute are the only legitimate basis of interpretation.

The law can only work for people when laws are fair. This grade 12 requirement, as interpreted by the Constitutional Court, has let people down. The grade 12 requirement is perceived as outright unjust by the majority of the people. This is an outright case of utilising improper means for the pursuit of an apparently legitimate goal. It has generated requirements that do not reflect the values of the underlying population. Today individuals are facing legal prohibitions that conflict with their sense of justice or fairness.

Unjust laws like these can be opposed through protest. Social opposition to unjust laws may trigger social norms that can have countervailing effects on legal intervention.

The inadequacies they were trying to address with the grade 12 requirement could have been dealt with differently. If there’s a deficiency of language – English language – the solution is not to bar those not proficient in English but to allow them to use languages they are fluent in. Other things they don’t understand – economics, law, security – can be taught to them as they perform their duties as councillors, council chairpersons, mayors, parliamentarians or presidents.

This constitutional provision only goes to show the class nature, the elite domination of our society. This is why this year we need to usher in a government of the humble, by the humble for the humble – a socialist government. Only under a socialist government can we truly have justice, equity and peace.

Fred M’membe

President of the Socialist Party

Untrustworthy politicians

Untrustworthy politicians Featured

It’s increasingly becoming difficult to trust and believe any word coming out of a Zambian politician’s mouth. Lies, hypocrisy, saying things they don’t mean seems to be the political culture of our politicians. Today they criticise, repudiate, denounce or insult this and that, tomorrow they are in bed with the same this or that.

Today they resign or are expelled from this or that political party and start their own or join another and start insulting, denouncing, accusing their former colleagues of all sorts of crimes and evils. A few months later they are apologising, seeking forgiveness and reconciliation. They are taken back, but we don’t know if they are really forgiven and they start denouncing, insulting those who a few months ago had welcomed them when they were in political limbo.

It’s sickening. It’s making politics unattractive and seeming to be for scoundrels, liars, crooks, hypocrites. How can one work with such politicians, enter into alliances or pacts with them? This is certainly not a recipe for winning people’s trust. The credibility of our politicians is in continuous decline. Credibility is very difficult to find in our politicians today. But credibility is supposed to be the cornerstone of our people’s political life and of our multiparty political dispensation.

But do we still even know what credibility means? Who is credible and why? What are the roots and forms of political credibility? How does it circulate within society? What risks is it subject to and what pathologies do they derive from? What can be called upon to restore credibility to our politics?

We need clear, concise and compendious answers to these questions. We need to find credible ways to overcome the current crisis of credibility, which some even consider irreversible. At the basis of all this is the problem of accelerating the process of circulation of political crooks, of the real consumption of leadership, which leads us to ask: what is credibility really? And what does it mean to be credible?

I will pull the string a little bit and go back a little bit to Aristotle’s Rhetoric, in which he claims that we believe more easily in honest people, adding that this is even more so regarding questions that do not involve certainty, but doubt – recall how, both for the Philosopher and in the common feeling, credibility appears as a personal quality. In reality one is not credible in general and in the abstract, but for someone. It can be a few people or millions of people, but always someone and not in the abstract. Credibility is therefore a relationship, a risky bet, which leads us to ask ourselves what is credible and what are the characteristics and virtues that are preferably associated with a political entity perceived as credible.

There’s a difference between credibility of the role and credibility in the role; someone is believed because he knows and for what he knows. This is typically the credibility of the expert, that is one who has a well-founded knowledge of the facts and problems, which means that he can speak with good reason or with knowledge of the facts.

In politics it is crucial both to know how to and to be able to act. It is even more more necessary to know how to communicate well the decisions taken.In this necessary fiduciary relationship between those who claim to be credible and those who are considered as such, in which personal values can be summarised in the concepts of ‘virtue’ or ‘integrity’ and include honesty, seriousness, self-control, ability to assume responsibility and to respect commitments, politics must be understood as a service.

To govern means to serve, because “In the house of the just”, as St. Augustine observes, “those who command are at the service of those who seem the commanded. Indeed, it is not out of passion for domination that they command, but out of desire to give oneself; not out of pride in being leaders, but out of concern to provide for everyone.

“Credibility therefore no longer concerns only political competence or discursive ability, but the totality of the personal characteristics of the politician, in creating an affective/emotional relationship between leaders and citizens: why should I vote for him? The old Hegelian principle, which says that nobody is a great man for his waiter, returns, so that political leaders, accepting and often seeking the challenge of politics, must be aware of being at the mercy of millions of waiters, the electors.

Political credibility is possible but in a community of shared values, standards and common aims. Political credibility is not just an analysis of credibility in politics. After almost three decades of personal political parties and those formed around a leader, there has been a break-up and rapid consumption of intermittent leadership, which may last only one morning. These are leaderships gained, more and more frequently, on social networks, with an eternal return to oscillating and cyclical dynamics. In the age of permanent election campaigns, that format is intertwined with the processes of personalisation – for which the strong man is also a brand – and of mediatisation.

Mutual recognition assumes a fundamental importance where it is seen as the ability to guide and govern others by assuming all the responsibilities and risks that this entails, while encouraging and promoting real processes of listening, participation and active involvement of citizens at all the levels and in all phases of democratic political life.

Fred M’membe

High youth unemployment – Dr Fred M’membe

High youth unemployment – Dr Fred M’membe Featured

Today, there are 3,491404 (male 1,744,843/female 1,746,561) aged between 15 -24, accounting for 20.03 per cent of Zambia’s population.

The active engagement of youth in sustainable development efforts is central to achieving a sustainable, inclusive and stable nation, and to averting the worst threats and challenges to sustainable development, including the impacts of climate change, unemployment, poverty, gender inequality, conflict, and migration.

While all other areas of human endeavour are important, if we don’t prioritise education and employment very little will be achieved in improving the conditions of our young people. Education and employment are fundamental to overall youth development.

Unacceptably high numbers of young Zambians are experiencing poor education and employment outcomes. In education, many youth of upper secondary age are out of school, and upper secondary enrolment rates are low. Moreover, many of the poorest 12- to 14-year olds have never attended school, and many of the youth of the future are still unable to obtain an acceptable primary education.

In most of our rural areas, young women face particular challenges in terms of securing and completing an education.Youth employment has worsened in recent years.

Unemployment among youth ages 15-24 stands at 24 per cent (male: 23.6 per cent/female: 24.4 per cent). Many of our young people are in precarious or informal work. And most of them are living in poverty even though they are employed.

The challenges of securing and retaining decent work are even more serious and complex for vulnerable and marginalised youth including young women, youth with disabilities.
While entrepreneurship offers opportunities for some youth, a diverse and robust employment strategy must include options and opportunities for all our young people.

We need to start building successful programmes that address the individual and socioeconomic contexts in which our young people actually live, rather than simply repeating the skills-for-employability rhetoric which supposes that there are formal sector jobs available if only young people were not so unprepared.

Equally, such programmes view entrepreneurship practically, as a part of livelihood strategy, rather than through an ideological lens. They believe young people can succeed in business but need support and face risks.

It is important to recognise that the human rights and flourishing of youth are about more than successful transitions to employment. Young people have aspirations that are far broader and that need to be valued and supported. Approaches that focus on prioritising youth participation, respecting youth rights, and addressing youth aspirations are key.

Rather than focusing on narrow measures of educational or employment attainment, it is crucial that suffient attention is paid to young people’s own accounts of what they value for their human development and for the sustainable development of their communities.

Youth Day reflections

Youth Day reflections Featured

Many years have passed since I stopped being a youth. But I still cherish those years of my life. They were years of heavy learning and of doing. I joined the revolutionary struggle during those years of my life.

If you are not revolutionary as a youth it is highly unlikely that you be revolutionary in your later years.

The youths are the strength of society. They are the face of the future of a nation. The youths are impulsive and are sensitive, but once they fix their target, there is no coming back.

They are humble and kind, but they believe in power and ideologies. They are progressive and have the potential to bring a revolution. With their vigour and talent, they build up society and inspire others to do the same.

Youth is a remarkable and massive gift of life. It is a lifetime experience that shapes an individual.

At this specific phase of life, the youths are always driven by freedom, liberty, and fantasy. The youngsters feel the power to speak and expressing their views without any fear.

It is appropriate and preferably the best phase of life where one must try to accomplish the dual goals of character and intelligence.

Youth is a crucial and critical age of development and is a period of uncertainty where everything seems ferment. There is a beautiful blend of a child’s attitude and an adult’s personality at this stage.

At this phase of life, a person can turn very rebellious as this age is full of curiosity, toughness, stimulation, heroism, muscle, judgemental attitude, being skeptical, and sorts. As a result, the youths develop an attitude of absolute judgment and rationale.The youths also play a very vital role in building the nation. The future of the country mostly depends on them. Every youth is equally responsible for the country’s future as they represent it at every level. They are like building blocks for the country.

As the youths are very energetic and enthusiastic, their ability to learn new skills and adapt to the environment is quite good. They have an urge to learn and act accordingly that will help them achieve their goals.

To conclude, youth is the best period in an individual’s life. One must cherish their dreams, develop a passion, and start working towards their aim of life. Youths must keep their eyes wide open and protect themselves from any harm.

The youths must always remember they are not alone, and they play a critical role in the development of society.

Fred M’membe

President of the Socialist Party

uChinja vote, iwe!

uChinja vote, iwe! Featured

While the condition of the African youth, and the Zambian youth in particular, is deplorable, we have on this youth day something to celebrate. We have on this youth day a renewed sense of optimism. We have this year the opportunity to rescue our futures, to secure out futures. To win victory for ourselves by voting for our Party, the Socialist Party, in the August 12 General Elections.

We have exhausted our patience. There are five months between us and victory for ourselves.

While there are many political parties listed on the national electoral ballots, this is an election between two sides, Socialism and Capitalism. Capitalism is represented in this fight by all its political parties that are in competition to rule in the interests of the rich minority. And on the left side of the divide stands the Socialist Party, the who wants the people to govern. We can no longer accept neutrality, there is no room for anyone to adopt an apolitical position, there is no space. There are revolutionaries and there are collusionists. Which side of history will you stand on?

While others say to the Youth: “Wait your turn.” the Socialist Party calls us to “Take your turn now!”

Books and reading

Books and reading Featured

I have been asked about what I read and what I am reading right now. Here is my brief response:

From the time I was able to read, I have read as many books as I could, and it pains me a lot that I don’t spend more time reading. I can’t imagine life without reading. It’s sad I can’t spend my life reading and studying.

I have read all kinds of literature. What I liked best of the first things I read were books of history: the history of Zambia, African history and world history. I have read a lot about the Bantu and their migrations. I have read all the writings on the Bemba people that I could lay my hands on. I have enjoyed reading the heroic history of the Ngoni people and warriors, especially their resistance to colonialism. I have also spent a lot of time on Lozi history.

I like reading biographies. And I think I have read all the classical biographies. Naturally, the Bible is one of the classical works I read. Any one who analyses the way I speak or write will find that I use a lot of biblical terms. I was in Catholic schools for 12 years, with the Capuchin Fathers, the Irish Christian Brothers and the Sacred Heart Brothers.

I read many novels when I was in junior secondary school – James Hadley Chase, Nicky Carter, Allister Maclean and so on and so forth. I have also enjoyed reading African writers series – Chinua Achebe, Ngugi Wa Thiogo, Sonyika.

Then there’s political literature. I began to dip into political literature as a student at the University of Zambia. I was greatly attracted to Marx, Engels and Lenin. I read a lot about all of them. My spirit became fertile ground for Marxist-Leninist ideas. I am always reading. I read the Qur’an a lot. It’s got great teachings.

It’s hardly necessary to mention that I have read many books about revolutions and wars. I think I have read all the English books on the French Revolution, the Bolshevik Revolution, the Haitian Revolution, the Chinese Revolution, the Cuban Revolution, the Bolivarian Venezuela Revolution.

I have paid a lot of attention to economic writings, problems. I try to follow what children are learning in primary and secondary schools.

In a word, I can say I read everything or anything I can lay my hands. I try very hard to read as much as I can about things I detest or do not agree with. I learn more from this.

Write now, among other things, I am reading a book by Daniel Posner – INSTITUTIONS AND ETHNIC POLITICS IN AFRICA.

I am very fortunate to have a cousin who is a brilliant history lecturer and researcher – Dr Sishuwa Sishuwa. He is my tireless supplier of very good reading materials. This story doesn’t seem to have an end – I can go on and on. For today, let me end here.

Fred M’membe

Fears over the Cyber Security and Cybercrimes Bill

Fears over the Cyber Security and Cybercrimes Bill Featured

THE Cyber Security and Cybercrimes Bill of 2021 is raising a lot of contention and anxiety from all corners of Zambia, Cosmas Musumali, Socialist Party general secretary and first vice-president has said.Dr Musumali said that to understand the reasons behind the controversy it was necessary to examine the bill’s background.

“Let’s go back to 2014,” he said. “The African Union Convention on Cyber Security and Protection of Personal Data (AU) was adopted by the assembly of heads of states and governments of the African Union in 2014.“In 2016, the President of Zambia signed the convention, which addressed four main areas; namely, electronic transactions, personal data protection, electronic commerce, and cyber security and cybercrime.

“The AU was to facilitate the development of an appropriate legal framework on the continent that would empower citizens and ensure that their respective online environment was trusted, safe, beneficial and empowering,” he said.“The AU provided guidelines at the regional level. SADC proposed some model bios. The issue was therefore about the domestication of a legal framework that had become a reality and necessity, both on the continent and globally.”Dr Musumali said that to move ahead there first had to be a repeal of the electronic communications and transactions act number 21 of 2009.“And the replacement of the act was going to be three standalone laws; a) the electronic, communication transactions act, b) the data protection act, and, c) the cyber security and cybercrimes act.

“So initially, we had one law in 2009. And the attempt today is to have three standalone laws, but interconnected, to replace it. These three new laws are being developed together. It is especially the last one – the cyber security and cybercrimes bill or crimes act ­­– that is borne of contention.”Dr Musumali said there were three main areas of concern:“Firstly, the poor reputation of the sponsoring government and political party in upholding human rights, combating crime, ensuring justice for all. The PF government has failed in these dimensions. The upholding of human rights has been very poor, combating of crime has slowed down, and ensuring justice for all has been a disaster. And you are talking about laws that have an impact on all these areas, and understandably people have a lot of mistrust.

“Secondly, there has been a lack of an inclusive consultative process. When a process lacks consultation it is one sided, it is by and large regarded as a PF piece of legislation, and a legislation that is one sided and looked upon as being partisan does not enjoy the support of the masses of our people.“Thirdly, there is a lack of clarity and systematic tackling of the content. When you go through the three bills being suggested you find a lot of definitions that are omitted, interconnections to existing penal code, for example, are not made. You find there is a lot of preoccupation with state institutions and state actors. The wider societal linkages are not made or are extremely weak.

“What you also find is that it is apparent that the drafting was done hurriedly, there are lots of mistakes, lots of omissions, and it just doesn’t read well.“This leads us to a fourth concern, and that is why the PF government is in a hurry to bulldoze this law through shortly before the elections.“Our advice to the PF government is that it should slow down, consult more, and carefully consider the critical contributions coming from the diverse stakeholders.”Dr Musumali said that once enacted the law would have a huge impact on all citizens, and it was important that short-term political interests were put aside.

Malanji’s helicopter is a moral dilemma

Malanji’s helicopter is a moral dilemma Featured

ZAMBIA’S Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Malanji faces a moral dilemma over his purchase of a US$1.4 million helicopter, Cosmas Musumali, Socialist Party general secretary and first vice-president says. The Bell 430 twin-engine light-medium helicopter was bought from South Africa.

Dr Musumali said it was in Malanji’s interest to refrain from commenting further on the purchase because, “whatever he says now merely exacerbates the anger and disgust of the suffering masses”.

“His best option is to keep quiet and hope, like with many other issues in our corruption-ridden country, that the dust will soon settle and people will switch over to another topic.

”Dr Musumali said Malanji was well known for his free spending and was “obsessed with branding himself as a rich person who runs luxurious businesses”.

“His exit and entry at Ndola Airport is not seldom accompanied by a ritual of money splashing reminiscent of Mexican drug barons and corrupt Nigerian millionaires,” he said. “Yet the employees of Gibson Hotel, Continental Lodge, and his other businesses have a different story to tell. They struggle and are not part of the feasting that goes on around Malanji.

“In a decent society, and in business practices that encompass equity considerations, the workers in Malanji’s companies should have been the top priority. After all, these are the real creators of the wealth that he splashes around.

“Cash handouts may be seen as a harmless, benevolent act, but is it not shame when the boss splashes cash to outsiders yet the workers behind the wealth creation are unable to send their children to school? When they are unable to pay hospital bills? When they are unable to meet their house rental obligations? In other words, what people see in Malanji is a caricature of a self-indulgent navel-gazing businessman and politician. The sooner he changes his ways the better.

”Dr Musumali said most facts surrounding the helicopter purchase were in the public domain and a one-hour search was all it took to find out most of the details.

“Buying a helicopter is hard to hide,” he said. “There is a whole footprint of the rotorcraft; when it was manufactured, who bought it, who used it, for what business, the maintenance schedules, why it had to be sold, and how much it went for.

“Malanji is correct in his assessment that he can get into the charter business with it. After all, Zambian elections are a period when cost-effectiveness is thrown on the rubbish heap,” Dr Musumali said. “The biggest customers will be his own party, the PF, as it intends to criss-cross the constituencies during the campaign period. Malanji is actually capable of recouping a significant portion of his investment just during these forthcoming elections.

”But Dr Musumali said business logic was not the same as business or political ethics.

“For the employees in Malanji’s companies, the helicopter has been bought at the cost of their welfare. It is their sweat that has made the Foreign Affairs Minister rich. They would rather have seen US$1.4 million ploughed back into the companies that have been struggling under the impact of COVID-19.

“They would rather have seen a part of that money getting back to them in the form of better salaries. Unfortunately, workers will always come last in this rudimentary capitalist system, and Malanji’s businesses are not an exception.”

Condolences on the death of Sr Dr Charity Chishimba

Condolences on the death of Sr Dr Charity Chishimba Featured

It’s not easy writing a message of condolences when your heart is heavy. This morning I woke to find out that Sr Dr Charity Chishimba has died from COVID-19. She died trying to save the lives of her COVID-19 patients.

There’s no greater love for others than sacrificing your own life to save theirs. Sr Dr Chishimba has died the way she lived. She dedicated her whole life to the service of others, her Church and her Creator. May her soul rest in eternal peace!

COVID-19 has been associated with an increased mortality in doctors and health care workers. Until an effective cure is developed, risk assessments at work, mitigating confounding factors, adequate supply of personal protective equipment and enhanced protection against infection are necessary to protect health care professionals on the coronavirus front line. Otherwise this occupational risk can lead to further untimely mortality and become another unintended consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sr Dr Chishimba’s death from COVID-19 has robbed our people not only of a leader in the response, but also of someone with an unparalleled epidemiological understanding of the area. From the first day she qualified as a medical doctor until the last day she died, she dedicated her life to the health of her people, especially in Chilubula.

The cruelty of this pandemic seems limitless. So many broken promises, broken connections, broken hearts. It is a loss layered upon the greatest loss, under the shadow of the virus.

Today, the inner circle of bereaved — children, parents, spouses, siblings — are very much alone in the aftermath of a death. They mourn without the friends, co-workers, and cousins who would have come to lighten the burden of grief — which is a real thing: the weight on the chest, the difficulty of moving. Funerals, wakes, visiting hours and shivas take place in empty rooms.

In the good old days, which is now defined as any time before March 2020, the most important thing you could do after a death was show up. You hugged and maybe held on for a few extra moments that spoke volumes of care. (Remember long hugs?) Sometimes, when there was a big crowd and you didn’t get a chance to hug or speak, eye contact alone made the commitment tangible, words were unnecessary. All that is no more.

Fred M’membe

President of the Socialist Party

They are trying to keep themselves in power at any cost – Dr M’membe

They are trying to keep themselves in power at any cost – Dr M’membe Featured

It’s very clear that President Edgar Lungu and his disciples are trying to impose their will on all of us.

They are trying to keep themselves in power at any cost. They have made it impossible for this country to have free and fair elections this year.

President Lungu is not only trying to impose himself as a presidential candidate when the Constitution clearly doesn’t allow a third term of office, but he has also made it impossible for his competitors to politically mobilise.

But what Mr Lungu and his disciples do not seem to understand is that the social furniture of modern society is so complicated and fragile that it cannot support the Jackboot. We cannot run the processes of modern society by attempting to impose our will upon others by all sorts of crooked, corrupt and repressive schemes. If they have not learned that they have learned nothing. Whatever might be their motivation to seek a third term at any cost, there’s no doubt about its imbecility.

I beg President Lungu and his disciples to turn their backs on this most ugly way of seeking to perpetuate their hold on power and realise that if they are to live in this country and be regarded as decent people deserving the respect of others, they have to act up to different standards than the one they have been following.

These are methods of barbarism. If these are not methods of barbarism, what methods does barbarism employ?

We have been taught that “the man who abides by unjust laws and permits any man to trample and mistreat the country in which he was born, is not an honourable man…In the world there must be a certain degree of honour just as there must be a certain amount of light. When there are many men without honour, there are always others who bear in themselves the honour of many men. These are the men who rebel with great force against those who steal human honour itself. In those men thousands more are contained, an entire people is contained, human dignity is contained…

“It’s understandable that honest people should be victimised, repressed and humiliated in a Republic where a criminal, cruel, intolerant and tyrannical gang is in power. Fred M’membe

Meet Comrade Brill Aggephrey

Meet Comrade Brill Aggephrey Featured

Comrade Brill Aggephrey parliamentary candidate for the Livingstone constituency, says he joined the Socialist Party because he believes “in service being above self”.

“I want us to emancipate ourselves from the mental slavery, poverty, exploitation, gross corruption, and inhuman treatment of the youth, women and my nation. Therefore, I have joined the revolution,” he said.

“Zambians want free education, healthcare, meaningful employment and financial empowerment. These are never provided for by parties like PF, UPND, DP, although they promise them.“Capitalism is based on paying for everything. So, no matter how we change capitalist presidents in Zambia, such change is no change. Socialism is what provides for its citizens.

“Let us support Fred M’membe to remove exploitative capitalism from Zambia. Dr M’membe is honest and resolute in helping us bring about this authentic change. Let us vote for ourselves by voting for the Socialist Party.

”Comrade Aggephrey says unaffordable school fees, unemployment, a lack of medicines in hospitals and expensive drugs in drug stores are just some of the issues in Livingstone.

“People are now self-prescribing medicines as they find none when they visit hospitals,” he said. “So to avoid losing the little they have on transport, they are going directly to the drug stores.

”Comrade Aggephrey was educated at Riverian primary and Mukuba secondary schools in Kitwe, going on to gain certificates in public relations, youth micro enterprise development, mentoring, counselling and teaching.

He was a founder member of the faith-based HIV/AIDS prevention organisation Youth Alive, a founder member of a Southern Province human rights committee, chairman of Livingstone Muslim Society, a director of research, public relations and cultural activities of the Islamic Council, and a councillor in Livingstone Akapelwa ward. He has also taught at schools in Lusaka and Livingstone.

Meet Comrade Bwime Chingumbe

Meet Comrade Bwime Chingumbe Featured

Twenty-two-year-old Comrade Bwime Chingumbe, parliamentary candidate for Luampa constituency, was born in Luampa and attended Lui primary and Kanyonyo secondary schools.

She says she joined the Socialist Party because of its commitment to young people and young women’s leadership agenda. The party believes the youth are the leaders of today, not tomorrow.

“Zambia has a youthful population of about 66 per cent, yet many continue to be marginalised in terms of access to quality education, healthcare, and many services needed to survive,” she said.

“A number of young people don’t have jobs. What once used to be a booming agricultural sector in our country has deteriorated. We just don’t have jobs; many young people are languishing in extreme poverty.

”Comrade Chingumbe said there was so much hopelessness among the young people in her constituency.

“They just drink beer from dawn to sunset with no direction or sense of what else they can do. There is a lack of medical equipment and medicines in hospitals, poor roads, and the distance from the health centre to the villages is far.

“I am grateful to have been introduced to the Socialist Party. I saw light in the Socialist Party. I was encouraged by its commitment to the values of justice, humility, solidarity, and equity. I was also impressed by the breakdown of its programmes and job-creation strategy in health, education, and agriculture. The Socialist Party politics are reviving and refreshing.

”Comrade Chingumbe said the Socialist Party was the only hope for a solution to the challenges in her constituency and the country.

“I urge the people in my constituency to vote for me and Dr Fred M’membe come August. The Socialist Party, the people’s party, your party, is the answer to our struggles and problems. Let’s win this struggle and revolution together.”

Zambian women, stand up for genuine change!

Zambian women, stand up for genuine change! Featured

Today, as Zambia joins the world in marking International Women’s Day, the Socialist Party issues this call to the women of Zambia: stand up for a genuine change!

For so long, the overwhelming majority of Zambians have suffered from poverty, hunger, unemployment, lack of government support for farming, expensive social services, and repression of the most basic civil and political rights.

Today, our situation has further worsened: highest prices on foodstuffs, longest load shedding hours, lack of water services and proper sanitation, expensive health services amidst a pandemic, and the steepest decline of the Kwacha against major currencies.

There has also been corruption scandal after corruption scandal, involving top officials of the land.

This year, we mark Women’s Day amidst news of the country’s richest becoming even richer fast, while the majority who are poor are becoming even poorer. The majority of Zambians – workers, farmers, unemployed, urban and rural poor – are suffering. But the women who belong to these sectors – the overwhelming majority of Zambian women – are suffering the most.

Who is burdened with budgeting the little income for the day’s meals, if not with finding that income in the first place? Who ensures that there’s water in the house? Who ensures that kids go to school, that the sick in the family is taken care of?

This Women’s Day, let us recognize the labor of Zambian women. While the Zambian poor and people are burdened with the country’s problems, Zambian women bear an additional burden. They work so hard and give so much of themselves – often without recognition, rest, or remuneration.

This Women’s Day, let us recognize this added burden of women and commit to reducing it.

Happy Women’s Day!

Nancy Busiku Mpongo

Socialist Party

Mandevu Constituency Secretary.

Happy women’s day

Happy women’s day Featured

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, greetings and best wishes to fellow citizens.

Women in our country are setting new records and achievements in various fields. Let’s all resolve to promote gender justice eliminate inequality between women and men.

The history of all times, and of today especially, teaches us that women will be forgotten if they forget to think about themselves.

Be Fearless and conquer the world.

Happy Women’s Day 2021!


Dr Fred M’membe

President of the Socialist Party.

Police impartiality, unfairness

Police impartiality, unfairness Featured

Last week President Edgar Lungu made a very strange admission, or rather confession: “The public confidence in the police service is low, and it is up to the police, themselves, to regain that confidence by their actions. To this end, there is urgent need for the police service to address these public concerns if the people of Zambia are to regain confidence in them.

”It’s very difficult to disagree with what President Lungu is saying. But there’s one very serious omission: the cause of all this loss of public confidence in police.

It’s the abuse of the police by President Lungu and his followers that has, more than anything else, contributed to this state of affairs. They have turned the police into a wing of the ruling party for use against the opposition and other dissenting voices.

Nothing would be more dangerous than to confuse men and women who are responsible for the maintenance of law and order in our country.

Those in government, therefore, must remember that even for their own good, their fellow citizens in the police must be left to deal with the maintenance of law and order in the way they have been trained.

It’s very dangerous for politicians in the governing party to control the police and make it do their bidding.

In any country where law is deliberately twisted to entrap political opponents and in which police officers act as an extension of the ruling party cadres rather than impartial professional law enforcement officers, there can be nothing but tyranny and a mockery of justice. Let them continue abusing the police now, but let them also remember that when they have left the pinnacle of power what may appear acceptable on others now may taste oppressive. In other words, they should remember that while today it is them at the giving end; tomorrow it may be them at the receiving end.

On the other hand, police officers would greatly help to evolve a fair and impartial police, defend the rule of law and constitutionalism and guarantee the success of our multiparty political dispensation and pluralism, if, individually and collectively, they resolved to discharge their policing obligations without fear or favour.

Dr Kenneth Kaunda gave us very good guidance on this score: “First and foremost must come the quality of impartial fair play for I do not wish my policemen to be partisans to the many political and tribal feuds that may emerge in our country, as has happened in others. The worst policeman so far as I am concerned is that man who will not admonish or arrest another because he is of the same tribe, race or political sympathy. Equally reprehensible is the policeman who will not do his duty for fear that because he is of a different tribe, race or political feeling his deeds will be misunderstood. If you should ever find yourselves in a position of compromise against the principles of fair play and impartiality, then be humble enough to seek God’s guidance because neither the present nor the future generation will forgive you for betraying the many people who have died and suffered in the struggle to bring forth this independent land” (Police Training School, Lilayi – April 15, 1966).

Fred M’membe

2021 International Women’s Day

2021 International Women’s Day Featured

Tomorrow is International Women’s Day! But what is it for? For more than a century people around the world have been marking March 8 as a special day for women. Why?

International Women’s Day grew out of the labour movement to become a recognised annual event by the United Nations. The seeds of it were planted in 1908, when 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter working hours, better pay and the right to vote. It was the Socialist Party of America who declared the first National Woman’s Day, a year later.

The idea to make the day international came from a woman called Clara Zetkin. She suggested the idea in 1910 at an International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen. There were 100 women there, from 17 countries, and they agreed on her suggestion unanimously. It was first celebrated in 1911, in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.

This year we’re technically celebrating the 110th International Women’s Day.Things were made official in 1975 when the United Nations started celebrating the day.

International Women’s Day has become a date to celebrate how far women have come in society, in politics and in economics, while the political roots of the day mean strikes and protests are organised to raise awareness of continued inequality.

Clara’s idea for an International Women’s Day had no fixed date. It wasn’t formalised until a war-time strike in 1917 when Russian women demanded “bread and peace” – and four days into the women’s strike the Tsar was forced to abdicate and the provisional government granted women the right to vote.

The date when the women’s strike commenced on the Julian calendar, which was then in use in Russia, was Sunday February 23. This day in the Gregorian calendar was 8 March – and that’s when it’s celebrated today.

Purple, green and white are the colours of International Women’s Day. “Purple signifies justice and dignity. Green symbolizes hope. White represents purity, albeit a controversial concept. The colours originated from the Women’s Social and Political Union in the UK in 1908.

Is there an International Men’s Day? There’s indeed an International Men’s Day – November 19. But it has only been marked since the 1990s and isn’t recognised by the United Nations. People celebrate it in more than 80 countries worldwide. The day celebrates the positive value men bring to the world, their families and communities, highlighting positive role models and raising awareness of men’s well-being.

This year’s International Women’s Day campaign has chosen the theme #ChooseToChallenge with the idea that a challenged world is an alert world and individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions.

“We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality,” the campaign states. “We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world.”

“Gender parity will not be attained for almost a century,” according to the International Women’s Day campaign, referring to the World Economic Forum, it says “none of us will see gender parity in our lifetimes, and nor likely will many of our children”.

It’s also recently been a very tough time, with data from UN Women revealing the coronavirus pandemic could wipe out 25 years of increasing gender equality . Women are doing significantly more domestic chores and family care because of the pandemic, which in turn, can impact upon job and education opportunities.And as we mark International Women’s Day tomorrow, we who are seeking and struggling for a more just, fair and humane society, a socialist Zambia shouldn’t forget that Lenin said that the proletariat cannot achieve final victory until it has achieved the complete freedom of women.

Fred M’membe

President of the Socialist Part

Meet Comrade Kafwimbi Namutowe

Meet Comrade Kafwimbi Namutowe Featured

Nakonde Central constituency parliamentary candidate comrade Kafwimbi Lunda Namutowe says she joined the Socialist Party “because it promotes mass governance through justice, equity and peace and encourages the young, women and people living with disabilities to participate in leadership and decision-making processes”.

She went to primary school in Chama and Copperbelt, Chinsali, followed by secondary school at Nakonde, and has a certificate in psychosocial counselling.

Comrade Namutowe has worked as a teacher in Morogoro, Tanzania, with the International Institute of Democracy and Conflict Resolution, and also with the Southern Cross Trade Border Association coordinating Muchinga province. She is currently working as a psychosocial counsellor at Nakonde Urban Clinic focusing on gender-based violence issues.

She says agriculture, education, employment, and the problem of early marriages are just some of the issues that need addressing in her constituency.

“We are going to diversify agriculture, not limited to maize, but to include the production of soybeans, millet, sorghum and hot culture, such as fish and animal farming. By so doing, we are going to open people’s minds to other sources of income by selling the produce to East Africa,” she said.

“We have many pressing issues with education. For example, during the enrolment of children, there are a lot of demands that disadvantage the less privileged. The long distances have caused many girls to drop out of school because of teen pregnancies and early marriages as they do weekly boarding. Overcrowding of pupils in classes has disadvantaged many pupils in terms of teacher monitoring and quality education.

“There are no jobs in this area as Zambia is largely de-industrialised. Nakonde constituency is a semi-arid area where people prefer to farm as there are no industries and companies. The Socialist Party will embark on a huge industrialisation programme to create cooperatives, industries and jobs in its three key sectors; agriculture, health and education.

”Comrade Namutowe says Nakonde has what it takes to develop. “However, need a visionary leader who will work with the people to achieve a better Zambia.” She adds that residents “have tried men, but should now trust a woman”.

Meet Comrade Andrew Kalonde

Meet Comrade Andrew Kalonde Featured

Comrade ANDREW Kalonde, parliamentary candidate for the Mpika Central constituency, was born into a family of freedom fighters (Mama Madalena Kalonde and family).

He attended Kenneth Kaunda Secondary School in Chinsali and the University of Zambia, later working for the judiciary as a clerk and carrying out social work. He is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in law with University of Africa.

“Having been born into a family of politicians, I always had a passion to serve the people of Zambia politically. I joined politics in 2001 while I was a civil servant in Kitwe when the late Michael Sata formed the Patriotic Front,” he said. “In 2006, I took a leave of absence to contest the parliamentary seat for Mpika Central but I was not adopted. I campaigned for the candidate and the party and we won the seat for the Hon Kapeya Mwansa.

”Comrade Kalonde says he resigned from the judiciary and attempted to gain selection stand for Mpika Central two more times but without success.

“I joined the revolutionary movement because when Sata formed the PF he was pro-poor – he had a heart for the marginalised. But after his death the party became pro-rich, so for me the only alternative party was Socialist Party, with a true and uncompromised programme for the working class.

“There are many issues affecting the marginalised people in Mpika Central, with education, health and agriculture being the most pressing.

”Comrade Kalonde says his message for the people of Mpika Central constituency, Muchinga Province, and Zambia as a whole, is to vote for the Socialist Party and Fred M’membe as president.

“We have Dr M’membe as the Socialist Party president, the most experienced political figure of all presidential candidates in the forthcoming general election,” he said.

“Zambians need to liberate themselves from the cruelity of capitalism and embrace socialism if they are to see any meaningful development in this country.”

We will not be part of the alliance circuses going on

We will not be part of the alliance circuses going on Featured

The issue of us joining alliances or pacts keeps on coming up. We have explained and explained our position on this issue but it keeps coming up ceaselessly.

For us, it is not about quick and easy political fixes just to enable us win elections. For us, there is no choice between being principled and unelectable; and electable and unprincipled. We should win because of what we believe in.A complex era such as this requires principles more than ever. It requires a lot more awareness. Political deals, alliances or pacts are worthless if they are not inspired by noble, selfless sentiments. Likewise, noble sentiments are worthless if they are not based on correct and fair arrangements.

We have chosen to defend certain principles that are of tremendous value at a time of confusion and opportunism in our country, a time when many politicians are feathering their own nests. We will cooperate with other political players to address problems which affect all of us. But we will not be part of these alliance circuses going on.

Nobody should think that things are going to be easy. We must be prepared to meet difficulties. We have difficulties right now, and we will have even greater ones in the coming days, weeks and months, even if we do things the right way – and we should do them the right way, even if it calls for our greatest efforts. We have to cope with the objective problems of the situation prevailing in our country, the increasing number of restrictive and repressive measures this corrupt, intolerant, cruel and tyrannical regime takes against us.

Nothing great ever came easy; nothing good ever came easy. The struggles, challenges, and obstacles that it takes to succeed in life is what makes success more valuable. Nothing great comes easy, and nothing easy can ever equate to greatness.

Working hard on a goal is really the only way to reach it. The results won’t be overnight, nor would it be easy. Aside from being patient, investing a lot of time and effort is needed. It’s true that nothing great ever came that easy. Often times, it would take so much work and patience in order to succeed. Hard work and focus is the only way to reach a goal.

In most cases, results won’t come easy or happen overnight. It’s true that nothing great ever came that easy. Often times, it would take so much work, patience and dedication. And we shouldn’t give up. The path to victory is filled of obstacles and challenges. We just need to find solutions and keep on struggling.

Lots of hard work and time need to be invested – nothing great ever came that easy. A life of ignoble ease which springs merely from lack either of desire or of power to strive after great things, is as little worthy of a nation as of an individual. I admire a person who embodies victorious effort; who has those virile qualities necessary to win in the stern strife of actual life. It is hard to fail; but it is worse never be have tried to succeed. In this life we get nothing save by effort.

Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much because they live in the grey twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.

The state our country is in calls for not for the life of ease, but for the life of strenuous endeavour. If we shrink from the hard contests where we must win at hazard of our lives and at the risk of all we hold dear, then the bolder and stronger will pass us by and will win for themselves the domination of our country

.Let us therefore boldly face the life of strife, resolute to do our duty well; resolute to uphold righteousness by word and by deed; resolute to be both honest and brave, to serve high ideals, yet to use practical methods. Above all, let us shrink from no strife, moral or physical, provided we are certain that the strife is justified; for it is only through strife, through hard and dangerous endeavour, that we shall ultimately win.

Fred M’membe

President of the Socialist Party

The passing of Bunny Wailer

The passing of Bunny Wailer Featured

It’s with deepest sadness to learn of the passing of one of my most favourite artists, the patriarch and Jamaican music icon, the great Bunny Wailer.

I mourn the passing of this outstanding singer, songwriter and percussionist and celebrate his life and many accomplishments.

The legend, whose real name was Neville O’Riley Livingston, had been the last surviving member of The Wailers, following Bob Marley’s death from cancer in 1981, and Peter Tosh’s murder during a robbery in 1987.

Bunny Wailer played a key role in the development and popularising of reggae music across the world.

Wailer literally grew up with Marley from early childhood: Marley’s mother and Wailer’s father joined households in Kingston, and had a daughter together.

In 1963, Wailer and Marley formed The Wailing Wailers with their friend Peter Tosh. Singers Junior Braithwaite, Beverley Kelso and Cherry Smith joined the group, but departed within a period of months to a few years.

By 1974 both Wailer and Tosh had departed from The Wailers, in part because the music industry seemed intently focused on making Marley a solo star. Wailer’s subsequent hits included the songs “Cool Runnings” and “Ballroom Floor,” as well as his 1976 album, Blackheart Man.

Wailer won three Grammys in the early 1990s; in 2017, he was awarded Jamaica’s Order of Merit, one of his country’s highest honours.May his soul rest in eternal peace!

Fred M’membe

The Wailers, reunited at last!

The Wailers, reunited at last! Featured

Bunny Wailer, 73, reggae pioneer and last surviving member of the Wailers, has died.

The Wailers, which included superstars Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, were Jamaica’s Beatles. They made ska and reggae music known to the world.

They were famous not only for their beats and melody, but for their lyrics. They made music that talked about the ordinary person, the poor, Blacks, and about discontent, personal and social change, rebellion, revolution.

Wailer and others started the band when they were still teenagers. Youth, indeed, is an age of creativity and revolutionary daring.

An author says Tosh was the group’s militant member; Marley, the poetic revolutionary humanist; and Wailer, the spiritual mystic.

“Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our mind.” Powerful words brought together in a lovely but haunting melody. Truly, we have to free our minds so we can free ourselves.

All members of the Wailers have died, but their music won’t die. They will live forever in the hearts of the oppressed and fighting peoples of Africa and the world.

Kyle Haselsteiner

Socialist Youth League

Deputy General Secretary

Meet Comrade Andrew Kapasa Kalulu

Meet Comrade Andrew Kapasa Kalulu Featured

Comrade ANDREW Kapasa Kalulu, parliamentary candidate for Shiwangandu constituency, says he joined the Socialist Party because he believes in justice, equity and peace for all Zambians.

“A just society is a fair society and a peaceful environment for all citizens in our country,” he said. “We all need an equal share of our wealth, equal participation in the governance and politics of our country, equal healthcare and equal education standards, regardless of being poor or rich.

”Comrade Kapasa says the major problems Shiwangandu faces include poverty, illiteracy, bad road infrastructure, poor sanitation and the problem of child marriages.

“We have very few primary schools in Shiwangandu that cannot accommodate the ever-growing population in our constituency. Most of our children are starting school at the age of seven or ten in some places because the schools are very far from their villages. Our children are failing to pass to go to grade eight, grade ten or pass grade 12 because of sub-standard education. This is because in most of our schools we have two or three teachers teaching more than 800 pupils from grades one to grade nine. Our children are not finishing school and those who are lucky enough to reach grade 12 are failing exams. As a result, we are facing a lot early marriages.

”Comrade Kapasa says the constituency has few clinics and health centres and precious few medicines that people cannot afford. Another problem is that soil in the region is very acidic and farmers need expensive fertilisers to grow crops such as maize. Poor Roads and bridges are another concern, with many villages often cut off by floods.

“Regardless of the many economic challenges there is hope for the people this year if they vote wisely by voting a socialist government under Dr Fred M’membe into power,” he said.

“Dr M’membe is a true patriotic Zambian who will look into the equality of the living standards of our people, not only in Shiwangandu, but Zambia at large.”

I am a revolutionary – BARBRA Chekuda Maramwidze

I am a revolutionary – BARBRA Chekuda Maramwidze Featured

BARBRA Chekuda Maramwidze says she is a revolutionary who wants to spur the necessary changes needed in Zambia.

Maramwidze is known to many as an actor in the local opera, Zuba. This time around she is in the news not as an artist; but in the political realm.

It is surprising to see Maramwidze on a political platform but on Wednesday, when the Socialist Party unveiled her as Matero Constituency parliamentary candidate, she provided context to that.

In her speech, she said politics and art were close. “Some of you may be surprised to see me here today and you are asking yourselves what I’m doing here today because you have known me as an artist and not as a political person. But the two are inseparable,” Maramwidze.

“I’m here today as a revolutionary. To help bring the necessary changes needed in our country, the real change needed to get us out of poverty and despair we are in today.

”She indicated her sincere belief that Socialist Party president Dr Fred M’membe, would emerge as the President of Zambia.

Maramwidze urged Zambians, especially women, her friends in Matero and “all of you my fans” to join the struggle.

She said that way, the Socialist party would secure an election victory August 12 this year.

“I did not stand up on my own and say I want to be a member of parliament. Members of the community in which I live, in which I was born, in which I gave birth to my own children, approached me and demanded that I represent them in Parliament this year,” Maramwidze explained.

“After some deep reflection and extensive consultations I agreed.” She said she examined the ideas, principles and outlook of the Socialist Party and its key leadership.

Maramwidze noted that she became absolutely convinced that there was no sensible alternative to what the Socialist party is pursuing.

“I was acting real life situations, the daily realities of our people. Today I join the struggle for the real life realities of our people,” noted Maramwidze.

“Today I give to this struggle all the talents the good Lord gave me and I pledge to work closely with the leadership of our party in Matero and in the whole country to help our peoples struggle – to build themselves a more just, a more peaceful Zambia full of equity.”

Death of a knight errant – Andrew Sardanis

Death of a knight errant – Andrew Sardanis Featured

It is with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Andrew Sardanis.

I send my deepest condolences to the Sardanis family at this difficult time. The nation mourns with you and celebrates the extraordinary life of this remarkable man – a knight errant of our country.

Andrew holds a place in the history of our country as a knight errant, clothed in the armour of intelligence and courage, as well as determination and humility.

As a young journalist, Andrew left Cyprus – the country of his birth – to come to Northern Rhodesia where he immediately associated himself with the leaders of our national independence struggle and the building of the new nation’s economy as permanent secretary in the Ministry of Finance.

We must not tire, we must not give up, we must persist. His legacy will stand as an example to all of us to persist in our pursuit of progress.

Fred M’membe

President of the Socialist Party

The President’s medical care donations scheme

The President’s medical care donations scheme Featured

While we should all welcome anything being done to save the life, or to reduce the pain, of cancer patient Chama Musonda of Kabwe, I think it should be done in a more rational, dignified and humane manner.

Following social media publicity, President Lungu pledged to meet the K60,000 required for Chama’s cancer medication. But is this really the way medical care should be extended to our people by their leaders in government?

Where are the hospitals? Why are they not doing the jobs they were created to do? How many people are ill clad in our homes with similar or even much more worse illnesses than Chama is going through?

Do we really have to wait for social media to highlight the plight of such sick people and move the President of the Republic to do something about it?

We have specialized hospitals created to deal with such diseases as cancer. What are they doing? Where are they?

Is it the new way that we should use to bring the President’s attention to the plight of thousands of our people who can’t get proper medication from public hospitals?

And how deep are the President’s pockets for him to provide medical care to our fellow citizens who are ill and buy expensive buses for some of our public universities?

Does the President have more money than the Ministry of Health or Ministry of Finance?

Can a sitting President really donate instead of directing his ministers do something about situations like this? Again, how deep are the President’s pockets? And are these the same pockets from which Bowman Lusambo draws money to give as donations to marketeers and churches?

Why can’t the President simply put all this money in the Ministry of Health? I wish Chama God’s grace.

Fred M’membe

Meet Comrade Reverend Moddy Chisha

Meet Comrade Reverend Moddy Chisha Featured

Comrade Rev Moddy Nonde Chisha is Socialist Party’s parliamentary candidate for Chitambo Constituency.

Comrade Chisha attended Chimwemwe Primary School, junior secondary at Hellen Kaunda Secondary, and her upper classes at Mindolo Secondary School. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science and a certificate in fashion and design. She holds a diploma in theology, a certificate of psychosocial counseling, and a certificate in literacy teaching and in community work.

Her previous leadership roles include that of being a reverend. Since 2000, she has been pastoring a church.

In terms of what motivated Comrade Chisha to join the Socialist Party, she says: “I was attracted to the party’s progressive policy on women and youth. We have a voice in the party and as a member of the Socialist Party Women’s League, we do appreciate that the recommendations emerging from the women’s league have been taken on board by the central committee.

“In 2021, not less than 50 percent women will stand on the Socialist Party ticket, both at local and parliamentary elections. This is progressive.

“I also joined because I was inspired by the honesty, humility and wisdom of its leadership. I knew with my background in the church that if we joined hands together we could transform Zambia. I was also inspired deeply by our president, Dr Fred M’membe, a patriotic leader who wouldn’t love to see citizens being subjected to the an oppressive capitalist system and ideologies that perpetuates suffering among Zambians.

“The Socialist Party is the answer to Zambia’s problems. Under the socialist government, we will work hard to strive for justice, equity and peace in distribution of the natural resources and the national wealth of our country as outlined in our manifesto.

”Asked what transformation she envisions for Chitambo Constituency, Comrade Chisha says:

“I envision a Chitambo constituency in which all our people have access to healthcare, education, roads and bridges, as well as an improved agricultural sector. At the moment, the situation is bad. There are serious issues around access to education, bad roads, and lack of decent clinics.

“In my constituency, health officers meet the people in makeshift clinics in the bush. There are further no bridges to make life bearable during the rainy season. Those are just some of the huge challenges that people of Chitambo face on a day-to-day basis.

”She says the Zambian people are ready for socialism, “Yes, the Zambian people are ready for a socialist government, for a party that has leaders who lead and allow the people to govern.”

Meet Comrade Augustine Salubeni

Meet Comrade Augustine Salubeni Featured

Comrade Augustine Salubeni joined the Socialist Party because of its manifesto addressing the masses’ problems.

“I believe a better Zambia is attainable if we truly embrace the Socialist Party’s values of honesty, humility, equity and solidarity,” he said.

“The party’s focus on peasant agriculture, health and education are refreshing and I am excited and blessed to be part of this movement.

“The issue-based politics the party is advancing has truly changed the Zambian political landscape. Equally, the party president has demonstrated knowledge, deep commitment, wisdom and leadership that is inspiring.

”Comrade Salubeni said the people of Mufumbwe had suffered enough. “The schools are poorly equipped, there are few hospitals, clinics and no medicines. My constituency also has a poor road network. Day-to-day life is misery and struggle. The solution lies in our hands as a people and collective,” he said.

Meet Comrade Vivian Chunda

Meet Comrade Vivian Chunda Featured

Comrade Vivian Chunda, candidate for Mafinga constituency, went to Kaswanga primary, Samu basic, and Isoka high schools, and later gained a certificate in customs clearing and forwarding at Kitwe Institute of Management. She pursued small-scale farming on a full-time basis at her rural home before joining politics.

Comrade Chunda said the issues in Mafinga constituency included extreme levels of unemployment and poverty, an underdeveloped agriculture sector and shortage of medicines.

She said her desire was “to be close to the people and work with them to socialise important aspects of the Zambian political sector as a means to struggle for justice, equity, and peace”.

She urged women to join the Zambian male-dominated political space. “The future is women. The future is the Socialist Party,” she said.

Money and our politics, elections

Money and our politics, elections Featured

As the August 12, 2021 elections are nearing, we seem to be increasingly witnessing an increase in donations from politicians in the governing party. Why? What are the consequences of these donations on our politics and elections?

There’s no doubt – and I can state it with absolute certainty – we will all pay the price for a political system and elections dominated by money and donations. In truth, these donations are nothing but bribes.

The increasingly skyrocketing cost of running for public office is making it far too easy for those with money to manipulate election outcomes. When a political system is twisted to serve those who can pay the most, the ripple effect is profound. It hurts our multiparty democracy and the political plurality of our nation on every level.

This problem is real and it calls for effective ways to fight the negative effects of money-based multiparty democracy and elections.

If we don’t tenaciously fight this practice the poor of this country will never be able to set themselves political goals and achieve them; the poor will not be able to be elected as councillors, members of parliament or even as presidents.

We need to return the control of our political system to the voters. This can only be achieved if the voters themselves own the elections. I urge all citizens of good will and their organisations to help educate the public on the problem of money in our politics and elections and ways to take action.

There’s need to expose corruption and other abuses of our political system and seek the necessary changes to the way things are done. There’s need for our people to be helped to use their power to counteract the power of money in our politics and elections.

There are real drawbacks to the current interplay between money and politics. Perhaps more than overt corruption, the current system breeds cynicism and apathy – two enemies of multiparty democracy. If Zambians feel like they don’t have a voice, then all sorts of people – potential voters and potential candidates alike – don’t get involved because they don’t think they can matter.

And important policy differences are obscured by the patina of money and donations. And candidates are forced into a never-ending cycle of money which greatly favours incumbents over even the most worthy challengers.

If the Zambians want to get money out of politics, it’s time to take our elections back. Voting is the most powerful form of expression that a single citizen has. When citizens vote, politicians have to listen. We must improve voter turnout and engage within our communities to combat the undue influence of money in our multiparty political dispensation.

There are many things each one of us can do to fight the impact of money in our politics and elections.

Fred M’membe

Meet Comrade Margaret Pikiti

Meet Comrade Margaret Pikiti Featured

Comrade Margaret Kangwa Pikiti is the Socialist Party’s parliamentary candidate for Malole constituency

.Comrade Pikiti was born in Malole, Mungwi, Northern Province. She went to Ituna Primary School in Kasama and attended Lwitikila Girls Secondary School in Mpika, finishing form five in 1978. In December 1978, Margaret went for compulsory military training with Zambia National Service. This was followed by training in Physiotherapy at Evelyn Hone College in Lusaka.

Then in 1993, she obtained a bachelor of science degree in occupational therapy in the United Kingdom. Later, she completed a master’s in business administration with a dissertation that focused on poultry farming in Zambia and Brazil.

Comrade Pikiti is now settled back in Malole where she is working had to revamp farmland, working and interacting with local people, sharing their anxieties, sorrows, hopelessness and desperation on a daily basis.

Malole is a constituency in a province with a poverty level of 79.7 per cent. This is reflected in people’s daily struggles, and lacking the basics in education, health, food, and all the other services required in an organised society.

Comrade Pikiti says: “I was not seeking political office when I joined the Socialist Party. I joined the Socialist Party because the issues close to my heart are core to the party. The plight of the poor being at the centre of it.

“Also, after scrutinising the party’s manifesto, programme, and the leadership under Dr Fred M’membe, I happily joined this party that makes one feel at home. And when my name came up for adoption, and then I was approached by the party leadership to stand as a member of parliament for Malole constituency, I accepted with anticipation and excitement.

“As an individual, what captivates me is seeing joy on the faces of the elderly and children. The kind of transformation I envision for my constituency is accessible health for all, education for all from pre-school, for people to regain their pride and provide jobs.

“Zambia is most definitely ready for socialism. In fact, it is long overdue. A change is needed in aspects of life and governance. Capitalism has failed our people. Suffering is unbearable and it is hard for one to look and do nothing. The values of socialism are what can lift Zambia out of the current pit.

“I am also a writer and my book begins in the Malole village I used to imagine, not the impoverished one today. So here we are. I am now the adopted candidate for Socialist Party Malole constituency.”

Meet Comrade Salungu Handson

Meet Comrade Salungu Handson Featured

Comrade Salungu Handson, parliamentary candidate for Solwezi Central, is seeking to address the challenges facing the humble, the poor and the workers.

He said the Socialist Party’s manifesto “speaks to the challenges we face, and spells out how the SP government will address the challenges”.

“The manifesto is written in simple language that is easy to follow and understand. I was able to connect the issues raised in the manifesto to the broader problems confronting my constituency, including poor roads, poor sanitation and a high level of unemployment.

“Providing clean and safe drinking water, sanitation, constructing roads and job creation all fall under key priority areas.

”Comrade Handson was born in Solwezi district, attending primary and junior secondary schools in North-Western Province, where he obtained his GCE certificate. He has worked in the transportation industry at various levels.

Meet Comrade Mupelwa Siame

Meet Comrade Mupelwa Siame Featured

Comrade Mupelwa Siame, parliamentary candidate for Kantanshi constituency, says he was motivated to join the Socialist Party’s revolutionary movement by the need for a real change in Zambia.

“The challenges in my constituency are many. These include very high unemployment levels with about two-third of the people out of work. The health facilities are ill-equipped with medicine and the sanitation system is disheartening,” he said.

“Revolutionary changes are essential for the betterment of our community, society, and country. Without these changes we will keep going round in circles and go nowhere.

”Comrade Siame said the necessary changes could only be brought about by voting for the revolution-oriented Socialist Party, with Dr Fred M’membe as president.

Meet Comrade Naomi Nanyangwe

Meet Comrade Naomi Nanyangwe Featured

Comrade Naomi Nanyangwe, is the Socialist Party’s parliamentary candidate for Mbala.

Comrade Nanyangwe is Zambian by nationality. Her home languages are Mambwe and Bemba. In terms of her religion, she is a Seventh Day Adventist, and has previously served in various church leadership positions; as a Dorcas leader, a superintendent and choir leader. She has served her community as the savings chairperson.

Comrade Nanyangwe attended Munyezi Primary School, completed tertiary level at Mbala High School and studied early childhood education at the University of Zambia. She has worked as a teacher at Mayanga and at Mbala primary schools.

Asked about what captivates her, Comrade Nanyangwe says, “The inner peace I feel when I help others, when I am of service to others, the joy of being useful to others, to the people in my community.”

And asked why she joined the Socialist Party, she says, “I joined because of its unique vision and language: the ‘Justice, Equity, Peace’ language.

“It was the first time I heard of a party that was concerned about transforming Zambia, about pushing for not less than 50 percent of women’s participation in the party structures, and leadership outside the structures.

“I could also relate to the Socialist Party values of honesty, humility, equity and solidarity that align very well with those of my convictions.

“I equally desire to see a transformed Zambia, a land where everyone feels they belong in all senses in terms of access to education, health, decent sanitation and housing, and a life free from poverty and extreme hunger.

”In terms of the changes she desires for her constituency, she says, “Job creation for a number of youths through embarking on serious industrialisation programmes such as industries for processing goods, building milling plantations, a better system of developing agriculture and building the capacities for our farmers, as well as the roads that are currently bad or non-existent.

”On Zambia and socialism, Comrade Nanyangwe says, “Zambia is ready for socialism because it is the only system that guarantees us real change, real transformation, and this can only come from our party, the Socialist Party.”

Meet Comrade Chiteo Nalishuwa Matindo

Meet Comrade Chiteo Nalishuwa Matindo Featured

Comrade Chiteo Singongi Nalishuwa Matindo, Socialist Party parliamentary candidate for Kalabo Central constituency, has a teaching diploma from Copperbelt Secondary Teachers’ College, a degree in home economics and social studies from the University of Zambia, and is a trained national examiner in home economics at grade 12 level in food and nutrition. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in educational leadership, administration and management with the University of Barotseland.

Comrade Nalishuwa Matindo started work as a secondary school teacher at Kalabo Secondary School and remained there for 14 years in different positions, including head of department and senior teacher.

In 1994 she was promoted to education officer with Kalabo’s district education office, was made head of Kalabo Primary by the ministry of education in 2003, and was promoted to district education standards officer for the Sikongo district executive director board office in 2014. She retired in June this year.

Comrade Nalishuwa Matindo says she chose to run as a parliamentary candidate for the Socialist Party because she believed in the party’s leadership and programme promoting justice, equity and peace.

“Women’s participation in politics is still not embraced openly by a number of people in Zambia, and I mean by both men and women,” she said.

“Actually, when you talk about patriarchy, it resides equally more in women than men in some cases. There is also a general view, and to a large extent a visible practice, where women appear not to support each other in the political arena, an attitude and perception that needs to be changed. It then becomes evident that they shun their fellow women only to support a man. But women have always supported each other in many areas and this should be extended to the political space.

“As a woman going into politics, I need to work hard on these perceptions with fellow women and colleagues to help change the mindsets of both men and women, that it is not the gender of a person that is required to perform, but his or her capabilities.

“For example, I am a mature woman who has served in many administrative positions and have demonstrated my capabilities. Therefore, I am positive I can work with people from diverse backgrounds to bring about inclusive development.

”Comrade Nalishuwa Matindo said she advised women not to shy away from politics.

“I encourage female folk not to shun politics but openly participate in order to have the same sense of ownership that male folk do in the areas of governance in Zambia.

“As women we share the same status as men. We are equal in the eyes of God. Therefore, there is every need to work together with men to bring about development to ourselves”.

Meet Comrade Misheck Njobo

Meet Comrade Misheck Njobo Featured

Nangoma constituency parliamentary candidate Comrade Misheck Njobo says he joined the Socialist Party because he wants to contribute to the working-class struggle for a more just, equitable and peaceful Zambia.

“I am committed to working with the communities in my constituency to address the hardships they have faced since the 1990s,” he said.

“The road network is poor and the poorly constructed bridges are washed away by rains every year. Safe drinking water is also a challenge.

“The solution to these problems lies in the hands of the people themselves by exercising their right to vote wisely.

“The previous and current capitalists’ political parties have neglected Nangoma constituency because of their greed and selfishness.

“This is Zambians only chance to liberate themselves from the struggles they have faced since the 1990s by going the socialist way, pioneered by incoming president Dr Fred M’membe.”

Meet Comrade Siame Humphrey

Meet Comrade Siame Humphrey Featured

Comrade Siame Humphrey, candidate for Ndola Central, says he joined the socialist struggle as a Christian.

“Jesus came to show love for all, but capitalism has really killed Africa, therefore I decided to stand as MP and fight for the voiceless,” he said.

“My constituency has suffered enough. The roads are impassable, there is a lack of safe drinking water, and high levels of unemployment. As member of parliament, I will fight for my people so that work is done effectively.

“Let’s use this chance we have to vote out capitalism and replace it with a socialist agenda. Let’s vote for Dr Fred M’membe for president.

”A widower with six children, Comrade Siame attended primary and secondary school in Ndola. He has a diploma in stores management, stock control, transport and logistics, and another in theology.

Meet Comrade Debby Mwangala Akamana

Meet Comrade Debby Mwangala Akamana Featured

Comrade Debby Mwangala Akamana is the Socialist Party’s MP candidate for the Lukulu constituency. She studied her grades 11 and 12 and sat the Cambridge Secondary School Certificate in Kalabo before attending Military Training Kamitonte in Solwezi.

She holds a primary teacher’s certificate from Mongu Secondary School and teaching diploma in education from the University of Zambia.

Comrade Akamana has taught at both primary and secondary schools in Luapula, Western and Northern provinces, and has also lectured at Lyambai Teachers’ College and Teachers’ Littlewoods Pre-School.

She said she joined the Socialist Party to further the ideals of honesty, humility, equity and solidarity and to focus on justice, equity and peace, “the three issues we need in this country to bridge the deepening gaps between the haves and have nots, to bring stability and to ensure that we build systems that work for everyone”.

“Being a part of the SP has helped me broaden a deeper understanding of my country, of how our problems have evolved overtime. The capitalist system has not uplifted workers despite their immense hard work,” she said.

“My constituency, Lukulu, is located in Western Province with one of the highest poverty levels of 82.2 percent. These are extreme poverty levels by any standards. As such, I count it a joy and blessing to be a part of the SP revolutionary team with a vision to make Zambia a better country that strives to uplift its people, particularly the poor.

”Comrade Akamana said her experience as a teacher, a leader in the community and a single mother has meant she has always worked on issues that affect the less privileged.

“I envision real change in Lukulu with better schools, healthcare facilities, enough food a booming agricultural sector, and decent houses with proper sanitation,” she said.

Meet Comrade Maximo Sinkonde

Meet Comrade Maximo Sinkonde Featured

Comrade Maximo Sinkonde is the parliamentary candidate for Senga constituency in Northern Province.

He studied at Kavumbo Primary and Mambwe Mission Secondary schools winning a place into grade 10 at Mbala High School. He is a graduate of the Pan African School in South Africa and also a trainer in ideology.

He worked as a sales executive at Istikbal in Kitwe and also in the mines with Lunga Resources Limited before being deployed by the Socialist Party to help mobilise Northern Province.

Sinkonde joined the party in 2017, partly on account of its ideology, but also because “it is the only party that will give our people real solutions to lift them out of this quagmire; the destitution, hopelessness, poverty, thuggery, unbridled competition and consumerism, greed and corruption”.

“The Socialist Party puts women and youths at the centre of its programmes and values honesty, equity, solidarity and humility. I believe in equity in teams of access to education, universal healthcare, clean and safe drinking water, sanitation and decent housing, and also in the quality of the leadership of Dr Fred M’membe, Dr Cosmas Musumali, Dr Ngenda Mwikisa, and the many other honest people running the party now,” he said.

“I want to see the country and Senga constituency become prosperous in my lifetime, to see the lives of the poor improve and the children have access to quality education.

”Comrade Sinkonde said the 2021 elections were very important for Zambia.

“If any Zambian thinks changing the faces of presidents without changing the system of governance, without uprooting capitalism, will help this country, then we are going nowhere. We are at a crossroads, but we can’t continue doing the same thing and expect different results, that’s naivety.”

There’s no future for our people under this order

There’s no future for our people under this order Featured

Since 1891 when Cecil John Rhodes and his company, the British South Africa Company, colonised this territory, we have been on the capitalist path.

We have never really veered off from capitalism. Even under the honest and relatively progressive rule of Dr Kenneth Kaunda and UNIP, we were still under capitalism – with some elements of ‘state capitalism’.

We have never experienced anything else other than capitalism. Continuing on this path will not bring a better life to our people. We have a unique opportunity this year to chart a different path and establish a new economic, social and political order. And those who fail to see this will have to answer to history for it. I hope they will accept their responsibility.

We must choose a clear, intelligent, effective solution – not head toward Calvary.

I think we have been struggling uphill long enough. We have suffered not only the torment of Calvary but also that of Sisyphus, who had to keep pushing the boulder up a hill and every time he was about to reach the top, it would roll back down and he would have to start all over again. Our situation is worse than Calvary because Calvary was climbed quickly; we have been climbing our hill for a long time, and we keep on having to start over. Calvary is preferable to Sisyphus’ torment, and we had our Calvary, we should also have a resurrection.

What we want is real change, not just any change; what we want is to find a real solution to the problem, but what will happen is that reactionary forces, those benefiting from the current order will try to deceive our people and prevent real change. They have divided people into petty political parties that brought no guidance to the nation. They will divide the ignorant and mislead people into factions supporting unscrupulous and greedy politicians. They give some little money, bicycles, mealie-meal, salt, sugar, chitenge materials, t-shirts here and there so that each will remain with his or her own Calvary – and not even a Calvary, but with the agonising torture of pushing the boulder up a never-ending hill. But one day the people are going to demand, ‘How much longer do we have to put up with these conditions.’ And they will find real solutions.

I prefer an orderly solution; internal and external unity; and a real, definitive solution for our people’s problems.

Our people are becoming truly desperate. The situation is much more terrible, more desperate and hopeless. I can see this. It’s only a matter of time, because this neoliberal capitalist path we are pursuing is creating an enormous time bomb in our country. Are we going to wait for it to explode before we start thinking about real change, real solutions to these problems?

There’s no future for our people under this order, and I think the politicians and all progressives and democrats in this country have a basic duty to pay it all the attention it requires, or we will all become slaves.

Fred M’membe

It’ll be another ‘Don’t Kubeba’!

It’ll be another ‘Don’t Kubeba’! Featured

Our political opponents or competitors solve everything on a price basis, but we don’t. That is why a revolutionary consciousness, a socialist consciousness, an internationalist consciousness is so necessary to us.

The first thing we did – even before our party was registered – was to set up an ideological school.

We don’t compete with the petty bourgeois parties in the matter of money. They have piled up huge wealth exploiting, robbing the people.

Yes, they have a lot of money for their election campaigns. But we have something more powerful than money and that is consciousness. That is why we are more powerful than them. We are not for sale, we have a conscience while they have money – nothing but money.

They are busy giving bicycles to village headmen in exchange for political support. But these bicycles are being used by these village headmen and their people to do political work for us.

It will certainly be another ‘Don’t Kubeba’.

Fred M’membe

Meet Comrade Mulenga Chiluba

Meet Comrade Mulenga Chiluba Featured

Comrade Mulenga Chiluba is the parliamentary candidate for Kañchibiya constituency in Muchinga Province.

After schooling to GCE level, Comrade Chiluba gained a diploma as a primary school teacher and was also awarded a diploma in pastoring from Calvary University in Kansas City, Missouri. He worked as a volunteer teacher for 10 years, was a director at Mutamba Nshiku Secondary School for three years, served as a peer educator, the secretary of a neighbourhood health committee, and was also a prayer leader at a catholic church for 18 years. He is currently studying for a bachelor’s degree in civic and religious education at the Mpika branch of St Eugene University.

Comrade Chiluba says he was inspired by the determination and achievement of Socialist Party president Fred M’membe.

“I decided to take up the position of parliamentary candidate to serve Kañchibiya constituency,” he said. “I want Kañchibiya to be transformed like other developed communities with things like good roads, bridges, schools, clean water and sanitation, as well as being able to support peasant farmers.”

Comrade Chiluba says 2021 is going to be “a big deal” for every Zambian. “This is our chance to rescue ourselves from poverty, hunger and a poor economy, and to change this nation from capitalism to socialism,” he said.

Meet Comrade Ntazana Mutungwa Musukuma

Meet Comrade Ntazana Mutungwa Musukuma Featured

Comrade Ntazana Mutungwa Musukuma is the parliamentary candidate for Chawama constituency. He was educated at Kamulanga primary and Arakan secondary schools in Lusaka, gaining distinctions in all nine subjects he was studying, and went on to attend David Kaunda Technical High School, also in Lusaka.Comrade Musukuma undertook community service in Chawama and joined Sambo-Kayukwa and Company, where he worked as a Legal Assistant. He was later accepted as a student at the University of Zambia in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.He was elected chairperson on the Council of Hall Representatives at UNZA and received a commendation letter from the UNZA senate for exceptional academic performance after scoring not less than B+ in all his courses. He graduated from UNZA with a bachelor’s degree in public administration, going on to gain a master’s degree in public administration from the university.Comrade Musukuma worked as a research coordinator for various firms, including the Germany International Technical Engineering Consultancy, Foundation for Democratic Process, and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, was appointed part-time lecturer at the National Institute of Public Administration, and founded Nalavwe Academic and Research Consultancy, becoming its CEO.He served as a senior local government officer but “lost interest in public service because of a widespread system indolence marred with corruption, and joined politics to contribute towards the creation of a decent Zambia characterised by hard work, honesty and equity”.“I was disappointed with the poor leadership, corruption, greed, injustice and degradation of Zambians by the Patriotic Front and dumped the ruling party to join the Socialist Party under the able leadership of Dr Fred M’membe,” he said.

Meet Comrade John Zulu

Meet Comrade John Zulu Featured

Socialist Party candidate for the Kasenengwa constituency, Comrade John Zulu, is a local farmer. He attended Chiparamba Primary School in Kasenengwa District and studied higher grades at Anoya Zulu Boys’ Secondary School, Chipata.

Comrade Zulu is a Church of Pentecost member and ordained church deacon and has worked for the Electoral Commission of Zambia as both assistant voter registration officer and voter education facilitator.

He said he joined the Socialist Party partly because he was moved by its ideas and ideologies, the values of honesty, humility, equity and solidarity, that “align well with my Christian faith and beliefs of love thy neighbour as you love yourself”. He was also attracted to the party’s commitment to free education and healthcare and its pledge to revamp the agricultural sector.

“My constituency is in the rural part of Zambia. We depend upon agriculture for our livelihood and I have no doubt that when the Socialist Party takes over government in 2021 Kasenengwa will be a transformed community under the leadership of Dr Fred M’membe,” he said.

“I was driven to join politics because of the dire conditions that the people of Kasenengwa are subjected to every day.”

Comrade Zulu said he was looking for changes in his constituency such as the creation of youth resource centres and developing income-generating activities such as livestock farming and growing cash crops. “The conditions our people are facing are worsening by the day. The debt crisis, falling kwacha and extreme poverty have pushed our people and patience to the limit, 2021 is a big deal for all Zambians. Only the Socialist Party will deliver the change and transformation we seek.”

Meet Comrade Christine Musole

Meet Comrade Christine Musole Featured

Twenty-five-years-old Comrade Christine Nawa Musole is a strong young female Zambian citizen, born March 1, 1996, at Kabwe’s general hospital in Central Province.

Born in a family of three, in which she’s the youngest child, her father passed away when she was a month old. He was a Mbunda/Luvale from Kaoma in Kalumwange, while her mother – a daughter of the late chief Mayankwa – is Lozi from Lukulu. Musole is Christian by faith, and a committed member of the redeemed Christian Church of God.

Musole attended primary school at Imwiko and Senanga basic school, both in Western Province, from 2003 to 2008. In 2009, she was accepted to pursue her secondary school education at Mulambwa Secondary School for her grades eight and nine, and at Kambule Technical Secondary School for her grades 10 to 12. She then pursued higher education at the University of Barotseland in Mongu.

In 2019, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in secondary education, with a major in English and minor in religious studies.Musole loves singing, reading, creating and performing poetry, as well as playing football.

At Kambule Technical School, Musole was head girl, and then served as general secretary of the University of Barotseland Students’ Union for two years. She was appointed provincial representative by the Zambia Association of Musicians NationalCommittee, which she is still a member of. Being involved with ZAMNC has exposed Musole to other platforms organised by international non-governmental organisations, such as Oxfam’s “I Care About Her” programme.

Musole has worked as a sales assistant, and as a presenter on Mongu FM Radio. She is also a graduate of the Pan-African Ideological School, trained both within and outside Zambia.

Since graduating, she has been involved in facilitating ideological training sessions. The school focuses on political education, and targets individuals from across the world, as well as the Socialist Party’s pool of cadres.

Meet Comrade Ambassador Malulungisha

Meet Comrade Ambassador Malulungisha Featured

Comrade Ambassador Danny Malulungisha, parliamentary candidate for the Kasempa constituency, joined the Socialist Party because he says he had already been a socialist for a long time.

“Joining the Socialist Party was the noble thing to do. The people in Kasempa have faced many challenges, ranging from bad roads to poor facilities in schools and hospitals,” he said.

Malulungisha believes the area’s challenges can only be resolved by voting the Socialist Party into power in August. “The people of Kasempa must vote wisely,” he said. “They should vote for Dr Fred M’membe for president, for myself as MP, and for a Socialist Party mayor and Councillors to bring about change.

“We must have better roads, boarding schools, colleges and good health facilities,” he said.

“The Socialist Party will work with its people in the community as we lead and the people themselves deliver.”

Meet Comrade Preston Chinyama

Meet Comrade Preston Chinyama Featured

Comrade Preston Chinyama is parliamentary candidate for Nalolo Constituency. He was born in Kwandwana village in Mwana Mulena Kaiba’s village, the Mwandi area of Chief Mushemi, and was educated at Mwandi Primary School in Nalolo, Kanyonyo primary in Mongu, Limulunga primary in Limulunga Royal Village, Mulambwa primary in Mongu, and Sesheke Secondary School.

He spent 15 years in civil society organisations and joined active politics in 2016, “so I could look at life from a different perspective and serve my people and the nation in another way”.“I understand Western Province and Zambian politics much better because I’m a member of the Socialist Party national media brigade, provincial spokesperson, as well as a coordinator, and a participant in different training schemes.

“The people of Nalolo constituency and Zambia want change and I’m going to be a part of that change. We are going to mobilise with courage, humility, dignity and civility,” he said.

“Among the most critical issues we will focus on in the early days of the Socialist Party in government will be adequate education for all school age groups, adequate healthcare, agricultural revolution, from food security to food sovereignty, and infrastructure development in critical areas of all human endeavors, making Nalolo constituency a humane place to live in.

“Let the working class masses join the Socialist Party because it is the people’s revolution. It is for the good of Zambia. It is for the good of the revolution. As Dr Fred M’membe says, ‘It can be dark at times but the morning comes’.”

‘Honesty is of paramount importance in any leadership role’

‘Honesty is of paramount importance in any leadership role’ Featured

Last week I read something very inspiring from Anglican Diocese of Eastern Zambia Bishop William Mchombo in which he said that “honesty is of paramount importance in any leadership role”.

Bishop Mchombo said leaders must always embrace trust and honesty. “When we are chosen as leaders, we should possess the element of trust. The issue of honesty is very important in our leadership roles. When we come to electing leaders, we want to elect those that are honest,” said Bishop Mchombo.

For us in the Socialist Party, there is no choice between being principled and unelectable; and electable and unprincipled. We should win because of what we believe in.

A new and complex era such as this requires principles more than ever. Political ideas are worthless if they are not inspired by noble, selfless sentiments. Likewise, noble sentiments are worthless if they are not based on correct and fair ideas.

The individual does best in a decent community of people with principles, standards, common aims and values.

“When honesty is lost, then wait for the hour (the day of judgment).” These are the words of Prophet Muhammad. They paint a picture of the time leading up to the day of judgment, when righteous people will be sorrowful due to the lack of honesty around them.

We live in a society today where honesty is both valued and shunned at the same time. We expect people to be honest in their dealings with us, yet we watch and applaud liars, we vote for lying and deceitful politicians.

Without thinking, we teach our children that dishonesty is acceptable. We admonish our children for lying, yet the reality is we have been their teachers. Whether we tell lies or allow our children to live in a world surrounded by deceit, the lesson is learned, and honesty begins to disappear from the hearts of the next generation.

If you are honest, truly honest, you cannot be corrupted.If you are unassuming and have a clear understanding of the worth of people and of yourself, you cannot be corrupted.

The saying that honesty is the best policy is one of the oldest in the proverbial book, but its longevity speaks to its wisdom. We think of it as a matter of morality or ethics, and while it is certainly both, being honest is also a constructive course of action in establishing and building not only a good government but the culture within. Employing dishonesty as it’s convenient may be the tempting path, and maybe even one that some can justify in their own minds as a necessary ill to serve a greater good; after all, what harm could a few lies do in the grand scheme of things?

But dishonesty rarely stops with one or two untruths, and never ends well. Each lie or case of dishonesty is a compromise of one’s integrity that makes the next one easier if one is not careful about holding oneself to a higher standard.

Perhaps the greatest function that honesty can serve in a government is avoiding problems and mistakes that grow into major issues. Indeed, honesty is the foundation of the relationships that we have to build.

Honesty is how we build trust, and trust is necessary if we hope to work successfully with others.

In the hustle and bustle of today’s highly competitive environment, where speed is essential to making decisions, it’s easy to forget two important traits: honesty and ethics.

Sometimes the moral fiber of society and the blind ambition of some leaders will not even consider these attributes.It is said that “if you never lie, you will not have to remember what you said”.

Truth and honesty can be difficult to carry out, because we don’t want to be the bearers of bad news. However, in the long term, honesty carries the day, gains stronger support from the people and allows the right solutions to be applied to resolve problems.

Honesty builds trust, one of the most critical elements of solid leadership activities. Amilcar Cabral said, “Hide nothing from the masses of our people. Tell no lies. Expose lies whenever they are told. Mask no difficulties, mistakes, failures. Claim no easy victories…”

Fred M’membe

Meet Comrade Margaret Sikalonzo

Meet Comrade Margaret Sikalonzo Featured

Twenty-four year old Comrade Margaret Sikalonzo, parliamentary candidate for Luanshya constituency, wants to see a transformed Zambia, starting with her own community.

“In Bemba we say, ‘akachila kambushi kasengula epokekele’,meaning change must start where I am, within, and spread all around,” Sikalonzo said.

“I joined politics under the Socialist Party because of its core values pointing us to justice, equity, and peace, and for its accommodative nature inclusive of women and youth that allows us more space and a sense of belonging. I envision free and quality education, healthcare, and a Zambia where women will no longer have to walk long distances to access healthcare and give birth. Also a Luanshya with proper roads and jobs for all, particularly young people.

”Sikalonzo attended Baluba basic and Luanshya girls’ secondary schools, going on to study for an ICT at Zambia College of Distance Education.

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

Dare to struggle, dare to sing, dance, act, paint…

Dare to struggle, dare to sing, dance, act, paint… Featured

The number of artistes joining the struggle led by the Socialist Party is increasing ceaselessly.

We have musicians, singers, dancers, actors and actresses, sculptors, painters and so on and so forth being selected as local government and parliamentary candidates in various parts of our country to stand on the Socialist Party. This is very pleasing.

In the world today all culture, all literature and art belong to definite classes and are geared to definite political lines. There is in fact no such thing as art for art’s sake, art that stands above classes, art that is detached from or independent of politics. Peasant and working class, poor people’s literature and art are part of the whole struggle of the humble by the humble for the humble; they are, as Lenin said, cogs and wheels in the whole revolutionary machine.

Revolutionary culture is a powerful revolutionary weapon for the broad masses of the people. It prepares the ground ideologically before the revolution comes and is an important, indeed essential, fighting front in the general revolutionary front.

All our literature and art are for the masses of the people, and in the first place for the workers, peasants, police officers and soldiers; they are created for them and are for their use.

Our literary and art workers must accomplish this task and shift their stand; they must gradually move their feet over to the side of the workers and peasants through the process of going into their very midst and into the thick of practical struggles. Only in this way can we have a literature and art that are truly for the workers and peasants, a truly poor people’s literature and art.

Our duty is to ensure that literature and art fit well into the whole revolutionary machine as a component part, that they operate as powerful weapons for uniting and educating the people and for attacking and destroying the exploiters, and that they help the people fight the exploiters with one heart and one mind.

In literary and art criticism there are two criteria, the political and the artistic. There is the political criterion and there is the artistic criterion; what is the relationship between the two? Politics cannot be equated with art, nor can a general world outlook be equated with a method of artistic creation and criticism. We deny not only that there is an abstract and absolutely unchangeable political criterion, but also that there is an abstract and absolutely unchangeable artistic criterion; each class in every class society has its own political and artistic criteria. But all classes in all class societies invariably put the political criterion first and the artistic criterion second. What we demand is the unity of politics and art, the unity of content and form, the unity of revolutionary political content and the highest possible perfection of artistic form. Works of art, which lack artistic quality, have no force, however progressive they are politically. Therefore, we oppose both works of art with a wrong political viewpoint and the tendency towards the poster and slogan style which is correct in political viewpoint but lacking in artistic power. On questions of literature and art we must carry on a struggle on two fronts.

Letting a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend should be the policy for promoting the progress of the arts and a flourishing socialist culture in our country. Different forms and styles in art should develop freely and should contend freely. We think that it is harmful to the growth of art if administrative measures are used to impose one particular style of art or school of thought and to ban another. Questions of right and wrong in the arts should be settled through free discussion in artistic circles and through practical work in these fields. They should not be settled in summary fashion.

It is said that an army without culture is a dull-witted army, and a dull-witted army cannot defeat the enemy.

Fred M’membe

February 13, 2021.

Meet Comrade Kepson Zimba

Meet Comrade Kepson Zimba Featured

Comrade Zimba, the parliamentary candidate for the Kabushi constituency, is a student at the National Institute of Business Administration and says he went into politics to make a difference in people’s lives and work with the community in Kabushi to end their suffering.

“I want to serve and speak for the oppressed, less privileged in society, and be the voice of the voiceless,” he said, adding that priority would be given to addressing water, sanitation, and the high level of poverty.

“We have finally found the party of the people by the people,” he said.

“The Socialist Party is our only hope as it has a solution to the challenges we are facing as a country and constituency. Dr. Fred M’membe has the solution and lets us join hands to achieve our revolution.”

Meet Comrade Janet Chingumbe

Meet Comrade Janet Chingumbe Featured

Socialist Party parliamentary candidate Mangango constituency, Comrade Janet Sombo Chingumbe was born in Mangango. She attended Mangango Primary School and Holy-Cross Girls’ Secondary School before going on to study catering at Hushnolding School in Denmark and theology at Rhema Bible College, where she gained a ministerial training major. She is also a qualified pre-school teacher.

Chingumbe says she joined the Socialist Party because of its values; equity, humility, honesty and solidarity.

“The three pressing issues in my community are a lack of water and sanitation, the poor road network and the distance to health centres,” she said.

“My message to my constituency that we can change the situation if we work together.”

Once elected, Chingumbe hopes to help her community by using constituency development funds appropriately, lobby through NGOs, and get local Zambians to set up various industries in the Mangango area to create jobs.

Those who don’t know have a duty to learn, those who know have a duty to teach

Those who don’t know have a duty to learn, those who know have a duty to teach Featured

For past few months I have been writing, publishing or posting articles almost everyday. I don’t do this out of pleasure but to satisfy a revolutionary duty of educating, agitating, mobilising and organising.

I believe that the highest level of political thought was reached when some people became aware that no people and no person had the right to exploit others, and that the fruits of the efforts and intelligence of each human being should reach all others. This is the main essence of the premises of socialism. But raised to its highest expression, socialism also taught us the laws that govern the development of human society and the paths that lead to the final triumph of our species over all forms of slavery, exploitation, discrimination and injustice among human beings. I salute all those who have arrived at these stimulating convictions and I also salute those who, although they do not share these ideas, are honest democrats and progressives, because consistently practiced political honesty is a road that leads a person’s mind and will to the socialist ideal; for if someone said that all roads led to Rome, today it can be stated that all roads of progressive thinking lead to socialism.

In our efforts to try and transform poor Zambia into a prosperous country, we will be confronted with arduous tasks and our experience is far from adequate. So we must be good at learning.
Conditions are changing all the time, and to adapt one’s thinking to the new conditions, one must be ready to study, to learn. Even those who have a better grasp of things and are comparatively firm in their ideological and political stand have to go on studying, have to absorb what is new and study new problems.

We can learn what we don’t know. We shouldn’t only be good at destroying what we don’t like – the current order – we should also be good at building the new.

Now, there are two different attitudes towards learning from others. One is the dogmatic attitude of transplanting everything, whether or not it is suited to our conditions. This is no good. The other attitude is to use our heads and learn those things that suit our conditions, that is, to absorb whatever experience is useful to us. That is the attitude we should adopt.

Nothing should be taken as a dogma no matter how universally applicable it may be. We should regard it not as a dogma, but as a guide to action. Studying it is not merely a matter of learning terms and phrases, but of studying standpoints and methods in examining and solving problems.

If we have a correct theory but merely prate about it, pigeonhole it and do not put it into practice, then that theory, however good, is of no significance. Only then will we not mistake our partial experience for universal truth and not commit empiricist errors.
Reading is learning, but applying is also learning and the more important kind of learning at that.

Our chief method is to learn how to struggle and make a revolution through struggling and making a revolution. A comrade who has had no opportunity to go to school can also learn how to struggle and make a revolution – he or she can learn through struggling and making a revolution. A revolutionary struggle is a mass undertaking; it is often not a matter of first learning and then doing, but of doing and then learning, for doing is itself learning.

Nothing in the world is difficult for one who sets his mind to it. To cross the threshold is not difficult, and mastery, too, is possible provided one sets one’s mind to the task and is good at learning. We must not pretend to know when we do not know. Knowledge is a matter of science and no dishonesty or conceit whatsoever is permissible. What is required is definitely the reverse – honesty and modesty.

Complacency is the enemy of study. We cannot really learn anything until we rid ourselves of complacency. Our attitude towards ourselves should be “to be insatiable in learning” and towards others “to be tireless in teaching”. Those who don’t know have a duty to learn and those who know have a duty to teach.

Some comrades have read a few ideological and political books and think themselves quite learned but what they have read has not penetrated, has not struck root in their minds, so that they do not know how to use it and their class feelings remain as of old. Others are very conceited and having learned some book-phrases, think them terrific and are very cocky; but whenever a storm blows up, they take a stand very different from that of the workers and the majority of the peasants. They waver while the latter stand firm, they equivocate while the latter are forthright.

In order to have a real grasp, one must learn not only from books, but mainly through class struggle, through practical work and close contact with the masses of workers and peasants. When in addition to reading some books our intellectuals have gained some understanding through close contact with the masses of workers and peasants and through their own practical work, we will all be speaking the same language, not only the common language of patriotism and the common language of the socialist ideology. If that happens, all of us will certainly work much better.

Fred M’membe

Meet Comrade Nicholas Mwansa

Meet Comrade Nicholas Mwansa Featured

Kamfinsa constituency candidate Comrade Nicholas Mwansa says he went into politics so he could fight for better policies and wipe out casualisation in the mining labour market.

Raised in the copper-rich mining district of Kitwe Wusakile, Mwansa said the employment hopes of many young people had been dashed with “the greedy capitalist system using technology for its own benefit”.

“People are living in primitive environments in places like Mulenga and Zamtan compounds where there is no proper sanitation,” he said.

“There is no water network system, education is expensive and the majority of school leavers can’t afford to go to college.”

Mwansa attended Nkana primary, Rhokana basic, Samfya and Kwame Nkrumah Pvt schools as well as Commercial Studies College. He has a diploma in business management and industrial administration and a diploma in social work.

Let’s all forgive Fr Lupupa

Let’s all forgive Fr Lupupa Featured

As a candidate in this year’s presidential elections and leader of a political party that is taking part in this year’s elections at all levels, I was very offended by Fr Latone Lupupa’s homily urging rigging if the Patriotic Front is seen to be losing.
I was also very disappointed with his homily as a Catholic.
But our priest has apologised. He regrets what he said and he has asked for forgiveness, mercy.
What more should we expect or ask from him? To hang himself!
I know very well that accepting an apology can be tough, especially if the person apologising really hurt you.
Like apologising, responding to an ‘I’m sorry’ takes maturity.
It takes maturity and humility to own up to your mistakes and apologise. It also takes maturity and humility to accept an apology after you’ve been wronged.
Accepting an apology and forgiving someone often doesn’t come easily, but still this can be handled with sincerity, mindfulness and grace.
Put simply, apologising requires effort, and if someone seems apathetic, we probably want to take note and try to get it behind us. We shouldn’t let it fester. There are so many things we’ve all done in our lives that we just pray people don’t hold over us. Let’s give our friends breaks when we can.
We shouldn’t continue to dwell on it, because if it’s eating us up, it’s toxic. Moving on is an important part of self-care. It’s not being selfish. It’s about living our best life, which can’t happen when we’re filled with anger or hate. It doesn’t mean we have to be friends again, but we can accept the effort and go on with our lives.
I wholeheartedly accept Fr Lupupa’s apology and forgive him.
Moreover, as Christians we know we are meant to be kind, loving, humble, and respectful to others. And one true test of this is how we handle situations when we believe we’ve been wronged.
We are reminded in
Proverbs 26:4-5, “Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him. Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes.”

Fred M’membe
President of the Socialist Party

Meet Comrade Mwenda Kulilisa

Meet Comrade Mwenda Kulilisa Featured

Comrade Mwenda Kulilisa, candidate for the Sioma constituency, says this year’s election “is an opportunity to set our country on a revolutionary path”.

Kulilia, who says he joined the Socialist Party because it was seeking a more humane society for Zambians, was optimistic that the party’s priority programmes of education, health, and agriculture would deliver justice for all and reduce the high poverty levels.

“Early child marriages are among the biggest challenges affecting young people in my area,” he said. There are also challenges such as a lack of desks, boards, and teachers in schools, but also bad roads and network connectivity issues.”

He said the Socialist Party in government needed to improve healthcare, empower youth, and explore fish pound development, beehives for honey and mukongo trees for natural oil.

Kulilisa was born in Chabukala in Sioma, attending Mutomena Day primary and Sioma secondary schools.

Meet Comrade Womba Nkanza

Meet Comrade Womba Nkanza Featured

Comrade Womba Nkanza, the candidate for Zambezi East constituency, is an activist and feminist who lives in Chitokoloki, North Western Province. She said it was her belief that only the working class could liberate the working class.

“Capitalists will never give us our freedom, we have to grab it through the ballot,” she said.

Key issues in the Zambezi constituency included poverty, water supply and infrastructure.

“Accessibility to the basic things of life, such as education, health, and food, is a right and not a privilege,” she said.

“We are mobilising and coming up with community-based solutions. For example, we have developed village banking groups, are in the process of forming cooperatives, and forming partnerships to run businesses.”

“Whatever we do, the community has to buy into it as we are focusing on collective decision-making and collective work,” she said.

Nkanza stressed that women should prioritise their issues. “As women we have to lead. We have to take politics as a right. We need to question everything, make informed decisions and demand all that we are entitled to.”

Meet Comrade Jeff Chabala

Meet Comrade Jeff Chabala Featured

Comrade Jeff Chabala, candidate for the Roan constituency, says he joined politics because of his love for both his city and Zambia. Chabala attended Roan primary and Twashuka secondary schools in Luanshya and went on to gain a bachelor’s degree in theology and a diploma in world missions and church planning. He is currently pursuing an LLB.

Chabala said there was a lack of infrastructure development in the Roan constituency and people were suffering from a high level of poverty.

“The pressing issues include unemployment due to a dependency on the mining industry and a lack of stability,” he said, adding that there were also issues with sanitation and medical equipment in hospitals.

“The socialist government will diversify the economy to invest heavily in the agriculture sector, education and health, and to create jobs.”

Do we need the intelligence services?

Do we need the intelligence services? Featured

Our intelligence officers – ba shushushu, ba OP – are hated and feared.
Is this the way things should be? The answer is a categorical No!
Do we need the intelligence services? Yes, we do.
From time immemorial, nations, governments and communities have relied on intelligence as an essential guide to statecraft. It is on record, for example, that the Persian Empire, the Moguls of India and the City State of Venice utilised intelligence in a systematic manner as an essential feature of government. They recorded their concepts of intelligence in texts that are available for study today.
It is evident from this history that intelligence techniques have been used in pursuit of different objectives and that statecraft and its instruments are
always a reflection of the culture and value system of a given society.
Some nations believed in conquest and the creation of empires that exploited the resources of their subjects. Others used intelligence as an instrument in pursuit of wars and military supremacy. Still others sought dominance in trade and wealth creation for themselves and their peoples.
With the emergence of modern democratic states – be they capitalist or socialist, a fundamental change has occurred in the nature of intelligence as an instrument of government.
Whereas previously the emphasis was on the security of the state and the survival of the regime, now there is a strong emphasis on human security and
human rights and freedoms.
In our country the Constitution is the supreme law and it enshrines the
principles, culture and values of our multiparty democratic state and people. Our constitutional arrangements are not confined to setting out the distribution of power and the means for the peaceful change of ruling parties, presidents and settlement of disputes. The Constitution also reflects the basic values of our multiparty democracy and the economic and social principles for ensuring a cultured existence for all our people and their diverse political parties.
Unlike many other jurisdictions, our Constitution provides expressly for the setting up of intelligence services as part of the security system in the country – Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) [No. 2 of 2016 81 Establishment of Defence Force and functions Establishment of national security services and functions (3) The Zambia Security Intelligence Service shall— (a) ensure national security by undertaking security intelligence and counter intelligence; (b) prevent a person from suspending, overthrowing or illegally abrogating this Constitution; and (c) perform other functions as prescribed.
There are also statutes that describe in detail the role and functions of the intelligence services – An Act to provide for the establishment of the Zambia Security Intelligence Service, its functions and discipline; and to provide for matters incidental thereto or connected therewith [1st October, 1974]; An Act to provide for the continued existence of the Zambia Security Intelligence Service, its functions and discipline; to constitute the National Intelligence Council and define its functions; to repeal and replace the Zambia Security Intelligence Service Act, 1973; and to provide for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing [24th April, 1998. Whilst operational techniques of covert collection of information are secret, the rest of our intelligence activities should be open and above board. This reflects confidence that our objectives and policies are ethical, honourable and in accordance with fundamental human rights and freedoms.
Our intelligence and other security services are not supposed to be oppressors of the people but protectors of their security and well-being. Hence our services are supposed to
count on the full support of the people. But that is not the case today – our security services are feared and even hated.
The intelligence function comprises the gathering, evaluation and dissemination of information relevant to decision-making, and may include prediction based on such information, as well as planning for future contingencies. In short, intelligence involves the acquisition of information and planning in exercise of all the intellectual tasks required of decision-makers. The relation between the intelligence function and community goals is particularly subtle: although intelligence operates within the frame of authorised goals, one duty of effective intelligence is to appraise these goals in the context of knowledge and, where appropriate, to bring new attention areas, for the purposes of goal clarification, to the focus of decision-makers.
Intelligence is a critical function at all levels of decision-making, yet its very ubiquity seems to have obscured it from visibility to public inquiry.
There is no dearth of historical examples demonstrating the critical importance of reliable intelligence. Napoleon put it to use with devastating effect. Both Stalin and Hitler, in our own day, have shown that the utility of the most accurate and timely intelligence depends upon a decision-maker capable and willing to use it.
What, then, are the ideal intelligence services we are striving for? We
envisage intelligence services that are fully conscious and proud of our multiparty democratic and constitutional foundations. We expect our intelligence
operatives, researchers and analysts to be highly trained and sophisticated.
The main function of our services should be the collection of true and relevant information that can serve as a basis for first class decision-making on security.
Our intelligence services must be seen to be collectors of information both inside the country and abroad, using human resources and the latest modern technology. They must rely on brains rather than brawn. They must be
effective and efficient and deliver quality products superior to those ordinarily available.
Our intelligence services are not and must never be another police service
with powers of arrest. It is true that the modern trend is to use the special methods of intelligence to assist the police in the realm of combating serious
international crime syndicates, but essentially the services must aim at
providing information for decision-makers rather than prosecution or persecution of criminals.
The intelligence services have been given special powers but these powers
must be exercised in accordance with legislation, regulations, guidelines and
rules. It is essential that intelligence services behave in an ethical and lawful manner. In Zambia these matters are considered so important that they are governed by the Constitution itself.
Intelligence services have the particular misfortune of going unnoticed and
unappreciated when they are successful. We wish to record our thanks to and
respect for the Zambian intelligence services and all their members, who
make a significant contribution to the security of our country and people.
Multiparty democracy is founded on every citizen’s right to take part in the management of public affairs. This requires the existence of representative institutions at all levels and, as a cornerstone, a parliament in which all components of society are represented and which has the requisite powers and means to express the will of the people by legislating and overseeing government action.
A multiparty democratic state must ensure the enjoyment of civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights by its citizens. Hence, multiparty democracy goes hand in hand with an effective, honest and transparent government that is freely chosen and accountable for its management of public affairs.
Public accountability applies to all those who hold public authority, whether elected or appointed, and to all bodies of public authority. Accountability has the political purpose of checking the power of the executive and therefore minimising any abuse of power. The operational purpose of accountability is to help to ensure that governments operate effectively and efficiently.
For this reason, no institution, function or act of the state, and no organisation or activity of the government can be exempted from public scrutiny and accountability.
There’s need to strengthen mechanisms of control of our civilian intelligence structures in order to ensure full compliance and alignment with the Constitution, constitutional principles and the rule of law, and particularly to minimise the potential for illegal conduct and abuse of power.
There’s need to review the executive control of the intelligence services; control mechanisms relating to intelligence operations; control over intrusive methods of investigation; political and economic intelligence; political non-partisanship of the services; the balance between secrecy and transparency; and controls over the funding of covert operations.
There’s need to bear in mind the fact that an effective state can contribute powerfully to sustainable development and the reduction of poverty. But there is no guarantee that state intervention will benefit society. The state’s monopoly on coercion, which gives it the power to intervene effectively in economic activity, also gives it the power to intervene arbitrarily. This power, coupled with access to information not available to the general public, creates opportunities for public officials to promote their own interests, or those of friends or allies, at the expense of the general interest. The possibilities for rent seeking and corruption are considerable. We must therefore work to establish and nurture mechanisms that give state agencies the flexibility and the incentive to act for the common good, while at the same time restraining arbitrary and corrupt behaviour in dealings with businesses and citizens.
It’s not the duty of the intelligence services to keep the incumbent president in power and help secure him a third term of office. It’s the duty of the intelligence services to ensure free, fair and peaceful elections and let the best candidates, the most supported and trusted candidates win.

Fred M’membe
President of the Socialist Party

Meet Mildred N’gambi

Meet Mildred N’gambi Featured

Mufulira-based vibrant and energetic Mildred N’gambi, parliamentary candidate for Kankoyo constituency, joined active politics after she was inspired by the Socialist Party’s pro-poor programme in its manifesto, as well as for its exceptional leadership under the guidance of Dr Fred M’membe, passionate about justice, equity, and peace.

N’gambi notes unemployment and a lack of access to safe drinking water as among the many key challenges in her constituency.

“There are high levels of unemployment, and accessing clean drinking water is another challenge in my area,” she said.

“The Socialist Party, through its three key programmes in health, education, and agriculture, is committed to creating jobs, as well as ensuring access to quality clean water and sanitation that should benefit all Zambians.

”Ng’ambi attended Matero Primary School in Chingola, and undertook part of her primary and secondary education at Chalata Secondary School in Mkushi.

They’re attacking us because we’re having impact on the ground

They’re attacking us because we’re having impact on the ground Featured

Aba Bemba say, ‘Nga mule sumwa ne nshimu mwaishiba amuti mulepanda ubuchi.’
These are attacks are coming because we are having impact on the ground.
But what should be our reaction to these wanton, unbridled and uncouth attacks?
We turn to Winston Churchill’s very wise counsel on this score: “You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.”
Everything has it’s time. This is the time for them to attack us. Our time to defend ourselves will also come. But to everything there are limits. There’s need for restraint, self limitation and modesty. Time to account for one’s utterances and deeds always comes – umulandu taubola.
This time of change is bringing us many ‘barking dogs’ to deal with. If we pay equal attention to all of them they will distract us from our revolutionary priorities.
We need to keep focused and on track. Keeping calm in times like these is very important and connecting with what matters most is the first step. Making clear sense of our situation is the second. Knowing which dogs matter, and which do not, is a third.
Knowing the strategies we can use to handle the dogs that we encounter helps us find a way forward with each one. Being clear about our destination, our strategic objective reminds us which direction to face, once we are past the barking dog
We will never reach our destination if we stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.
Remembering this, and knowing which barking dogs to ignore and how to address the ones that matter, is another step to becoming antifragile.
We really need to know which barking dogs to ignore, which to pay attention to, and how to handle them.

Fred M’membe
President of the Socialist Party

Meet Comrade Faston Mwale

Meet Comrade Faston Mwale Featured

Comrade Faston Mwale is parliamentary candidate for the Nkana constituency and says that being “born, bread and raised from a typical working-class family” led him to “search for egalitarian ideas of justice, equity and peace”.

After leaving Mukuba Secondary School, Mwale studied marketing management and accountancy while working at various jobs and is now studying for a BA in development studies at Zambia Open University.

He says Nkana has suffered as a result of “a leadership that is thoroughly disconnected from people’s daily struggles”. Main issues include erratic water supplies, poor sanitation, access to education, and a denial of the transcripts of school results because of the “ugly spectre” of school fees.

“Today, health, basic food, and decent shelter are far-fetched luxuries many cannot afford, yet our leaders and their business associates have accumulated massive wealth on the sweat, blood and tears of the toiling masses.

“The upcoming general election presents an opportunity to elect a leadership that has consistently fought on our side, a leadership that is not driven by a lust for material wealth and prestige. I urge you all to vote for our very own Dr. Fred M’membe,” he said.

Nsingu Day – February 5, the Day of the Ngoni Warriors

Nsingu Day – February 5, the Day of the Ngoni Warriors Featured

On this date – February 5 at dawn – in 1898 commander
in-chief of our Ngoni warriors Nsingu was executed by Cecil John Rhodes’ forces after a mock court-martial the previous day.

Today it is 123 years since that very sad, very painful and barbaric murder of our innocent leader. What was his crime? Refusing to handover our land and minerals to Rhodes and his companies. He was guilty of mobilising an army of 10,000 young Ngoni warriors armed with the asegai to defend our land, our minerals, our heritage, our dignity against Rhodes’ better resourced army – armed with Maxim-guns and Seven-pounders.

After taking colonial possession of this territory, now constituting the Republic of Zambia in 1891, Rhodes felt all our land and minerals were now his and he could prospect and mine minerals in any part of it as he pleased. Rhodes believed there was gold in the Cipeta area occupied by the Ngonis. This was because south of the Cipeta, in a territory under Lobengula, in what is now Zimbabwe, Rhodes had found gold. He believed even the Cipeta should have gold. And he wanted to prospect for and mine minerals in this territory without the consent of the Ngonis. Our people and their leaders decided to defend their land with all they had – their lives.

Today, 12 decades later, we the new Ngoni warriors rise to honour their sacrifices, their courage, their dignity, their patriotism.

If we win the August 12 elections and the new, the 21st Century Cecil Rhodes decide to attack us in December as they did in December 1897, they will find not 10,000 young Ngoni warriors but a whole nation of warriors, of patriots ready to defend their homeland, ready to die standing than to live on their knees.

Our struggle is a continuation of the struggle started by our Ngoni ancestors. It’s their heroic spirits inspiring and guiding our struggles and the work of the Nsingu Elections Campaign Brigade.

Aluta continua! The struggle continues!

Victoria acerta! Victory is certain!

Nsingu lives in us!

Fred M’membe
President of the Socialist Party

Political leadership can easily dehumanise us and turn us into jackals

Political leadership can easily dehumanise us and turn us into jackals Featured

Our party manifesto makes it very clear that our intention is to radically transform how Zambia is governed. It won’t be business as usual.
And we understand very, very well that in a hyper-kinetic world, inward-looking and self-obsessed political leaders are a liability.
We also understand very, very well that as political leaders we are susceptible to an array of debilitating maladies, including arrogance, intolerance, myopia, and pettiness. And when these diseases go untreated, the nation itself is enfeebled. To have a healthy nation, we need political leaders with healthy minds.
As human beings we have certain proclivities — not all of them noble. Nevertheless, as political leaders we should be held to a high standard, since our scope of influence makes our ailments particularly infectious.
Even our Socialist Party, noble as its intentions and values may be, is an apparatus: a hierarchy populated by good-hearted, but less-than-perfect souls. In that sense, it’s not much different than other apparatus. We need eternal vigilance. We have to be very strict, very demanding with ourselves.
For this reason we have to constantly strive to improve and to grow in rapport and wisdom, in order to carry out our historic mission of transforming this country into a more just, fair and humane nation. And yet, like any body, like any human body, we are also – even as socialists espousing very noble values – exposed to diseases, malfunctioning, infirmity.
We are also open to diseases and temptations which can dangerously weaken our effectiveness and that of our revolutionary party. The disease of thinking we are immortal, immune, or downright indispensable, and therefore neglecting the need for regular check-ups.
A political leadership team which is not self-critical, which does not keep up with things, which does not seek to be more mentally, morally and intellectually fit, is a sick one. A simple visit to Leopards Hill, Memorial Park and other cemeteries might help us see the names of many people who thought they were immortal, immune, and indispensable!
It is the disease of those who turn into lords and masters, who think of themselves as above others and not at their service. It is the pathology of power and comes from a superiority complex, from a narcissism which passionately gazes at its own image and does not see the faces of others, especially the weakest and those most in need. The antidote to this plague is humility; to say heartily, ‘I am merely a servant. I have only done what was my duty.’ Why seek to have an illegal, unconstitutional third term of office at any cost?
It is very easy for political power to make us lose our human sensitivities. And we start having a heart of stone, we become stiff-necked. We have seen political leaders who in the course of time lose their interior serenity, alertness and daring, and hide under a pile of papers, turning into paper pushers and not men and women of compassion. It is dangerous to lose the human sensitivity that enables us to weep with those who weep and to rejoice with those who rejoice! Because as time goes on, our hearts grow hard and become incapable of loving all those around us. Being a humane political leader means having the sentiments of humility and unselfishness, of detachment and generosity.
In the Socialist Party we attach great importance to collective leadership. And collective leadership calls for extensive coordination. It’s impossible to achieve collective political leadership where there’s poor coordination.
Once political leaders lose a sense of community among themselves, the body loses its harmonious functioning and its equilibrium; it then becomes an orchestra that produces noise: its members do not work together and lose the spirit of camaraderie and teamwork. When the foot says to the arm: ‘I don’t need you,’ or the hand says to the head, ‘I’m in charge,’ they create discomfort and parochialism.
We often see a lot of what one would call “leadership Alzheimer’s disease”. It consists in losing the memory of those who nurtured, mentored and supported us in our own journeys. We see this in those who have lost the memory of their encounters with the great leaders who inspired them; in those who are completely caught up in the present moment, in their passions, whims and obsessions; in those who build walls and routines around themselves, and thus become more and more the slaves of idols carved by their own hands.
There’s too much rivalry and infighting in our politics – the disease of rivalry and vainglory. When appearances, our perks, and our titles become the primary object in life, we forget our fundamental duty as political leaders – to “do nothing from selfishness or conceit but in humility count others better than ourselves.” As political leaders, we must look not only to our own interests, but also to the interests of others.
I am saddened by the amount of idolising of political leaders that I see and hear everyday. This is the disease of those who court their political superiors in the hope of gaining their favour. They are victims of political careerism and opportunism; they honour persons rather than the larger mission of the political party. They think only of what they can get and not of what they should give; small-minded persons, unhappy and inspired only by their own lethal selfishness. Political superiors themselves can be affected by this disease, when they try to obtain the submission, loyalty and psychological dependency of their subordinates, but the end result is unhealthy complicity.
There’s too much indifference to others in our politics. This is where each political leader thinks only of himself or herself, and loses the sincerity and warmth of genuine human relationships. This can happen in many ways: when the most knowledgeable person does not put that knowledge at the service of less knowledgeable colleagues, when you learn something and then keep it to yourself rather than sharing it in a helpful way with others; when out of jealousy or deceit you take joy in seeing others fall instead of helping them up and encouraging them.
Today, more than ever before, our political leaders, especially those in government or power, are accumulating a lot of wealth – far more than they need to live comfortably – in a very short time and are not scared or shy to flaunt it.
They seem to suffering from the disease of hoarding.  This occurs when a political leader tries to fill an existential void in his or her heart by accumulating material goods, not out of need but only in order to feel secure. The fact is that we are not able to bring material goods with us when we leave this life, since “the winding sheet does not have pockets” and all our treasures will never be able to fill that void; instead, they will only make it deeper and more demanding. Accumulating goods only burdens and inexorably slows down the journey!
Then we have a problem of
closed circles, where belonging to a clique becomes more powerful than our shared identity. This disease too always begins with good intentions, but with the passing of time it enslaves its members and becomes a cancer which threatens the harmony of the political party and causes immense evil, especially to those we treat as outsiders. “Friendly fire” from our fellow soldiers, is the most insidious danger. It is the evil which strikes from within. As it says in the bible, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste.”
Lastly: we have the challenge, the disease of extravagance and self-exhibition. This happens when a political leader turns his or her service into power, and uses that power for material gain, or to acquire even greater power. This is the disease of persons who insatiably try to accumulate power and to this end are ready to slander, defame and discredit others; who put themselves on display to show that they are more capable than others. This disease does great harm because it leads people to justify the use of any means whatsoever to attain their goal, often in the name of justice and transparency!
Comrades and friends, these diseases are a danger for every political leader and party and they can strike at the individual or party.

Fred M’membe

They are on a very dangerous path

They are on a very dangerous path Featured

Mr Bowman Lusambo is saying that “whatever it takes we are winning the general elections”. What does this mean?
The other week his boss, Mr Edgar Lungu, was saying those who want to takeover from him as presidents of Zambia should wait for 2026 or 2031. How should this be interpreted?
We shouldn’t also forget that early in his presidency Mr Lungu warned Zambians that he would crush like a tonne of bricks anyone who tried to stand in his way.
This desire to win or retain power – have a third term of office – at any cost by Mr Lungu and his disciples is dangerous and frightening.
From my very limited military studies and experience, I learned that victory at any cost is dangerous. We were taught that victory must be measured by its sustainability over time. Overcoming a foe, joined by many enraged citizens — whose survivors would only regroup with hardening resolve to carry on the war — doesn’t constitute a true victory.
Winning, it can be argued, isn’t quite all it’s cracked up to be. Despite our preoccupation with victory, winning is often a double-edged sword.
I am surprised to see the “win-at-all-costs” attitude applied to our politics by Mr Lungu – who I expect to have some reasonable military knowledge and experience. Causes, campaigns and crusades are fueled by self-righteous enthusiasm in the struggle against those who we assess as wrong-headedly seeking to oppose us. ‘If they can’t be convinced,’ we think, ‘they must be defeated. If in defeat they refuse subjugation, they must be destroyed. At all costs, we must win.’
Though the exact nature of our political problems might be unique, it’s certainly not the first time in Zambian politics that we find ourselves in a place where it’s much easier — and a more certain path to electoral victory — to destroy one’s opponent rather than attempt to find common ground, or at least mutual respect. We still remember how Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe and UPP were treated, detained in prisons and their party banned by the UNIP government.
Of course, some things are worth fighting for — at critical moments in our history, we’ve had winners and losers. The fatal trap is that an objective of “destroying” your political opponent is absurd. A functioning multiparty democracy not only has, but needs more viable political parties, not a triumphant victor and an opposition left hopelessly vanquished.
Checks and balances are needed to defend ourselves from our own worst instincts. Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. Total victory or catastrophic success can be the worst of calamities. There’s a point in the “fight” when we must understand that effective negotiation and compromise is not only the best course of action — but it’s the only one that could possibly maintain a political environment where future multiparty governance is possible. In politics, as in war, every decision must be taken with an eye to the future — remembering that the next issue must be adjudicated by respected and respectful opponents.
This regime of Mr Lungu needs to moderate its push to destroy the opposition because it runs counter to our natural inclination, felt in the heat of combat, to demonise or belittle the foe. In the short term, it seems to unite us against a common, hated enemy. But when you seek to delegitimise your foe, you’re actually inviting your own delegitimisation. To be sure, it’s a precarious balance. It’s important to “fight” for one’s beliefs, but there is a point at which “fighting” erodes underlying foundations. In politics, at its hyperbolic end, the losing party is outlawed and its leaders jailed on trumped up treason charges. And historically, the prevailing party, absent the moderating influence of a loyal opposition, soon runs off the rails.
At the best of times, what you’ll leave behind is a generational divide. If people forget the protagonists involved, what they’ll remember is what crushing the enemy, or being crushed, felt like. They’ll tell their children, and their children’s children, who to trust and who to malign.
Soon, the independence ideals that harked in our multiparty democracy will wisp away, like the wind. The moment of apparent conquest can be the time of greatest vulnerability. Grasping for total victory can be our undoing.
It’s tempting to want “strength” in these tumultuous times, but the job of building and repairing our country has to come from a collective leadership. Our leaders won’t look the same; they won’t always agree with one another; and, as with any collective, it won’t make everyone happy at all points. That’s what compromise, and living in a functioning multiparty democracy, looks like. What will define this collective leadership is their stance towards those who may think a little different from themselves — who may have a different order of priorities and way of doing business. Don’t look out for these leaders as being the women and men with the loudest voices, or the most zealous convictions. Instead, they’ll be the ones willing to let go of the side of the pool, so that they can swim towards the middle.
It is a big task of those who would step forward. There are few parades for the modest moderate and endless criticism from the frenzied fringes on both sides. Instead, these true heroes must take quiet satisfaction that their contributions will enable possibilities further in the future than most people look. And even when that future arrives, there will be loud complaints about the traffic from the vocal experts who rail on, oblivious to the selfless labour and thoughtful compromises that created the roads they take for granted.
Still, those leaders are among us. We cannot wait for them to rise one-by-one only to be pummeled down by a cacophony of intolerance and tyranny. It is up to us to encourage, support, and celebrate those who will serve and lead. When they stand, we must stand with them.

Fred M’membe

Mkaika residents welcome adoption of Phiri

Mkaika residents welcome adoption of Phiri Featured

The Socialist Party (SP) in Mkaika constituency in Katete district in Eastern Province have commended the party leadership for adopting Martin Phiri to contest as a member of parliament in the soon coming 2021 general elections.

And Lukweta ward chairlady Charity Banda said the adoption of local people like Phiri would guarantee development that is responsive to the people’s aspirations.

She said the people from all the nine wards of the constituency have pledged to work with their own son, Phiri ahead of the general elections.

However, Banda expressed concern that unlike the Socialist Party, other parties were adopting non-indigenous candidates.

“Here in Lukweta ward we are very much ready to work with Martin Phiri as he has grown up from here so he understands the challenges we are going through here in Mkaika, there is no way we can reject our own son, he is our son and we are giving him our vote,” she said.

Meanwhile, Mnyamanzi Farms Chairperson Tobias Daka has appealed to Phiri to quickly address the water challenges affecting the people in the area since independence.

He expressed confidence that Phiri would address their pressing social issues.

“No one has visited us here, you are the only one to came here since Zambia got independence, no wonder we are saying you are our own child and you understand our problems,” Daka said.

And in response, Phiri expressed disappointment that people in the area still walk more than 15 kilometers to find drinking water, which they shared with domestic animals.

He has appealed to the people in the area to vote for people who could easily resonate with their challenges.

“The Socialist Party is a party for the poor and for the humble, we will try our best to work together with you here and address some of the challenges together with you, as development I cannot bring it here alone, I need your support and you also need our support, vote for the right people and voting for the Socialist Party, you will not be disappointed,” said Phiri.

Let’s learn to do things the right way

Let’s learn to do things the right way Featured

We need to quickly learn how to do things the right way even if it calls for our greatest efforts.
As a nation, we have been battling with COVID-19 since March last year but up to now we are behaving as if the pandemic is new – something that has just sprung up.
With the experience that we now have and the world has, we should be in a position to come up with concrete measures and contain the spread of this deadly virus and there save lives. However, everything has been politicized and ‘corruptised’. Just after the first wave had been contained, our technocrats met with the donor community in October to discuss preparations for the second wave. All their recommendations were discarded for political expediency.
Instead of getting donor support in terms of receiving enough testing kits, personal protective equipment, oxygen, ventilators and PCR testing machines, the Ministry of Health opted to get financing from the treasury which is broke so that it could do its own procurement. As if that was not enough, the old Levy Hospital in Lusaka was closed and put under renovation amidst a pandemic just to give a construction contract to someone. Consequently, today, there isn’t enough bed space, hence some wards at UTH have been turned into isolation centres.
A couple of days ago, the New Maina Soko Hospital was hurriedly opened  to meet demand without putting everything required in place, hence the increase in numbers of deaths.
Despite being aware that 80 per cent of the COVID-19 patients have to rely on oxygen, our oxygen purity fall below the required standard set by the World Health Organization (WHO) of minimum 80 per cent. Strange enough, our oxygen purity is between 45 per cent and 50 per cent which is 30 per cent to 35 per cent below WHO recommendations. As if that is not enough, sometimes there is no oxygen at COVID-19 centres leading to loss of lives. Last week, eight people died when there was power failure at Maina Soko Hospital and the oxygen machines went into self protective mode.
And when it comes to adherence to COVID-19 rules, politicians in the ruling party have not set the right example to our people as they do not practice social distancing, sanitize or wash their hands and avoid large clouds. Today, the President himself has gone into a full campaign swing and thereby becoming a possible mass spreader of COVID-19. I am not a scientist but I suspect this is what has increased the COVID-19 cases in rural areas.
Worse still, our front line workers have not been incentivized in terms of risk allowances for putting their lives at risk. Besides, personal protective equipments are not well stocked. At one point last year medical staff were given two surgical masks per week. The situation has not yet improved. Where has the K600 million given to the Disaster Management Unit to curb COVID-19 gone? In a nut shell, the government has shown lack of capacity to deal with this crisis. Our health system has collapsed!

Fred M’membe

Sata was real, so real…

Sata was real, so real… Featured

The enemies of Michael Sata accuse me of putting him and the Patriotic Front in power in 2011. They are not right; they are wrong.
I don’t deserve that much credit. It wasn’t possible for me to make Michael win those highly contested elections. Michael’s political journey started long before I was born. He was a top trade union leader, freedom fighter, businessman, councillor, governor of Lusaka, minister of state, minister of local government, minister of health, minister without portfolio, secretary general of MMD without any participation or influence from me. Michael started the Patriotic Front without me. How can one sensibly try to credit me with making Michael, making him president of the Republic of Zambia? Michael was destined to be president of this country – it was just a matter of time.
For me the story of my association with Michael isn’t difficult or hard to tell because it isn’t fiction. It isn’t something I have to make up; it is my reality. I was insulted, humiliated and abused with him by people who are today enjoying the power he won for them.
When something comes from the heart, it has to be real.
The Michael I knew was a decent human being whose stance on various issues was known. He had a good sense of self image that’s why he would relate with people from all sorts of backgrounds. He was also able to make decisions right or wrong. He was not vengeful and made peace quickly. He didn’t claim to be what he was not – no posturing, pretence or hypocrisy. He showed his emotions whenever he was angry or happy. You didn’t have to guess about him. He was a real human being – with all the defects or frailties of a normal human being. He was real, so real – so creative. I miss him.
If supporting him, being his friend and brother was wrong, then I don’t want to be right!

Fred M’membe

Message of condolence on the death of Chief Chibesakunda

Message of condolence on the death of Chief Chibesakunda Featured

It is with a deep sense of sorrow and sadness that I have learnt of the untimely and tragic death of chief Chibesakunda (Bob Luo) of Chinsali.
Our beloved chief died from COVID-19.
And just the other week, Lubemba lost chief Mukukwile to COVID-19.
His departure from our midst, at the prime of his life and at a time when our country needed real change, revolutionary change, has robbed us of one of the most eminent representatives of the generation of traditional leaders who are actively involved in the struggle for more just, fair and humane nation and in the efforts to achieve a better life for all.
He belongs to the lineage of a proud and outstanding ancestry whose exploits in defence of our land, our dignity and our very being will forever remain etched in our proud history of resistance to colonialism.
Chief Chibesakunda was a wise, humble and respected leader in the Muchinga Province and across the length and breadth of Lubemba. We shall always remember him as an outstanding patriot.
On behalf of the Socialist Party and on my own behalf, I extend my heartfelt condolences to the Royal Family and to the people of the Great Lubemba. Though I will, regrettably, not be able to be with you at the funeral, be assured that I am with you in spirit in this period of mourning.
As he departs to commune with the heroes of yore, I am certain that his message of a dignified and prosperous Lubemba will fill the ancestors’ hearts with joy.
May chief Chibesakunda’s majestic spirit rest in peace!

Fred M’membe
President of the Socialist Party

We are sitting on a time bomb!

We are sitting on a time bomb! Featured

Zambia’s population of 17,426,623 (July 2020 est.) will double in 15 years time.

At the current population growth rate of 2.89 per cent (2020 est.) in 15 years Zambia will have not less than 34 million human beings to feed, house, educate and provide health services, water, sanitation and all the services required in an organised society to.

Despite having a very high death of 11.6 deaths per 1,000 population, a very high maternal mortality rate of 213 deaths per 100,000 live births (2017 est.) and infant mortality rate of 56 deaths per 1,000 live births and a low life expectancy of 53.6 years (2020 est.) our birth rate of 35.733 (2020 est.) is still high enough to give us a very high population growth rate of 2.89 per cent.

Rapid population growth at rates above 2 per cent acts as a brake on development. Up to a point, population growth can be accommodated. But the goal of development extends beyond accommodation of an ever larger population; it is to improve people’s lives.

This doubled population of Zambia in 15 years will need all these services a modern human being can’t do without – food, education, health, housing, water, sanitation, and so on and so forth. How are we going to provide these services at these very low economic growth rates we are experiencing?

What are our leaders doing to prepare our country and our people for this future that appears so sombre?

There’s need for our leaders and our people to realize that the Zambia of the future, of 15 years time, will not be built in the future, in 15 years time but on the threshold of what we do today.

The future is not built in the future; it is built on or by what we do today. I think that the future nation is the most important and most noble idea that a serious leader, a revolutionary can harbour.

Revolutionaries have always fought, struggled, worked for the future. Commander Nsingu, the old man Mpezeni – his father, and those 10,000 young Ngonis fought for the future. When Commander Nsingu was executed at dawn on February 5, 1898 by Cecil John Rhodes’ capitalist and imperialist forces he knew he was dying for the future. They were all fighting for the future.

To fight for the future, to struggle or work for the future does not mean to avoid doing everyday what must be done for the present. These two ideas must not be confused. It is possible for our country to devote a great part of its efforts to that struggle for the future.

The consequences of not struggling, working, planning for the Zambia of 15 years time will be disastrous. Hunger, riots, falling governments, and chaos are all potential consequences of ignoring the future.

If we don’t then we shouldn’t cry in 15 years that we didn’t see it coming. We are sitting on a time bomb!

Fred M’membe

Mopani: a deal for political survival and third term

Mopani: a deal for political survival and third term Featured

Our strategic objective as a socialist party is public ownership of the key means of production.
But achieving this in a world economy dominated by capitalism is not an easy undertaking. It calls for a tenacious, intelligent struggle. And it is this struggle that defines the process of “socialist construction”. It is a process because it is not a one off act or transaction. It’s not a single act of nationalisation and the following day you have a socialist society in Zambia.
The last 60 years of observing nationalisation in the world have taught us something, has made us a bit more wiser about what works and what doesn’t. It has taught us to be cautious and patient.
Moreover, it is said that there are many ways to skin a cat. Similarly, there are many ways to achieve our public ownership of the key means of production without engaging in very complex and unnecessary business and political deals.
Accordingly, the Socialist Party will not nationalise these troubled copper mines with limited economic lives remaining – ranging from 8 to 40 years.
And what is under exploitation now is just about a third of our mining potential – we still have two-thirds of our mining potential to exploit.
Without belittling anyone, we simply don’t have the capacity to run these financially troubled and technologically complicated mines. We don’t have enough mineral scientists, mining engineers, mining economists, lawyers with adequate mining knowledge, the financial expertise to mobilise capital for our mines and market the minerals we have mined.
What the Socialist Party in government will do is to ensure that it collects fair taxes from the mines to pump into education, health and peasant agriculture. And also make the transnational mining corporations pay for the training of our people in various mining skills. With such well trained people we will be able to exploit the remaining two-thirds of our mining potential on our own or under more beneficial joint ventures with others.
We will certainly not do what this government of the Patriotic Front and Mr Edgar Lungu is doing. What is the benefit to our people of the Mopani deal?
The main issue at Mopani has been the cost of production which is around $4,000 per tonne and the high costs of running the mine – ranging between $40m and $60m per month. In the face of low commodity prices, the mine has some challenges. In an attempt to reduce the cost of production, Mopani recently sunk three new shafts – two in Kitwe and one in Mufurila – at a cost of $4.5 billion. They were supposed to invest a further $450 million to take the shaft a bit further down just before government indicated that they would do away with VAT and instead introduce sales tax. Unlike in North Western Province where they do not need to sink a shaft, at Mopani you need a shaft of between 1.5 km to 2 km in order to maximise value for money. The previous shaft was sunk in 1975.
Mopani has copper reserves of between 38 to 40 years before activities come to a close. However, that needs about $1.5 to $2 billion investment in mine development. Why would we commit 80 per cent of our future copper production to pay off this debt when we will need between $40m and $60m on a monthly basis to run by this mine? Which banker is going to give us a credit facility under these circumstances?
We think this Patriotic Front government of Mr Lungu has messed up big time on this issue. They know that they do not have the ability to run this asset to the optimal levels that could bring a reversal of mining fortunes to Kitwe and Mufulira. In a worse case scenario, we would rather have Glencore place the asset under care and maintenance, knowing very well that as copper prices continue to improve, they would eventually begin operations within 8 months. Now, we have lost a credible investor and we are likely to see a decline in production from the mine, like we have seen with KCM, notwithstanding the type of investors we had there. Even if ZCCM-IH manage to run the operation successfully with a strategic partner, they will be constrained to expand production as they have the yoke of paying off the debt of purchase price for at least a decade.
Clearly, the decision to sale Mopani was based on political survival instincts of Mr Lungu and his colleagues in the Patriotic Front government. Understandably, they were scared of the consequences losing 15,000 jobs in an election year. This decision has nothing to do with
any strategic business formula – it’s all about political survival and a third term of office for Mr Lungu.

Fred M’membe

Free, quality education a must

Free, quality education a must Featured

No young person should be excluded from attending school because they cannot afford to pay school fees. No one should be sent home from school or refused results of tests or exams if fees have not been paid. All our young people must be entitled to a free, quality education.

When any young person fails to acquire the basic skills needed to function as a productive, responsible member of society, society as a whole – not to mention the individual young person – loses. The cost of educating our young people is far outweighed by the cost of not educating them.

Adults who lack basic skills have greater difficulty finding well-paying jobs and escaping poverty. Education for girls has particularly striking social benefits: incomes are higher and maternal and infant mortality rates are lower for educated women, who also have more personal freedom in choices.

Dr M’membe

Loss of trust in politicians

Loss of trust in politicians Featured

There’s a very serious decline of public trust in our politicians. Our politicians are generally known to be liars, crooks out to enrich themselves and their families.

Wherever I have been, I have been asked not to do what other politicians do – Lie!

I tell them I am not a politician to do what the politicians are doing – I am a revolutionary. But this mistrust doesn’t seem to be limited to politicians. I see declining levels of trust in the country, whether it is public confidence in government and elected officials or their trust of each other. I see declining levels of trust in our religious and traditional leaders, in our school teachers and indeed among family members.

I believe that the interplay between the trust issues in the public and the interpersonal sphere has made it harder to solve some of our country’s problems.

However, my greatest worry is that the capacity of leaders to implement policies depends crucially on trust. Without trust in politicians, governments and institutions, support for the necessary revolutionary changes becomes difficult to mobilize, particularly where short-term sacrifices are involved and long-term gains might be less tangible. The sharp decline in trust in politicians and government is serving to underline that trust is an essential, yet often overlooked, ingredient in successful policy making.

A decline in trust can lead to lower rates of compliance with rules and regulations.Citizens and businesses can also become more risk-averse, delaying investment, innovation and employment decisions that are essential to regain efficiency and jump start growth. Nurturing trust represents an investment in revolutionary transformation and social well-being for the future. Trust is both an input to revolutionary changes – necessary for the implementation of transformative measures – and, at the same time, an outcome of revolutionary changes, as they influence people’s and organizations’ attitudes and decisions relevant for economic and social well-being. As a result, trust in politicians and government by citizens and businesses is essential for the effective and efficient policy making both in good times and bad. Investing in trust should be considered as a new and central approach to restoring economic growth and reinforcing social cohesion.

The biggest challenge is how to restore public trust in our politicians and their governments or how to make progress without this trust. If we don’t quickly restore public trust in our politicians, the result will be ineffective and illegitimate government, and declining social and economic well-being. Therefore, whoever wins the August 12 elections must address this problem as a matter of urgency.

Without trust we have diminished capacity to meet complex, long-term challenges. Weakening political trust erodes authority and civic engagement, reduces support for evidence-based public policies and promotes risk aversion in government.

This also creates the space for the rise of authoritarian-populist forces or other forms of independent representation. Bridging the trust divide between citizens and politicians is no easy task.

Clearly, the connection between the Zambian people and their politicians is hanging by a rather tenuous thread. What needs to be done to reverse the decline?

My simple approach has been to ask our people what they would do if they had to deal or work with people they don’t trust.

You don’t leave them on their own; it’s tight marking. I also remind them that leaders lead, the people govern. They have allowed politicians to lead and govern. This time around they must govern. What they can’t do for themselves nobody will do it for them.

I tell them that revolutionary democracy is a growth in the confidence in the power of ordinary people to transform their country, and thus transform themselves. It is in the appreciation of people organizing, deciding, creating together. It is a growth of fraternal love and trust.

Fred M’membe

Socialist Party Press Statement on the engagement of Highgate Advisory Ltd as the GRZ communication advisor for the debt management process

Socialist Party Press Statement on the engagement of Highgate Advisory Ltd as the GRZ communication advisor for the debt management process Featured

The hiring of Highgate Advisory Ltd by GRZ to advise on debt restructuring related communication with all creditors and stakeholders is shameful, a waste of the taxpayers money and is symptomatic of our clueless PF government.

The Socialist Party had in May 2020 criticized the unnecessary USD 5 million hire of the French Company, Lazard Freres. This company was contracted to provide advisory services regarding liability management for Zambia’s debt portfolio. Our Party had consistently given GRZ free advice on debt restructuring. We warned of the immense hardships the masses of our people were going to face as well as the damage to the international reputation of our country if no urgent action was taken. In the typical arrogance and parasitic behavior of the PF government, this advice fell on deaf ears.

The Socialist Party views the hiring of foreign companies for debt restructuring services as corrupt, wasteful and retrogressive. Senior Officers in the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Zambia have over the past 10 years provided valuable options on how debt sustainability could be achieved. Several workshops have been held, study tours conducted, econometric models developed and a policy framework suggested. However all these efforts were thrown away and rubbished because the PF leadership did not want a systematic structure and process for debt management. Transparency and accountability was never a top priority. This is a government that thrives on chaos and disorganization. They deliberately created conditions under which debt contraction could allow high-level corruption.

Today, GBP 333,403.54 from the taxpayer is going to be spent senselessly on Highgate Advisory Ltd! This company is by all standards a briefcase one and whose owner has a questionable background. The picture emerging is that we have a cartel of former French graduates, who went through the corrupt, elitist Grande Ecole university system, worked in the finance and prime ministers offices, then went on to work for a number of dubious state actors that found themselves in a debt trap, such as in Greece and Ukraine. In vulture like style, this cartel has found out that corrupt, clueless governments whose economies are dying under a debt burden are the easiest victims. Such governments are ready to dish out millions of dollars to any “healer” who promises success without them being accountable to the citizens.

The Socialist Party calls upon all people with a heart for this country to strongly condemn this open theft and wasteful use of public resources.

Issued by:
Dr. Cosmas Musumali
General Secretary/Socialist Party
Industrial Area office/Lusaka

We have entered a second wave of coronavirus infections

We have entered a second wave of coronavirus infections Featured

It seems we have entered a second wave of coronavirus infections.
The number of COVID-19 cases detected in the country in the past two weeks seems indicate that a second wave of the outbreak has begun.
The country is at risk of losing many lives.
We are in a potentially difficult phase of the COVID-19 resurgence.
And accessing the hope offered by the arrival of the vaccine is still some time ahead.
Our health system is certainly not coping.
As the pandemic continues to evolve across the country, there is a need for the government to re-evaluate, re-strategise, and re-invigorate its COVID-19 response activities to ensure its prepared to handle this second, and potentially third wave of cases.
In an effort to limit transmission and achieve pandemic control, we need to remain vigilant.
We should adapt or adopt best practices, strategies, guidelines and recommendations proposed by the World Health Organization, aimed at limiting transmission. But whatever measures the government takes should strike a balance between saving lives and minimising the impact of the pandemic on the economy and social wellbeing of citizens.

Fred M’membe
President of the Socialist Party

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

President Lungu’s Copperbelt visit was a disaster

President Lungu’s Copperbelt visit was a disaster Featured

President Edgar Lungu’s working visit on the Copperbelt was a disaster in many ways.

This was the President’s first visit to the Copperbelt Province in 2021. The province has been a bastion of PF support over the past years. Being the first trip, it was planned to provide a good start for the President’s and his Party’s campaign towards the August 2021 elections.

However things have changed. The people of the Copperbelt need change. President Lungu and the PF are now becoming history. People were not willing to attend Presidents Lungu’s meetings. His ministers and cronies had to resort to bribes to mobilise a resemblance of presence and support. This effort didn’t work in Mufulira and it ended up being a huge embarrassment for President Lungu and the PF establishment.

As a Socialist Party we are today the fastest growing political power on the Copperbelt. Increasingly, more people see in us the alternative to the failed experimentation with neo-liberal capitalism that has sent thousands of workers jobless on the street and is today failing to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

Secondly, the trip came at huge cost to the Zambian taxpayer. The entourage was big – involving hundreds of vehicles from Lusaka and the Copperbelt. Three choppers and the presidential Jet were also assigned. The defence and security deployment was massive. The habit of dishing out brown envelopes continued. Its is an extremely reckless way spending the taxpayers money at a time that millions of Zambian lives are at stake due to the pandemic and with a health system that is poorly resourced.

Thirdly, the trip also reminded us of the retrogressive role played by the Civil Aviation Authority and our Zambia Airforce. The two institutions have in the past been used to constrain political opposition leaders’ air travel during election campaigns. We are in January – still a distance from the official campaign period, but this form of rigging and intimidation has already begun! We are cognisant of the immense difficulties the two institutions work under. However short term political appeasement has eroded the confidence of the masses of our people in these two key national institutions. The Zambian people have to win back these two institutions; President Lungu and the PF must go! The damage they are causing is irreparable.

Condolence message to the Diocese of Monze by the SP

Condolence message to the Diocese of Monze by the SP Featured

It’s with great sadness that we convey our heartfelt condolences to the Catholic Diocese of Monze and the entire Catholic Church in Zambia on the loss of Right. Rev. Bishop Moses Hamungole who lost his life after battling Covid-19.

He will be remembered for the many years of selfless service he dedicated to the people of this country in general and as Shepherd of the Diocese of Monze.

Rest In Peace Right. Rev. Bishop Moses Hamungole.

Fred M’membe

President of the Socialist Party, on behalf of the Politburo of the Socialist Party

We need an efficient, effective and orderly military

We need an efficient, effective and orderly military Featured

The recent recruitment of officer cadets for the Zambia Army, Zambia Airforce and Zambia National Service raises many very serious concerns. Military recruitments and promotions are supposed to be very transparent, well advertised and fair. Military recruitments and promotions should be matters of great public interest.

There’s a current recruitment of 600 officer cadets – shared 200 each for the Zambia Army, Zambia Airforce and Zambia National Service.Over 64,000 applications were received for the 200 Zambia Army positions. Most of these positions have been taken by relatives of the country’s top politicians. And the best but not well-connected applicants have been turned away. They are being told they failed medical tests so that it becomes difficult for them to question their being left out.

We need to increase the number of officers being recruited and trained every year to sufficiently cater for deaths, retirements and the growth of our military. You build your army in peace times and not when you are under attack. We shouldn’t be cheated or cheat ourselves that we don’t need a big and strong military. It’s very highly needed not only for basic military purposes but also for economic and social development. We need to pay sufficient attention to the development and maintenance of our military. Even in the most peaceful of times, we will still need to develop and maintain our military to the highest possible levels of efficiency and effectiveness.

Of all of the forms of power that determine the level of power enjoyed by a country, none is more obvious than a country’s military power. For one, a country with a strong military typically enjoys a higher degree of security and stability than a state that is militarily weaker than its neighbours and potential rivals. Likewise, a country with an advantage in terms of military power has the ability to seize or reduce another state’s power in many other areas, including economic, political- or resource-based power.

For many states, it was the development of their military power that proved to be the catalyst for their rise to great power status. For others, a lack of military power proved to be the undoing of states that were either once great powers or who had capability to rise to great power status, but failed to do so. History is littered with states whose ultimate downfall came on the battlefield, even if it was a decline in other aspects of power that resulted in their eventual military defeat.

The great wars of the past few centuries have taught us that having strong and reliable allies is a major boost for a country’s military power and its odds in a conflict with rival powers. This calls for increased collaboration and exchanges with other militaries in terms of training and exercises. We need to increase our military’s training and exercises with other countries both for officers and soldiers. We used to have training and other exchanges with other militaries – UK, Ireland, India, Sweden, North Korea, Iraq, among others – that we are today not fully utilising. But to develop and maintain our military to good levels requires a supportive economy. Simply put, a country needs the economic means to afford the high costs and technological developments associated with the development and maintenance of a high degree of military power.

For now, a country needs a large and healthy population of young adult males and increasingly females to provide the manpower needed to sustain an efficient, effective and orderly military, although automation may one day make this a moot point. A country’s level of political strength and stability is reflected in the strength and stability of its armed forces, while a unified political leadership can provide a clear focus for a country’s military efforts.

A good educational system is also very much needed. Throughout history, states that have been able to develop technologies that add to their military capabilities have emerged victorious in conflicts against their less-technologically-developed rivals.Clearly, a country’s military power also plays a key role in its development of these other factors of power. A state that can protect its territory, resources and trade routes has a major economic advantage over others that are unable to do so. Furthermore, military power can be a catalyst for economic growth, if applied properly. A state with a relatively high degree of military power has the capability to protect its population and to allow for its population to grow at a healthy pace. A strong military allows a country to protect its environmental and resource wealth.

For better or worse, armed forces have played a major role in determining the level of political stability in states throughout history. When political-military relations are strong and stable, a country is able to achieve a higher degree of political power. The armed forces have been the catalyst and the source for many of the major technological achievements reached throughout human history and are likely to remain so for the foreseeable future. Many states throughout history have used their advantages in terms of military power to achieve great power status.

But we shouldn’t be irrational in the development and maintenance of our military. We shouldn’t forget that while some great powers built their foundations on military power, other great powers were undermined by this same power. Some states focused too many resources on their militaries, thus undermining other aspects of their power. Examples of this include the latter Roman Empire, 16th-17th century Spain, and, more recently, the Soviet Union itself. Other great powers failed to invest enough in their armed forces, and thus undermined their ability to fend off rival powers. For example, the Byzantine Empire’s military weakness allowed for the Arabs to seize most of its territory in the 7th century, while China’s military decline opened the door for the Mongols to seize control of China in the 13th century. In more modern times, France’s inability to match German military power cost that country its leadership position in continental Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries.

This is why the Socialist Party in its manifesto states, among other things: “Defence is too great an assignment to leave in the hands of an ill-equipped army with an inappropriate doctrine. In order to enhance military capacity, we will undertake a review to assess the emerging threats confronting the Zambian masses, including hybrid and cyber warfare. We will; (i) ensure that our armed forces are properly equipped and resourced to respond to wide-ranging security challenges; (ii) the Socialist Government will commit to effective UN peacekeeping, especially within the context of Pan African peace-keeping missions; (iii) commit to a procurement process that supports job creation and the growth of the Zambian defence manufacturing industry…”

Fred M’membe

President of the Socialist Party

Garden Compound, Lusaka

In defence of my friend and all those who preach the good news

In defence of my friend and all those who preach the good news Featured

Of late retired Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu has come under a lot of attacks from leaders, cadres and supporters of those in power.
I must point out from the outset that I don’t like Archbishop Mpundu – I love him. He is an exceptionally very intelligent, humble, honest and religious man. Material possessions, luxuries don’t move him. He’s incorruptible.
But why is this nice friend of mine so hated by these people? My own and only explanation is that genuine goodness is threatening to those at the opposite end of the moral spectrum.

Preaching is increasingly getting a lot tougher. Today even words like kindness
seem to have political implications.
Should our preachers and their congregations seek to transcend politics or is that an impossible or even illegitimate goal? Is there a difference between being political and being partisan?

Preaching is being complicated by the fact that politics has now come to mean any contemporary issue on which people might disagree. In times such as these, the preacher’s task is to remind the congregation that the basic tenets of our faith – grace and mercy, radical hospitality, love of neighbor – go beyond politics but have political implications.
Can we call our preachers and their congregations call themselves followers of the Prince of Peace and not condemn injustice, intolerance, violence and corruption born of bigotry, hate and greed? Likewise, I don’t see how they can read the story of Jesus welcoming the children and not have something to say about the children suffering on our streets, not going school, not accessing healthcare and food.

In these polarizing times, it’s easy to vilify our preachers and their congregations. Good preaching in divisive times reminds people of the importance of nuance. It also reminds news-weary preachers that their faith claims mean something about how they live in a country in which being a good person is directly connected to our political systems and structures.

My prayer is that even as we disagree, we’ll stay true to the gospel call to welcome and to love.
One might expect the obligatory nod to the challenge of of preachers preaching in our polarized climate – except for the fact that their congregations are comfortably partisan and have been engines of polarization, not some lingering holdout against it.

We don’t want to avoid being predictably partisan by falling prey to the illusion that the gospel is politically “neutral.” If some partisan stands align with biblical concerns for justice, we shouldn’t soft-pedal biblical themes just to avoid appearing partisan. Here’s a way the lectionary is a gift.

These biblical themes confront us. Preaching isn’t dictated by the pet priorities of a party but by the worldwide curriculum of the body of Christ at worship. And some days, by grace, that Word will come as a challenge to our own preferences.

Nor does the unique “politics of Jesus” give us license to sequester ourselves in alternative communities. Policy is how we love our neighbors, and purity doesn’t release us from the Great Commandment. The illusion of being nonpolitical is a luxury of privilege that only leaves the vulnerable exposed.

The problem with the Christian political imagination today is not simply that it is predictably partisan but that it has ceded its elasticity and expectation to the here-and-now. We are all functional utopians who overexpect from the present and underexpect God’s sovereign grace. But the kingdom of God is something we await, not create. And while we hope for policy that bends the systems of society toward justice, we won’t legislate our way to the Parousia.

We need to recover a wide-eyed Augustinian realism to counter cultural Pelagianism. Our utopianism is nourished by an overconfidence in our own powers and a blinding self-righteousness, coupled with a generic belief in the goodness of human nature (at least our human nature). The result is a political outlook that does not expect—or know what to do with—disagreement and disappointment, charging ahead with the frightening scowl of someone with good intentions.

Whenever we deploy words, especially in the service of God, we are acting politically. There is no such thing as nonpolitical language, especially when that language is bold to assert itself theologically, homiletically, or ecclesiologically. The church is a praying, singing, preaching, witnessing body. We witness to the in-breaking of God’s reign of love, justice, beauty, and abundance in time and space. We lament brokenness, evil, and violence. We proclaim that these dastardly realities are ending even as we groan and press toward God’s redemption of humanity and all of creation. Our prayers, songs, sermons, and testimonies are acts of political speech.
Servants of the church who claim that they are not political are indeed political. However, they are often servants of a politics contrary to a Christian understanding of God’s reign.

Our speech is political because it is the speech of God’s new creation. The church’s language is not spectator language. It does work, and it has work to do. The church’s language has the ambitious agenda of making all things new. And that is political.

The goal of a preacher should never to be nonpolitical. They bear witness through language and action that the God they serve is the author of the politics of abundance. There is more than enough of the physical, economic, and spiritual requirements for human flourishing in this nation and the world.
We cannot transcend politics. The gospel is a word that was used to declare the birth of a new emperor. Our speech heralds a new ruler, one hated by the Caesars and Herods who continue to kill innocents and crucify dissidents in an attempt to hold onto their power and thwart God’s reign.

Our preachers must be bold to advocate the politics of God’s realm in the church and outside of the church. We can afford good, free and socialised education because God requires it. We can afford good, free and socialised healthcare because God requires it.

We can pay a living wage because God requires it. The church has often abandoned these politics for access and power. Like Jesus they shouldn’t fear to live and to die for the politics of God’s reign. If these politics do not animate their prayers, songs, sermons, and testimonies, their speech is reduced to sounding brass and tinkling cymbals.

Their faith stands in judgment of our nation’s political leaders – of whatever ideological stripe – when they fail to uphold the values implicit in the gospel demands for justice. But our preachers should always view criticism of their preachings as an invitation for deeper dialogue and relationship, rooted in the divine gift of unity that binds us together as followers of Jesus. If we don’t talk about politics in the church setting, they are giving their congregants permission to compartmentalize their lives. Jesus Christ is Lord of all of life, including our political life, and that includes the decisions we make in the voting booth.

Fred M’membe
Garden Compound, Lusaka

Fire all corrupt ministers and permanent secretaries now!

Fire all corrupt ministers and permanent secretaries now! Featured

If President Edgar Lungu really wants to prove he is serious about tackling corruption, he must fire all ministers, permanent secretaries and other public officials involved in corruption and financial malfeasance, and fast track their prosecutions.
Cabinet ministers and all public representatives whose departments are implicated in acts of corruption and wasteful expenditure must be fired.
Mr Lungu must show decisive leadership and genuine commitment to addressing the corruption, maladministration and incompetence that is stifling the performance of his government by firing ministers who are in breach of their oath of office.
Dismissing Dr Chitalu Chilufya from his post as Minister of Health is a positive thing, but it is not enough.
Mr Lungu must now turn his attention to other corrupt ministers and other public officials who have betrayed their mandate to serve Zambians.
Throughout his presidency Mr Lungu has always, shielded his appointees by turning a blind eye to their infractions.
Money looted from government has cost individuals, families and communities dearly and has affected service delivery in some of Zambia’s poorest areas.
The mass anarchy that has come to characterise his government must end, millions of our people’s lives and jobs depend upon it.
And there’s need for expeditious criminal prosecution of all the culprits.
If Mr Lungu was serious about fighting corruption he must act now by closing the loopholes in the state tender system.

Fred M’membe

Garden Compound, Lusaka

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

Press Statement of the Socialist Party on the termination of appointment of Dr. Chitalu Chilufya as Minister of Health

Press Statement of the Socialist Party on the termination of appointment of Dr. Chitalu Chilufya as Minister of Health Featured

The Socialist Party views the termination of Dr. Chitalu Chilufya’s appointment as Minister of Health by President Edgar Lungu as an action that was long overdue.

At the centre of the current corruption scandal in a procurement of USD 17 million worth of fake medicines, leaking condoms and gloves. Apart from the immense amounts of money involved. Thousands of lives of our citizens are endangered by this act of greed and impunity.

The termination of Dr. Chilufya’s appointment is however not sufficient. All the money spent on this procurement must be paid back to the people of Zambia. Criminal prosecution must also be initiated against the entire team that was involved in this procurement. This includes the suppliers of the fake medicines and defective supplies.

This procurement scandal is just one of the many involving the Ministry of Health. Easier access to donor funding, a glaring lack of internal controls, a compromised role of the Ministry of Finance and an Office of the President that has continually been co-opted in a parasitic relationship with the Ministry of Health have all contributed towards the never-ending decay of this key Ministry.

The issue at hand therefore goes beyond Dr. Chilufya. We are dealing with a government agency, like many others, that has nurtured corruption and made it part of its culture. The newly appointed Minister of Health, Dr. Jonas Chanda, will end up the same way. The greediness and individualism embedded in neo-liberal capitalism compromises the chances for accountability and a leadership that is answerable to the masses of our people. It creates arrogant and little monsters out of would be leaders.

Statement Issued by:Dr. Cosmas Musumali

Socialist PartyGeneral Secretary,

Nahubwe Area, Itezhitezhi

Together we can transform Nsingo Ward – Chirwa

Together we can transform Nsingo Ward – Chirwa Featured

Socialist Party Nsingo ward aspiring councillor in Luangeni Constituency of Eastern Province Emmanuel Chirwa has pledged to work with the people once voted into office.

Speaking at a mobilization meeting in his ward, Chirwa said Nsingo ward had been neglected for so many years and yet people had been entrusted with leadership positions to develop the area.

Chirwa assured the people of Nsingo ward that once voted into office he would consult with the constituents on the priority areas for development.

“A good leader should seat with his or her people from time to time and see which things are supposed to be worked on and find a solution together with them,” said Chirwa.

Chirwa also bemoaned lack of markets for the farmers’ produce in the area.

“People face two major problems: one they walk long distances to find markets to sale their farming produce, and two, the roads are in a deplorable state, so all those need to be addressed by the leaders who were voted into office but that is not working,” he said.

Chirwa said the answer lied in the Socialist Party, Dr Fred M’membe and his team to deal with all these challenges.

“Some of the roads which we need to work on are, Msipazi-Makwe road, Kafweteka-Mwami road and Jenda-Kayeka rural health center road,” he said.

The Socialist Party has been in Nsingo Ward of Luangeni Constituency mobilizing the party.

Have a head for figures

Have a head for figures Featured

It’s crass dishonest to claim that President Edgar Lungu is a blessing and has brought good to Zambia.
This claim is wrong because it agrees neither with facts over the years of Mr Lungu’s presidency, nor with the social facts, statistics so far known to us.
The rural poverty under Mr Lungu’s reign is 76.6 per cent. The three poorest provinces of our country – Western, Luapula and Northern provinces – have poverty levels of 82.2 per cent, 81.1 per cent and 79.7 per cent respectively.
Our maternal mortality rate is 213 deaths/100,000 live births; infant mortality rate stands at 56 deaths/1,000 live births; our physicians density or doctor ratio is 9 doctors/100,000 population; and we have a death rate of 11.6 deaths/1,000 population. Is this the good, the blessing Mr Lungu has brought us?
Let’s learn to argue with facts, figures; let’s learn to have a head for figures. That is to say, we must attend to the quantitative aspect of a situation and make a basic quantitative analysis. Every quality manifests itself in a certain quantity, and without quantity, there can be no quality. To this day many of our politicians still do not understand that they must attend to the quantitative aspect of things – the basic statistics, the main percentages and the quantitative limits that determine the qualities of things. They have no figures in their heads and therefore cannot help making mistakes and wrong conclusions.
The truth is the history of humankind is one of continuous development from the realm of necessity to the realm of freedom. That is what dialectics teaches us. And this process is never-ending. In any society in which classes exist class struggle will never end; and the struggle between truth and falsehood will never end.
Zambia’s problems are complicated, and our brains must also be a little complicated.
Today our population is 17,426,623 (July 2020 est.) and at our current population growth rate of 2.89 per cent (2020 est) in the next 15 years our country’s population will more than double. What will life be like for doubled Zambian population in 15 years in terms of food, water, sanitation, housing, education, health, transportation and so on and so forth?

Fred M’membe

Garden Compound, Lusaka

We have very dangerous security inefficiencies

We have very dangerous security inefficiencies Featured

IT is always very important to do things the right way, even if it calls for our greatest efforts.

If things were done the right way, it wouldn’t have required four days for the police to give the President a report on the shooting and killing of two innocent and unarmed people.

If things were done the right way, the report on it would have been instant – 24 hours at most.

If things were done the right way, all the commands up to the shooting would have been documented.

I have not been in the police but I believe the procedures for crowd, riot, or protest control are similar to those followed by military units.

No field commander disperses a crowd without a written order. When that order is given, snipers are chosen, usually one per platoon. These are the only soldiers with live ammunition. And the number of bullets each sniper is given is recorded. No one just jumps out of a troop carrier and starts shooting. The crowd is told using loud speakers to disperse. They are intimidated in all sorts of ways.

The unit responsible for dispersing the crowd should also have a banner clearly instructing the crowd to disperse.

If that fails, the field commander should seek further orders about the next move. The order to shoot and disable the ringleaders, who have been identified in the crowd, should come from on high. All these orders are well recorded.

The snipers will be given specific orders by the field commander to shoot. When the crowd had been dispersed, the unit is regrouped to take stock of the arrests and injuries or deaths on both sides. And each sniper accounts for the ammunition given to him. In this way it is not difficult to know who fired his gun and how much ammunition was used.

Crowd dispersal of that magnitude could not, therefore, be a low-level command issue.

What is also shocking in this case is that the shooting took place in front of the police headquarters and ministries of home affairs and defence. And this is where the Vice-President’s office is and where the chief of military intelligence works. What was his report to the President?

What did the army commander, who is the chairman of the Joint Security Committee, know and tell the President?

What did the chief of intelligence know and tell the President?

We have all pointed fingers at the Inspector General of Police, but what about all these other people, including the Minister of Home Affairs, who had been issuing so many “orders” and statements in relation to the issue?

The picture that emerges here is one of an inefficient, ineffective and disorderly security system – veritable chaos.

And to top it all, the Minister of Home Affairs tells the nation that an opposition party brought in mercenaries to disturb the country’s peace and should have left or been arrested. What madness is this? Why were they not arrested if they were there? This is a very cheap and poor way of trying to divert public attention from the regime’s crimes.

But those with responsibility for these killings shouldn’t kid themselves that the matter is over. This will come back to haunt them in the future. These are very serious human rights violations, which can cause someone to be rejected as an ambassador to some countries. This happened to former Inspector General of Police Mateyo, who was rejected as ambassador to Germany in similar circumstances. There are also some officers from our security agencies who have been rejected by the United Nations for various postings on similar grounds.

They can be protected today, but that protection won’t last forever. One day they will have to account for their part in these killings and human rights violations.

This is a matter of great public interest and the President must release the report of the findings to the public. He can’t simply sit on it. All, especially the families of the two innocent citizens who were killed, deserve to know what really happened and who were responsible for those deaths.

Fred M’membe,

Garden Compound, Lusaka.

Inequality impeding economic growth, increasing suffering

Inequality impeding economic growth, increasing suffering Featured

During Covid19 pandemic the poor have become poorer. Prices have substantially risen. Many people are pushed to extreme poverty.

But also this time many millionaires or billionaires have increased their wealth excessively.

In Zambia, a trend was noted while millions of poor children have missed out on education, those from affluent families learnt online or were able to access e-learning on different platforms,including, Whats App.

We as a country need to build a better, fairer, equitable and just society. Poverty levels are high. Northern Province has 79.7 per cent poverty levels. Some areas of Zambia have even higher than this.

The fight against inequality requires the involvement of people at grassroots level. No doubt about this. In some areas of Zambia, we can see passion and proactive attitudes of people to change their lives. But they don’t know how.

So why grassroots involvement?

This is where people need to work collectively and organize themselves to bring about change with good leadership in place to support them. Letting people use their Voices and be heard. How else can they be served without being heard? They had to be a stop of weakening voices of the ordinary people let them be heard. Let them govern.

Inequality is not just hindering growth of our economy by causing poor production from the vast number of poor Zambians, and therefore results in no excess for agro-processing and/ or export to bring money into country, it also exacerbates poverty.

Its making societies/ communities less healthy. Zambia is 4th hungriest country in Africa. Poor diet leading to stunted growth, poor school performance, and families hungry will produce less. Poor production, leading to poor rural development and again poor health and an economy non performing continues in a viscous cycle. The poor get poorer in every way. This unacceptable cycle continues. 

Inequality has also created mistrust. People failed over and over again and they don’t trust government and politicians. Hope is reduced, and this affects production, they get even poorer , with everything which  goes with this persisting.

Inequality to the poor additionally hampers vital action to climate change which in turn affects rain and production and economy at large. In many rural areas you drive around trees cut for either “Chitemene” system of cultivation, or for charcoal. How do you tell these people to stop without replacing with an option . Like lime supplement instead of cutting trees and burning. And it’s any tree cut until it runs out locally.

Addressing inequality will also reduce corruption. It’s rampant and down the line it’s the poor and economy which suffers more. 

As a country enhancing power of all our people is critical. Supporting communities, women, youth , children’s education, cooperatives, finance and marketing of products. Let people be heard at every level.

From grassroots, strengthening big numbers of people to come together and build their communities with support from government.

There has to be redistribution of wealth, equity, through government funded actions and accountability to the public and to the nation. Accountability to all and to the poor, to break the viscous cycle of inequality and poverty.

Let’s struggle together as a nation for our nation. You have to plough to get crops they won’t just appear. We have to plough at inequality factors until it concedes and we have a harvest.

As Zambians, strong, organized revolutionary actions together with good honest leadership, can transform our nation.We can transform lives of people and economy. We can give hope to generations, better peace and better lives.

Margaret Pikiti

Socialist Party parliamentary candidate for Malole Constituency.

Wasting the lives of our children

Wasting the lives of our children Featured

Today it doesn’t hurt our political leaders if a Zambian is hungry, if a Zambian child has no doctor, if a Zambian child suffers or is uneducated, or if a family has no housing. It should hurt us even though it’s not our brother, our son or our father. Being Christians demands that of us; human solidarity and decency demands that of us; beings socialists entails commitment to solidarity.

Good political leaders, Christians, socialists should know that the life of a single Zambian is worth millions of times more than all the property of the richest or the power of most politically powerful man in this country.

Today Zambia is fourth hungriest country in Africa after the Central African Republic, Chad and Madagascar. It is the fifth in the world after the Central African Republic, Chad, Madagascar and Yemen. The Central African Republic and Chad are deserts or semi deserts – they don’t have the rains, water and good agricultural soils we are blessed with. Madagascar has had devastating natural calamities. Yemen has been destroyed by an unending civil war.

Hundreds of thousands of children in Zambia are today impacted by hunger. This is what it means for our children to be the fifth hungriest country in the world.

Hunger affects children’s physical and cognitive development prenatally, perinatally, during early years, and some of the effects continue through adolescents and adulthood. Some of the physical effects of hunger are malnutrition, stunted growth, wasting, babies born prematurely, low birth weights, and in extreme cases infant and child mortalities.

Other effects are poor health, physical symptoms such as stomachaches and headaches, signs of worry, anxiety, and behavior problems. Cognitive effects of hunger include babies who are born with smaller brain size, poor performance on measures of infant cognitive development, lower scores on both IQ and achievement tests, likelihood of impaired mental and intellectual delays, and inability to engage fully in school.

How can valuable life be wasted in this way and our political leaders go to sleep peacefully and waste money in the way they are doing?

Fred M’membe

Garden Compound, Lusaka

Sinda Residents praise SP for the agriculture programs

Sinda Residents praise SP for the agriculture programs Featured

Residents of Sinda constituency in Eastern Province have praised the Socialist Party for training small scale farmers on how to produce organic fertilizer.

Speaking to Socialist Party media team immediately after the training Paul Mbewe of Chiwuyu ward said the promotion of organic fertilizer would impact, particularly small scale farmers.

Mbewe said the party has really shown the people of Sinda and the country that it is really standing for the poor.

“At first when we were told through a meeting that the party offers free trainings on how to produce organic fertilizer we thought it’s a joke, as many political parties coming here have just been lying to us. A week later, the Socialist Party sent a team to train us on how we can come up with organic fertilizer, thanks to Dr Fred M’membe and the Socialist Party in Eastern Province for considering us for such a beautiful programme,” said Mbewe.

Mbewe has since urged Zambians to fully support the party as it has already started demonstrating its ability to work for with the people.

“We want to assure you that you have our 100 percent vote here in Chiwuyu Ward. This is the type of politics we need, not politics of name calling and insults. You have given us full knowledge and no one will steal this from us, you have our vote, yes I mean it, you have our vote and support,” he said.

Another resident Betina Phiri commended the Socialist Party for introducing the small scale farmers to sustainable methods of farming.

Phiri said she has never seen a political party offering such progressive programs to the voters since she was born.

“Where were you all this time? why did you let us suffer like this at the hands of people who don’t care about our life, about our farming, such programs should continue and we promise to campaign for you in all corners of eastern province because this is what we need, not always giving us chitenge materials which are not even strong. From today we are SP and we pledge our support,” said Phiri

Phiri has also urged the people of Sinda constituency to vote wisely and vote for a developmental oriented party such as Socialist Party.

“Don’t go and cast your votes because of the chitenge material look for the parties which have the manifesto to benefit us. A good example is the Socialist Party which has just train us on how we can make organic fertilizer,” she said.

Meanwhile John Zulu who was facilitating and who is also Socialist Party Kasenengwa member of parliament candidate urged farmers to apply the knowledge on fertilizer making in their fields as this will help them in reducing the cost of buying fertilizer.

Zulu assured the people that the Socialist Party would continue training farmers as Eastern Province is an agriculture hub.

“We as Socialist Party will continue offering such programs to the people of Eastern Province and we will train more members so that we can cover the whole province. Together we can change this country. Look, the agricultural sector no longer viable due to high prices of fertilizer and maize seeds,” said Zulu.

And Socialist Party Mkaika Constituency candidate Martin Phiri has thanked the people of Sinda for welcoming the program in the area.

Phiri said the Socialist Party would change the political system of the country as other political parties are just there to give handouts and not offering solutions to the challenges the people are going through.

“Am urging other political parties to do issue based campaigns and stop politics of insults and handouts, we in the socialist party we will train our people in many ways and together with our communities will achieve our goals,” said Phiri.

Lying, bullying and bribing people

Lying, bullying and bribing people Featured

As we approach August 12 lies will increase from our politicians. As they always do during election periods, attempts will be made to deceive and manipulate our people with mealie-meal, salt, sugar, cooking oil, soap, chitenges, t-shirts and some little amounts of money. This is the way they try to buy votes cheaply. But the Zambian people shouldn’t forget Michael Sata’s great teaching on this score: Don’t Kubeba – take whatever they bring, and even ask them for more, but don’t vote for them! Don’t let them fool you, instead fool them.
Remember: liars promise heaven but can’t deliver even purgatory.
For us, socialists, we say ‘the people will deliver to themselves justice, equity and peace’. It’s not anyone else but yourselves delivering to yourselves all these things. What you can’t do for yourselves, no one will do it for you. Leaders lead, the people govern.
They will tell you that if you vote for us we will give you this, deliver you this, bring this and that. Do they bring it? Do they deliver it?
For us, we always bear in mind that the people are not fighting for ideas, for the things in anyone’s head. They are fighting to win material benefits, to live better and in peace, to see their lives go forward, to guarantee the future of their children.
We believe in telling our the truth and not lies and in exposing lies whenever they are told. We must hide nothing from the masses of our people. We must not mask difficulties, mistakes or failures. And we should claim no easy victories. That is what believe in and teach ourselves.
A socialist should have largeness of mind and he or she should be staunch and active, looking upon the interests of the people as his or her very own and subordinate his or her personal interests to those of the masses.
Every comrade must be brought to understand that the supreme test of the words and deeds of a socialist is whether they conform with the highest interests and enjoy the support of the overwhelming majority of the people. At no time and in no circumstances should a socialist place his personal interests first; he should subordinate them to the interests of the nation and of the masses. Hence, selfishness, slacking, corruption, seeking the limelight, and so on, are most contemptible, while selflessness, working with all one’s energy, whole-hearted devotion to public duty, and quiet hard work will command respect.
Socialists must be ready at all times to stand up for the truth, because truth is in the interests of the people; socialists must be ready at all times to correct their mistakes, because mistakes are against the interests of the people.
Socialists must always go into the why’s and wherefore’s of anything, use their own heads and carefully think over whether or not it corresponds to reality and is really well founded; on no account should they follow blindly and encourage slavishness.
Socialists should set an example in being practical as well as far-sighted. For only by being practical can they fulfil the appointed tasks, and only far-sightedness can prevent them from losing their bearings in the march forward. Socialists should be the most farsighted, the most self-sacrificing, the most resolute, and the least prejudiced in sizing up situations, and should rely on the majority of the masses and win their support.
We socialists are like seeds and the people are like the soil. Wherever we go, we must unite with the people, take root and blossom among them. We must be able to integrate ourselves with the masses in all things.
Socialists must listen attentively to the views of people outside our party and let them have their say. If what they say is right, we ought to welcome it, and we should learn from their strong points; if it is wrong, we should patiently explain things to them. This is what we demand of ourselves and all our members and not going around telling lies, bullying and bribing people.

Fred M’membe
President of the Socialist Party

Garden Compound, Lusaka

Statement of the Socialist Party on the Mumbwa floods disaster

Statement of the Socialist Party on the Mumbwa floods disaster Featured

While we welcome the quick response by the government and its agencies to the Mumbwa floods disaster, we think more needs to be done.

This disaster is not small. It calls for more effort and resources. It calls for a far much bigger response. There’s need to call for international assistance.

Flooding is increasingly becoming the most common environmental hazard in this country. And it appears to be occurring ever more frequently, intensifying in some areas and also spreading into new regions of our country. It’s not difficult to predict that the number of people affected by flooding countrywide will continue to rise annually in the course of this century.

Apart from the loss of human lives and increased health risks, the impact of flooding on our people’s economic livelihood has also been a major issue, especially in rural areas, where agriculture makes up a high proportion of household income.

While we cannot prevent natural causes like rain, we can stop the manmade causes like breaking of dams, poor drainage system, installing warning systems and more.

Fred M’membe

President of the Socialist Party

Garden Compound, Lusaka

SP in government will repeal the public order Act

SP in government will repeal the public order Act Featured

The first law the Socialist Party in government will pass is the repeal of the public order Act.

And there’s no going back on this. There will be no but…

It will not be replaced by any other Act. There will simply be no public order Act or any such other laws. The Constitution has enough protections for public order. We don’t need any other additional laws. We have seen how from the colonial authorities successive governments of this country have abused the public order Act. The worst one being this current regime of the Patriotic Front and Mr Edgar Lungu.

And we don’t want to be part of such injustices and abuses. We believe that the freedom of peaceful assembly enables individuals to express themselves as part of a collective, including by engaging in public marches, protests, pickets and demonstrations. Assemblies can be platforms to advocate for change and for people to raise awareness about the issues that matter to them, whether it relates to human rights or otherwise. Assemblies often also have symbolic importance, such as in commemorating particular events or marking significant anniversaries.

The Socialist Party in government will have an obligation to ensure that the right to freedom of assembly is fully protected, including when those who assemble protest against its policies and challenge it. The Socialist Party in government will not interfere with the right to peaceful assembly simply because it disagrees with the protesters’ views, and will ensure that the right is enjoyed equally by all groups, without discrimination on any ground.

Effective protection of the right to freedom of peaceful assembly will not weaken the Socialist Party’s government; we believe that it will actually strengthen it. It helps foster a culture of open democracy, enables non-violent participation in public affairs, and invigorates discussions on important issues. Public assemblies also help to promote good governance by providing opportunities for the public to hold to account people and organisations with power.

As I have consistently stated, we believe that the exercise of power must be a constant practice of self limitation and modesty. The Socialist Party does not fear criticism because we are socialists, the truth is on our side, and the basic masses, the workers and peasants, are on our side. We have the Marxist-Leninist weapon of criticism and self-criticism. We can get rid of a bad style and keep the good.

Conscientious practice of self-criticism is still another hallmark distinguishing our Party from all other political parties. As we say, dust will accumulate if a room is not cleaned regularly, our faces will get dirty if they are not washed regularly. Our comrades’ minds and our Party’s work may also collect dust, and also need sweeping and washing. The proverb “Running water is never stale and a door-hinge is never worm-eaten” means that constant motion prevents the inroads of germs and other organisms. To check up regularly on our work and in the process develop a democratic style of work, to fear neither criticism nor self-criticism, and to apply such good popular maxims as “Say all you know and say it without reserve”, “Blame not the speaker but be warned by his words” and “Correct mistakes if you have committed them and guard against them if you have not” – this is the only effective way to prevent all kinds of political dust and germs from contaminating the minds of our comrades and the body of our Party.

If we have shortcomings, we are not afraid to have them pointed out and criticized, because we serve the people. Anyone, no matter who, may point out our shortcomings. If he is right, we will correct them. If what he proposes will benefit the people, we will act upon it.

As we Zambian socialists, who base all our actions on the highest interests of the broadest masses of the Zambian people and who are fully convinced of the justice of our cause, never balk at any personal sacrifice and are ready at all times to give our lives for the cause, can we be reluctant to discard any idea, viewpoint, opinion or method which is not suited to the needs of the people? Can we be willing to allow political dust and germs to dirty our clean faces or eat into our healthy organisms?

At this time of the year in 1898 over 10,000 young Ngonis laid down their lives in our interests, defending our land and minerals from that bandit Cecil John Rhodes and his companies, and our hearts are filled with pain as we the living think of them – can there be any personal interest, then, that we would not sacrifice or any error that we would not discard?

We must constantly criticize our shortcomings, just as we should wash our faces or sweep the floor every day to remove the dirt and keep them clean.

It is hard for any political party or person to avoid mistakes, but we should make as few as possible. Once a mistake is made, we should correct it, and the more quickly and thoroughly the better.

Fred M’membe

President of the Socialist Party

Garden Compound, Lusaka

Electoral bribes

Electoral bribes Featured

All of a sudden the Patriotic Front and its government have so much money to throw around to the Zambian voters.
Where is this money coming from in a government that is embarrassingly failing to meet its debt servicing obligations?
And why this sudden benevolence? All of a sudden people are being given all sorts of handouts and gifts! What has happened?
It’s not what has happened that we should set our eyes and ears on but what is going to happen on August 12 that we should focus on. They are trying to buy our votes with money and ‘gifts’! But are we so gullible? Can these bribes blind us from seeing reality and make us vote for them despite the enormous damage they caused to our country?
Are these really people we can trust to continue presiding over our destiny?
Our country is broke because of the reckless way they have been spending public funds.
Something in the way that they have been handling public money isn’t working. Our issue isn’t just that our country doesn’t have enough money, but that when we got the money, they spent it recklessly. And they spent it on anything.  Truly, 99 per cent of the troubles that we as a nation have with money isn’t that there isn’t enough of it, but in that, we spend it recklessly once we actually get it!
What prompts a voter in Zambia to cast her ballot in favour of a candidate or political party? Typically, her choice would be influenced by the candidate’s identity, outlook, performance or ethnicity.
Cash bribes to voters are also widely thought to influence the voting choices of the poorest and most vulnerable voters.
Trying to buy votes with cash and other gifts in the run up to elections by the ruling party is not unusual in Zambia. One main reason is that politics has become fiercely competitive. The margins of victory are getting smaller and smaller.
Our elections have also become volatile. Our ruling parties do not control voters as well as they once might have done.
Our ruling parties and candidates are more uncertain about results than ever before, and try to buy votes by splurging cash on voters.
But our national experience is that bribing voters in general elections may not necessarily fetch votes. It works much more in by-elections but not in general elections.
Competitive elections prompt the ruling party to distribute handouts – primarily cash and gifts in kind – for strategic reasons. While knowing that handouts are largely inefficient, they end up facing a prisoner’s dilemma, when each prisoner’s fate relies on the other’s actions.
But as we saw in 2011
cash handouts and other gifts influenced a miniscule number of voters. Michael Sata’s ‘Don’t Kubeba’ worked! The voters have become astute, having realised that it was near-impossible for candidates and their political parties to “monitor” their voting behaviour. So they pocketed the cash and betrayed even the most generous candidate.
But there seems to be an overwhelming belief in our ruling parties that they can buy votes of poor people. That’s why they bribe voters.
Bribing voters could have a cultural explanation. There’s a feeling that our poor voters appreciate wealthy or generous candidates. And that in a highly unequal society, cash bribes and gifts create a sense of reciprocity. We have a long history of patronage politics.
Our voters have been made to expect feasts or handouts from candidates – tulyemo! Our electoral politics are increasingly being articulated in the traditional idiom of patronage. The donor-servant relation is increasingly becoming the basic formula through which people exchanged things, exercised power and related socially.
In specific historical contexts bribery may make elections less predictable, dissolving the existing ties by which the electorate are already bound to those seeking office, rather than reinforcing them.
Bribery may be considered an evil because of secondary, knock-on affects. The need to bribe implies the need to raise money. This may take place by corrupt means, or may produce financial and/or political debts, which corrupt the behaviour of politicians when in office. It may be a way in which people outside the political process, whether legitimate businessmen or criminals, such as gangsters and drug-barons nowadays, seek to control it. If pursued on a vast scale, bribery may have unfortunate political consequences by dangerously expanding credit. Moreover, if bribery is prevalent in elections, this will affect the perception of politics both by office-seekers and those who elect them. Office-seekers may come to despise the venality of an electorate, which may, unknown to them, be exercising a considerable degree of independent judgement; the electorate for its part may deduce from the bribes that it is offered, that those pursuing public office are merely self-seekers who are not concerned with the general interest of the public.
This is the reality we have to confront as we head towards August 12.

By 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

M’membe Literacy program extends to Kasenengwa constituency

M’membe Literacy program extends to Kasenengwa constituency Featured

The Fred M’membe literacy program has elated the people of Kasenengwa constituency in Eastern Province.

And the communities in Kwenje and Mpunza wards in the constituency are excited at the fact that they would now be able to comprehend documents presented to them, including reading and writing.

The Socialist Party in Kasenengwa has launched the Fred M’membe adult literacy classes.

Speaking at the launch of the programme, Socialist Party Mpunza ward aspiring councillor Acklas Phiri said it was empowering for those recruited to undertake the programme as they would also minimize incidents of being swindled by unscrupulous people.

Phiri said a lot of people have been swindled in many ways as they have been signing on things that they don’t know or understand.

“These classes will reduce the swindling in our area and many people will also start following current affairs. When people from outside introduce projects they use English language and as such our members end up accepting things they don’t know or understand,” said Phiri.

He also called on the teachers to be dedicated to the work they have welcomed to start teaching elder people in the area.

“Am appealing to elder people to come in numbers and register to take part in these literacy classes as they are very beneficial to our community and the country,” he said.

And one of the learners, Mary Ngoma has commended the Socialist Party MP candidate for Kasenengwa constituency John Zulu for coming on board to reduce illiteracy levels in the two wards.

“My fellow elder people let’s take part in this wonderful program so that no one should cheat us to do what is not right for our families and our future, let me also take this opportunity to say thank you to Dr Fred M’membe through our able candidate John Zulu and the Socialist Party for answering our prayers,” said Ngoma.

She said a lot of adults in the areas had no opportunity to learn how to read or write and yet an opportunity had been presented to them.

Meanwhile, SP Kasenengwa MP Candidate John Zulu has called on members of the Party not to stop anyone from attending the classes. He said the classes are for everyone regardless of their political affiliation.

“Let’s all learn, the lessons are free and they are open to everyone regardless of their political affiliation, yes the program is from the Socialist Party but it’s for the community. Together we can eradicate illiteracy in Kasenengwa counstitucy,” said Zulu.

He emphasized that no one should be told to pay as the party has already provided teaching and learning materials.

Politics of Ideas Possible – Not Pangas and Screw Drivers

Politics of Ideas Possible – Not Pangas and Screw Drivers Featured

Today, Zambia stands at a crossroad of a growing culture of violence and intolerance. While the majority of us bury our heads with an illusion that we are a peaceful country, there is a growing well-resourced, well-organised system that has put young people at the centre of the politics of pangas and screw drivers. Increasingly, we as a country are being placed on the world map for the wrong reasons.

We note with sadness that existing political parties have made little effort to none to inculcate idea and value-based politics to equip young people with a deeper and more complex understanding of politics and ideology in a fast-changing world. So far, the Socialist Party stands out in pushing for idea and value-based politics that if emulated could contribute to a truly transformed and exciting political landscape in Zambia. However, the Socialist Party’s journey to push for politics grounded in ideas has not been without challenges.

In 2018, the General Secretary and First vice president of the Socialist Party, Dr Cosmas Musheke Musumali appointed an interim leadership of the Socialist Youth League (SYL). I was assigned the task of General Secretary of the Youth League. That year, I spent most of my free time cris-crossing different compounds in Lusaka along with senior comrades. We mobilized, formed branches, ward and constituency structures. All the while, my fellow young comrades and I were just happy and often clumsy participants. During that period, we had one task, to learn!

In July of the same year, senior party comrades decided that we had learnt enough, and it was time for us to get on the ground, to mobilize the youth and coordinate at a National Level. The Socialist Party president, Comrade Dr Fred M’membe asked us to draft a youth program which we would use for the next couple of months. That cloudy and windy day in July could easily pass for the first day of the summer. Excitement was definitely an understatement. In our minds, we would go on to build a youth movement that would have left the grass root organizers of Chachacha days red with envy. Armed with socialist ideology, patriotism and flirtations with pan Africanism, we were convinced that we would win over the majority of Zambia’s youth. That together, we would build a better country and continent for ourselves. As the Youth Collective then, we were convinced we would achieve our objective of building sustainable structures of the Youth League across all provinces within the space of five (5) months.

To this day, I am not sure if that goal was simply ambitious or the naivety of the teenagers, as we were then. But what we also know from history and our liberation is that young people in those movements were equipped ideologically to independence.

In August 2018, we began our work. We made our phone calls, and only one constituency was ready to start working with us immediately. That month, we formed our first youth structure in Kanyama, Chibolya Compound to be specific. It was a very interesting experience. As the months wore on, we gained momentum. We formed more structures; these were not void of challenges and mistakes but we kept moving.

In 2019, we set out to carry on our first titanic task that would be our vision to contribute to politics of ideas for a better Zambia. We were going to start a free tuition program for our members who were writing their Grade 12 or GCE Examinations. Our education system is designed in such a way that many pupils in government schools don’t have sufficient hours to learn, not enough teachers, often empty libraries and several other factors that make it hard for the pupils in government schools to pass their exams. We were determined to make sure the members of the Youth League from humble backgrounds would all clear their GCE or Grade 12 examinations.

That August we initiated our pilot project in ward 10, Kanyama. We convinced two of our senior comrades, who were also teachers, to give up a few hours of their weekends to teach these classes. We secured one white board from our Party offices. A Comrade offered their home for our activity. We asked another for money, to buy some markers, another comrade offered some more money, which we spent on water for the teachers and participants. We drew up a program. That first Saturday of August, we gathered our young members and the program kick started with lesson 1 in Mathematics. That first day was a proud moment for us. We left our Kanyama youth coordinator in charge, and decided to not visit the next class and instead get a report the following weekend.

The next weekend, I received a call from our Kanyama coordinator telling me he had dispersed all learners. He told me some of our comrades had been attacked by Cadres and it was not safe, before I could ask any questions he hang up. I called him back severally, his phone went unanswered. My heart sank. Worse off, I had no idea what was going on and who was hurt. A couple of hours later he called and told me that the attack wasn’t on the young comrades, instead, senior comrades were having an unrelated but quiet meeting in a different part of the constituency. He explained that some cadres from a different party heard of the meeting, and decided to disrupt it. They arrived in typical disappointing cadre fashion. In a bus, drunk, armed with pangas, screw drivers and machetes. They arrived where our senior’s comrades were meeting and disorganized their meeting. They broke windows, knocked heads and stabbed a few of our senior comrades with screw drivers. They had blocked the entrance; senior comrades were forced jump over the wall fence and run for dear life.

Needless to say, our pilot project was immediately cancelled. We were promptly informed that if some cadres from that party found out that we were running such a program in that area, they would put a stop to it with pangas before it gained attraction of the community. Cancelling this noble cause of ideas broke our hearts to but we soldiered on. Before that fateful day, I thought the politics of pangas and screw drivers was nothing but senseless clashing between overzealous and foolish youth. I would later learn that it’s a well-oiled, heavily funded and calculated system. A comrade who used to be a Commander in some party would one day sit me down, and explain this complex system to me. From the dispatch of weapons, to the flow of cash. There is a hierarchy, a system of communication and chess like moves are employed. The goal is to ensure that all would be political opponents are too afraid to mobilise. The result, one party dominates an area. Not that the people don’t like any other party, but they are left almost without options. Nonetheless, we kept moving.

We are no longer as naive to think organising or mobilising will be a walk in the park. Nonetheless, we remain hopeful and optimistic that it is possible to build a better country with a youth grounded in progressive knowledge and ideas for real change.

Intimidation won’t stop the revolution – Ngoma

Intimidation won’t stop the revolution – Ngoma Featured

The Socialist Party in Vubwi district says no amount of intimidation will stop the revolutionary work under way in the country.

Commenting on the summoning of Vubwi constituency coordinator Angela Zimba by the Vubwi Police and the intimidations by PF party cadres, Mabvuto Ngoma expressed his disappointment that SP members continue to receive threats due to their party work.

Zimba and her team are in Vubwi conducting literacy programs for the people in the area.

“We have noted that the ruling party continues to stand in the way of the opposition which has better plans for the poor people of Zambia? This simply shows that the ruling party is an enemy of democracy and development and they don’t want to see real progress or through human development taken to the people by the opposition,” said Ngoma.

He said the ruling party should exercise tolerance of plurality and diversity. They should allow other opposition parties to reach out to Zambians. Illiteracy is a national problem as such programs that seek to eradicate illiteracy among adults and less privileged young people who don’t know how to read and write should be welcomed.

“No one will stop us from doing what is right for our people, the Socialist Party manifesto has been welcomed in almost every corner of this country and we will continue fighting for our rights and our democracy,” said Ngoma.

He has expressed disappointment that the party is being accused of buying voters cards from people when doing so is against the SP values of honesty, equity, humility and solidarity.

Meanwhile, Zimba vowed not to stop implementing progressive programs that benefit the people.

She said the literacy program was not only benefiting Socialist Party members but anyone including those supporting the Patriotic Front.

She said the Socialist Party was a pro-poor working class party whose agenda is to transform the lives of the majority Zambians.

“I was shocked when I was summoned by the police in Vubwi, and I was also shocked to hear that I was buying voters cards. How can an opposition party start buying voters cards? With what capacity? Can that surely happen, why is it that the ruling party fear anything if they have really worked as they have been saying,” said Zimba.

She said the ruling party should stop wasting time fighting the opposition but instead focus and channel their energies in planning on how they will work on the Chipata-Vubwi and Vubwi-Chadiza roads.

And Zimba has commended Vubwi police officers for handling the matter in a professional manner and urge them to continue being professional.

This man is really cruel!

This man is really cruel! Featured

The cruelty and killings going on in our country today under the presidency of Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu makes me reflect and deeply meditate over the presidency of Levy Patrick Mwanawasa.
It is said that “if you want to find out what a man is to the bottom, give him power. Any man can stand adversity — only a great man can stand prosperity”.
It is the glory of Levy that he never abused power only on the side of mercy. He was a perfectly honest man. When he had power, he used it in mercy.
Nothing discloses real character like the use of power. It is easy for the weak to be gentle. Most people can bear adversity. But if you wish to know what a man really is, give him power. This is the supreme test. It is the glory of Levy that, having almost absolute power, he never abused it, except on the side of mercy.
When early in his presidency Mr Lungu declared that he will “crush like a tonne of bricks anyone who tries to stand in his way ” many of us didn’t seem to pay much attention to what he was saying. Yet the man was revealing something very fundamental about his character and rule – cruelty!
This man has really been very cruel to others. His cruelty is really that of a sadist, psychopath. Look at what he has done to Hakainde Hichilema! Chishimba Kambwili! Harry Kalaba! Kelvin Bwalya Fube! And many others!
Count how many people have been killed by police under his watch for simply assembling to offer solidarity or protest against an injustice!
Humans are the glory and the scum of the universe, concluded the French philosopher, Blaise Pascal, in 1658. When one looks at the conduct of Mr Lungu, little has actually changed. We love and we loathe. We help and we harm. We reach out a hand and we stick in the knife.
We understand if someone lashes out in retaliation or self-defence. But when someone harms the harmless, we ask: “How could you?”
Humans typically do things to get pleasure or avoid pain. For most of us, hurting others causes us to feel their pain. And we don’t like this feeling. This suggests two reasons people may harm the harmless – either they don’t feel the others’ pain or they enjoy feeling the others’ pain.
Another reason people harm the harmless is because they nonetheless see a threat. Someone who doesn’t imperil your body or wallet can still threaten your social status.
Liberal societies assume causing others to suffer means we have harmed them. Yet some philosophers reject this idea. In the 21st Century, can we still conceive of being cruel to be kind?
Someone who gets pleasure from hurting or humiliating others is a sadist. Sadists feel other people’s pain more than is normal. And they enjoy it. At least, they do until it is over, when they may feel bad.
The popular imagination associates sadism with torturers and murderers. Yet there is also the less extreme, but more widespread, phenomenon of everyday sadism.
Most people would flinch from having to torture another human being, mainly because when we inflict harm on others, we share some of that pain.
Everyday sadists get pleasure from hurting others or watching their suffering.
They are rare, but not rare enough.
Unlike sadists, psychopaths don’t harm the harmless simply because they get pleasure from it – though they may. Psychopaths want things. If harming others helps them get what they want, so be it.
Can you ever change a psychopath’s mind? They can act this way because they are less likely to feel pity or remorse or 
fear. They can also work out what others are feeling but not get infected by such feelings themselves. Many who harm, torture or kill will be haunted by the experience. Yet psychopathy is a powerful predictor of someone inflicting unprovoked violence.
Italian philosopher and diplomat Niccolò Machiavelli once suggested that “the times, not men, create disorder”. Consistent with this, neuroscience suggests sadism could be a survival tactic triggered by times becoming tough.
Sadism and psychopathy are associated with other traits, such as narcissism and Machiavellianism. Such traits, taken together, are called the “dark factor of personality” or D-factor for short.
We all have a role to play in reducing cruelty.
Sadism involves enjoying another person’s humiliation and hurt. Yet it is often said that dehumanising people is what allows us to be cruel. Potential victims are labelled as dogs, lice or cockroaches, allegedly making it easier for others to hurt them.
There is something to this. Research shows that if someone breaks a social norm, our brains treat their faces as less human. This makes it easier for us to punish people who violate norms of behaviour.
It is a sweet sentiment to think that if we see someone as human then we won’t hurt them. It is also a dangerous delusion. The psychologist Paul Bloom argues our worst cruelties may rest on not dehumanising people. People may hurt others precisely because they recognise them as human beings who don’t want to suffer pain, humiliation or degradation.
Clearly, the exercise of power must be a constant practice of self limitation and modesty.

Fred M’membe

Playing musical instruments not for dull people

Playing musical instruments not for dull people Featured

This month I had the incredible opportunity to visit my old secondary school, St. Francis Secondary School, in Malole, Mungwi, Northern Province.

This was something I was really looking forward to for sometime. I wanted to remember what it was like to be me 44 years ago. It still blows my mind that I’ve been out of secondary school for that long.

Okay, fine. The voice of accuracy in my head desperately wants me to clarify how long it’s really been. Oh. Hello, memories. Thought you’d left me on this trip. I stared blankly at the buildings for a few moments. Overall, I was quite pleased with my visit.

The main reason for this visit was music – to share a few musical instruments with my former school band. I had a nice chat with the headmaster, the band master and other teachers. I also had some very useful conversations with the learners – players of musical instruments. We talked about music and its importance in our lives.

A lot of thoughts went through head, accompanied some very strong emotions which such comebacks usually generate. Looking at the poor state and small numbers of musical instruments the band had, I realised that those who administer our schools are not paying sufficient attention to music courses. There seem to be a general belief that students who devote time to music rather than mathematics, science and English, will underperform in those disciplines.

But research has proved this belief wrong and found the more the students engage with music, the better they do in those subjects. The students who learned to play a musical instrument in school not only score significantly higher, but were about one academic year ahead of their non-music peers with regard to their English, mathematics and science skills, as measured by their exam grades, regardless of their socioeconomic background, prior learning in mathematics and English.

Skills learned in instrumental music transfer very broadly to the students’ learning in school. In our days at both St. John’s Secondary School Band and St. Francis Secondary School Band students of music generally performed better than those who were not in the band. The best student at Cambridge ‘O’ Level exams the whole country in 1976 when I finished Form V was my classmate – Charles Malata, Prof Mister Charles Malata and one of the top best plastic surgeons in the UK. Charles played the flute in the band. We also had Kenneth Konga, a trombone player, who went on to become an electrical engineer and a minister in the Rupiah Banda Cabinet.

I played the trumpet, mellow phone, French Horn and the Baritone Horn. All our music students did very well in their exams. Learning to play a musical instrument and playing in a band is very demanding. It’s not for dull people. A student has to learn to read music notation, develop eye-hand-mind coordination, develop keen listening skills, develop team skills for playing in a band and develop discipline to practice. All those learning experiences, and more, play a role in enhancing the learner’s cognitive capacities, executive functions, motivation to learn in school, and self-efficacy.

Music education – multiple years of high-quality instrumental learning and playing in a band at an advanced level – can be the very thing that improves all-around academic achievement and an ideal way to have students learn more holistically in schools. Playing musical instruments is not for fools. Look at how smart, intelligent our musicians are – the players of musical instruments!

Fred M’membe

Attempts to buy votes in Lubemba won’t work

Attempts to buy votes in Lubemba won’t work Featured

I have been reading about the leadership of the ruling party having pushed in a lot of money, bicycles and even some automobiles into Lubemba.
This is said to have been done through some chiefs to help them buy the votes of their subjects. It won’t work.
In life, and much more so in politics, it is always very important to be clear about things.
Chiefs in Lubemba are not absolute rulers. They don’t rule by decrees like some other monarchs. Ours is a highly democratic, decentralised and accountable system with very strong checks and balances. Power in Lubemba doesn’t lie with the chiefs alone. It is fairly shared among the chiefs, Bashilubemba, Banamfumu, the subjects and even Bakabilo. And the ordinary umubemba has a say in what goes on the kingdom or chiefdom. He or she has direct audience with chief wherever he or she finds the Kanabesa. It is said that wherever the chief is found is the palace. This means the subject can way lay the chief and have audience with him.
Ulubemba is decentralised into three regions – Ituna, the Kasama part headed by senior chief Mwamba and assisted by many sub chiefs and village headmen and women; Inchinga, headed by senior chief Nkula and assisted by many sub chiefs and village headmen and women; and Lubemba, the capital for the Chitimukuku but also assisted by many sub chiefs and village headmen and women. Each of these regions of Lubemba determines it’s own affairs without interference from the Chitimukuku, save for issues that affected the entire Lubemba like wars.
The powers of the chiefs are in many ways well checked and balanced by Bashilubemba and others.
Bashilubemba have powers to remove chiefs.
And not every qualifying Bemba royal can become a chief. Only the best among the qualify royals, impanda, are chosen to become chiefs.
This ensures quality leadership in the kingdom or chiefdom. We have quality leadership in Lubemba that cannot be easily bought with bicycles, cars and money. They can buy or manipulate a few but not many or all.
And there are very serious consequences for those sell out!
Lelo Ulubemba nalusebana kubupina. It is the third poorest region of our country – with 79.7 per cent ubupina.
Their bribes won’t do. They are dealing with people they don’t understand and in the wrong way and at the wrong time. Every umubemba is born with a certain adequate minimum amount of wisdom and integrity.
I can speak with a lot of confidence about these issues because I know what I am talking about, I am a Bemba royal.

Fred M’membe

This Christmas we have to make sacrifices

This Christmas we have to make sacrifices Featured

There’s need for us all to realize that this Christmas we have to make sacrifices. It will not be possible to celebrate Christmas and end or begin the year in the way we are accustomed to.

The many activities that are usually associated with the festive season must make way for the things that really matter — family and friends, caring for one another, physical and spiritual rejuvenation.

It’s hard to think of a Christmas season when all of us across width and breadth of our country have needed the break more acutely.

The truth is that 2020 has been a hard year for our country. With our economy in shambles and our politics in gridlock, and public discourse too often descending into rancour and abuse, it’s felt like we’ve been living permanently under a dark cloud.

All of us across Zambia have too often focused on the differences between us, rather than on what ties us together. So I hope the magic of Christmas casts its spell for people this year, helping families and friends remember what it is that unites them, not divides them.

I hope it reminds us that, despite the sound and fury of our national debate, the bonds of family, community and country are still deep and lasting.

Yes, it’s a cliché that Christmas is the season of goodwill. But its important for all of us that we demonstrate that goodwill to each other this year and that, for a week or so, hopefully the acrimony can fall silent.

It’s also a time to thank our doctors, clinical officers, nurses and other medical workers who will be working over the Christmas holiday. I hope they get a break with their families in due course.

It’s also right to mention those people who will this year be supporting those who are ill and need help during the Christmas season, our religious leaders for whom this is such a busy time, and all those who are looking out for a neighbor or a friend who needs support at this time of year.

And I also want to ask people to think about their neighbors. Loneliness can be a terrible thing at Christmas. So we should look out for each other. Christmas is also a time to wish peace on earth, in our country.

So I wish you all a merry Christmas, and let’s make sure we have peace on earth, in our country.

Fred M’membe

Silayi Village, Kalabo

These political killings are illegal, unjustifiable and unacceptable!

These political killings are illegal, unjustifiable and unacceptable! Featured

Since the ascendancy of Mr Edgar Lungu to power, Zambia has experienced more killings of political opponents by police and ruling party cadres than under all the previous regimes combined.
And in none of these cases were the perpetrators brought to justice, not a single prosecution has yet resulted from these extra judicial killings.
It will be very difficult to deny high level political and police administration complicity in these killings.
No political differences or competition can justify yesterday’s barbaric murders by police of two innocent, defenseless and totally unarmed people.
I had the opportunity to watch a recording of the events and listen to some eyewitness.
They say police were firing teargas and live bullets recklessly and unnecessarily in all directions with no regard to the road users and those workers constructing the road near Inter-Continental Hotel who had to run away in all directions. And that the two people killed could have been any of them from the nearby buildings. They feel traumatized and wonder how the coming days, weeks and months shall be.
These killings constitute very serious human rights violation. These are murders directly committed by the authorities or condoned by the state authorities. These killings constitute human rights violations and are prohibited by international human rights law – they are extralegal, summary and arbitrary executions or extrajudicial execution or unlawful killings.
I say this because these killings have taken place at the order, complicity or with the acquiescence of the authorities, they violate laws of the Republic of Zambia such as those prohibiting murder, as well as international human rights and humanitarian standards forbidding arbitrary deprivation of life, and they have not occurred by accident, in self-defense, or through ignorance. There was no commotion at all among the assembled people until a white police van arrived, out jumped police officers who started firing live ammunition indiscriminately.
These political killings are illegal, unjustifiable and totally unacceptable, deserving only the strongest condemnations possible.
And President Lungu, home affairs minister Stephen Kampyongo and Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja must be made to account for these murders, these innocent lives they brought to an abrupt ending.
In the ordinary scheme of governance under the rule of law, Kampyongo and Kanganja would resign or be fired by their appointing authority. Only in Zambia will they shamelessly continue facing the general public.

Fred M’membe
President of the Socialist Party

Statement of the Socialist Party on the Economic Recovery Plan

Statement of the Socialist Party on the Economic Recovery Plan Featured

In 2011, we the people of Zambia decided to change the stewardship of our economy from the MMD to PF. This was on the promise that the PF would bring about a vigorous and unrelenting fight against poverty. We can only assume now that the PF’s campaign in 2011 was never meant to be implemented as all the economic fundamentals have been deteriorating few years after they took over the Government.

From the time the PF formed Government and more interesting since President Edgar Lungu took over the presidency of the country in 2015, economic performance has been deteriorating year after year and now Zambia does not only face an economic recession but has also become the first country to default on its debt service post COVID.

What is interesting is that the PF Government led by Mr. Lungu cannot take responsibility but want to blame climate change and now COVID 19 for all its economic management failures. And in their pompous and arrogant manner, they have constantly snubbed good sound advice, be it from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Civil Society Organisations, the Church, think Tanks or from the general citizenry. And any person with a different view is branded as bitter or a sympathiser of the opposition. This has led to the rise, in huge proportion, of a culture of personality cult whereby the President’s name has to be mentioned countless times in policies or political speeches and sycophants and demagogues of all shapes and sizes have been rewarded with jobs beyond their mental capacity in the name of political patronage and at the expense of economic development.

After playing hide and seek for too long, there is now no space for the PF to hide about how they have messed up the economy. Time has exposed how careless, thoughtless, weak and mediocre this government has been. We are happy that even if they have now shifted the blame from Climate Change to COVID-19, at least they have admitted that the economy is in dire stress.

With this admission, came the Economic Recovery Plan, which the PF Government launched last week.

In our view, as Socialist Party, however, we think the Economic Recovery Plan that was launched by the President fails the test of a responsive, robust and relevant programme that can competently address Zambia’s current challenges. At best, this plan can be described as a mere Statement of Intent with a detailed shopping list of activities and objectives that neither match the current reality nor build on past programmes.

We are however not surprised, as we know very well that the PF does not have a well-coordinated economic agenda. They have always been pursuing haphazard economic policies with disastrous results.

But before I talk about the Economic Recovery Programme, let me take this opportunity to show you, the people of Zambia, how the PF has failed to run the economic affairs of this country.

You will all recall that in 2005, we as a people embarked on ‘The Vision 2030’ whose objective was for the country to become ‘a prosperous middle-income country by the year 2030. With this Vision and the reintroduction of national development planning to operationalise The Vision, we embarked on the Fifth National Development which ran from 2006 to 2010 under the MMD Government. During this period, the country managed to achieve macroeconomic stability. The economy grew at an average of 6.4% per annum. Inflation was reduced from 15.9% to 8.2% while exchange rate stabilised and averaged K4.40 per one United States dollar.

As a result of this strong macroeconomic performance and sustained growth during the FNDP period, the country managed to attain a per capita income of above US$ 1,600. On this basis, World Bank reclassified Zambia as a Lower Middle-Income Country in 2011.

In the same year, 2011, when Zambia was reclassified as a lower middle-income country, the PF was voted into Government. As a Party in Government, the PF promised to maintain the same economic growth trajectory. However, economic growth, which averaged 6.4% during the FNDP period, immediately started a downward spiral and particularly so when Mr. Lungu took over the Presidency.  From a growth of 7.6% in 2014 for instance, economic growth plummeted to 2.9% in 2015 and has since been deteriorating year in year out, reaching to 1.4% in 2019 and is now projected to be negative 4.2% in 2020. 

On the fiscal side, one would say that the Edgar Lungu Government just decided to through away fiscal prudence and replaced it with reckless borrowing in the name of infrastructure development when we all know that the ulterior motive has been to create expenditure lines for corruption. As a result, we see fiscal deficit, which basically is borrowing to finance the budget increasing from an average of 2.5% of GDP per annum during the FNDP to an average of 5.4% of GDP per annum during the Sixth National Development Plan, which was the first planning period for the PF Government.  Borrowing has worsened even further during the Seventh National Development Plan, under Edgar Lungu led PF Government, and has averaged 8.9% of GDP per annum.  

The PF Government’s excessive appetite for borrowing has resulted in higher debt service costs. For example, statistics from the Ministry of Finance statistics, have shown that by end of this year (2020), debt service costs will have increased to US $3.3 billion which is equivalent to ZMW 69.3 billion (at the current exchange rate of K21/US$). This means that all the domestic revenue collections   in 2020, which the Ministry of Finance has revised to K65 billion, will not be enough to service the debt, thus the Government will have to borrow K4.3 billion to add on in order to meet its debt obligations for 2020.

What has this PF Government’s excessive borrowing done to the country?

  • It has made Zambia become a Highly Indebted Poor Country again. Excessive borrowing has increased Zambia’s public debt from 20.8% of GDP when the PF took over Government in 2011 to more than 100% projected for 2020; and
  • The PF Government has basically put Zambia on the world map for the wrong reason, being the first country to default on its debt service post COVID 19. The high debt has resulted in higher costs of debt service which the PF Government unfortunately has now failed to manage. For the first, the country has defaulted on its debt service obligations.

As a result of the PF Government’s recklessness in borrowing and in its economic management, the Zambian Kwacha has continuously been under pressure. The Kwacha has devalued from an average of K4.22 per one United States Dollars during the FNDP period to over ZMW 21 per on United States Dollars now.

What does this devaluation of the Kwacha mean to ordinary Zambians? It means that Zambians have lost the purchasing power. They can no longer buy the same amount of goods or services with their salaries which have not increased to proportion to the Kwacha depreciation.

Let me now talk about the Economic Stabilisation and Growth Programme which was dubbed the Zambia Plus. This is the programme that the PF Government put in place in 2017 immediately after winning the 2016 elections and which they are claiming is been succeeded by the Economic Recovery Programme, which will run from 2020 to 2023.

To put it blunt, Zambia Plus was a failed project mainly because it lacked political will. It talked about fiscal consolidation and targeted to reduce borrowing to finance the budget from 7% of GDP in 2017 to 4.1% of GDP by 2019. To achieve, the Government committed to reducing the budget expenditure from 27.7% of GDP in 2017 to 22.8% by 2019 while at the same time increasing tax revenues to 18% of GDP.

In addition, the Zambia Plus proposed some structural reforms including:

  • amendment of the Loans and Guarantees (Authorization) Act to strengthen oversight on debt contraction;
  • amendment of the public procurement act to enhance transparency and accountability in the procurement process so as to ensure value for money; and
  • introduction of the Planning and Budgeting Bill to improve public investment management and limit borrowing to projects with higher economic rates of returns.

Come implementation of the Zambia Plus, we note with sadness the lack of political will. First, instead of fiscal consolidation which meant reducing budget expenditure as a share GDP to 22.8% in 2019, expenditure increased to 28.9% of GDP in 2019 further increasing to 32.4% in 2020 and now 32.6% of GDP projected for 2021. 

Second, instead of reducing fiscal deficit from 7.0% in 2017 to 4.1% by 2019, the Government has been increasing its borrowing. By 2019 borrowing had increased to 9.6% of GDP and is now projected 11.7% of GDP in 2020.

Third, instead of undertaking structural reforms and amend the relevant pieces of legislation on debt contraction and management, public procurement and budgeting, among others, the PF Government simply ignored all these and instead embarked on a very futile exercise of wanting to introduce Bill 10 to consolidate their hold on power. 

Let me now turn to the Economic Recovery Plan that the President launched last week.

Our thinking, as the Socialist Party, was that the Economic Recovery Plan would renew the hope and confidence of the Zambian people in the economic recovery of the country. Unfortunately, the PF’s Economic Recovery Plan, in our view fails the test of a responsive, robust and relevant programme that can competently address Zambia’s current challenges. At best, this Plan can be described as a Statement of Intent with a detailed shopping list of activities and objectives that neither match the current reality nor build on past programmes.

However, this is not surprising to us as we know that the PF does not have a well-coordinated economic agenda and has been pursuing haphazard economic policies with disastrous results.

In our view, the economic recovery plan will not be able to achieve its objectives for the following reasons:

  • Given the diminishing fiscal space as a result of the rising debt which has caused high debt service costs and has ultimately resulted in debt payment default, there is need for a more structured and detailed financing plan of the economic recovery programme, which we do not see in this plan;
  • Assuming this Plan was to be implemented, the PF time to implement it is so limited. They have less than a year in office and are doing all they can on the expenditure side to try and hoodwink the people through excess expenditure on infrastructure. As such fiscal discipline will be a challenge.
  • The plan lacks the details and does not answer the how questions. For example, it does spell out what exactly will be done to reverse the downward economic spiral especially given the diminishing fiscal space as a result of the higher debt service costs; and,
  • Given that the PF Government failed to garner political will to implement the Zambia Plus even when the elections were only to come after four years, what would make Zambians believe that this time around and with only a few months before the elections, the PF Government will have the political will to push this agenda? We doubt that there will be political will to implement the plan more so this time around when the elections are just the corner.  

In conclusion, I want to emphasise that the Zambian economy is in a crisis, is unstable and in recession, the first since 1998. More than, ever, it calls for leadership – credible and committed leadership to respond to the immediate and urgent needs of Zambians. We had assumed, apparently, incorrectly, that the PF government’s so-called Economic Recovery Plan would, for once address the challenges that we are faced with. Alas, it has turned out to be another talk show document that does not reflect any seriousness or commitment to addressing the country’s economy challenges.

The PF Government has truly failed the people of Zambia. It has failed to rise to the to the occasion. As we draw closer to 2021, it is time for the Zambians to open their eyes and make sure that they do not allow a visionless leader to continue to lead. As the Socialist Party, we have a clear and precise Vision for the economic recovery, which we will be sharing. We are ready and committed, and we believe that we can provide workable solutions to Zambia’s current challenges.

Delivered by DR Ngenda Mwikisa – General Treasurer and Second Vice President

Political crooks, conmen have become very busy

Political crooks, conmen have become very busy Featured

It is said that one cannot fool all the people all the time but can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time. This is the strategy all conmen, charlatans and corrupt politicians follow to enchant, entice and entrap the gullible.
They always target the weak, those who feel vulnerable and seek support to pep up themselves.
The first step is to identify, isolate and indoctrinate and sow the seeds of fanatic, fascist and jingoistic slogan while all the time promising to protect them from the imaginary windmills of unpatriotic politicians, irreligious seculars out to rip the moral, social and political fabric of our great culture.
For a party in control of literary every institution and all the money in the country only needs to seduce the gullible with the idea that they and only they can save the nation.
Three tricks are employed to entrap and goad this herd of unsuspecting towards the booth. These three are mis-information, mis-guiding and mis-leading. The misinformation is simple and an art this team has perfected over the years.
The difference between misleading and misguiding is that in the first instance you lead from the front and in the second you only point fingers.
People who are susceptible to this false propaganda are not fools they are just simpletons who trust the leader and are thus misled. They are not fools but they are being fooled by cunning and vested interests that operate like cunning conmen. The need of the hour is to be aware of these political crooks, conmen who come up with all sorts of gifts – foodstuffs; bicycles for village headmen; cash handouts, motor vehicles for chiefs and religious leaders – when elections are near.
Where has this sudden money and benevolence come from?
Over the last few months the political crooks, conmen of this country have become very busy and are going round distributing mealie-meal, bicycles, cash and all sorts of things. Why? To fool you and get your votes!
But as the most famous utterance ever attributed to Abraham Lincoln says, “You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” Fool them also; take all that they bring you but don’t vote for them – do a Michael Sata, a “Don’t kubeba” on them.

Fred M’membe

Silayi Village, Kalabo

Four days voter registration extension

Four days voter registration extension Featured

It doesn’t make sense for the Electoral Commission of Zambia to extend the voter registration period by just four days. We seem to be terrible judges of how long things take.

Psychologists call this the planning fallacy — a pervasive tendency to underestimate how long it will take to do just about anything — and it can be attributed to several different biases.

First, we routinely fail to consider our own past experiences while planning.

After a month of voter registration experience, we still can’t seem to figure out how long it will take us to reasonably complete this exercise.

Second, we seem to consistently ignore the very real possibility that things won’t go as planned — our plans tend to be “best-case scenarios”. And as a consequence, we budget only enough time to complete the project if everything goes smoothly. Which it never really does.

Lastly, we don’t think about all the steps or sub components that make up the voter registration process, and consider how long each part of the process will take. When you think about painting a room, you may picture yourself using a roller to quickly slap the paint on the walls, and think that it won’t take much time at all — neglecting to consider how you’ll first have to move or cover the furniture, tape all the fixtures and window frames, do all the edging by hand, and so on.

Extending the voter registration period for four days without addressing the poor time planning that landed us in hot water in the first place, we will likely end up in hot water again down the road.

And here is a summary of the things we have learned from the Electoral Commission of Zambia’s press briefing today:1. The voter registration exercise has been extended by four days, running from Thursday 17 December, 2020 – Sunday 20 December 2020.

2. The total number of registered voters is 6,407,752. The Commission did not give a province-by-province breakdown.

3. Important dates: There are a number of important dates the Commission highlighted:

2nd – 6th April 2021:

Verification of registration details. If any of the details on your card or on the new register are incorrect, this will be the period to correct them.

9th May 2021:

Voter registration certification, and cut off date for those who will be turning 18 to be eligible to vote.

Presidential nominations: 14-18 June, 2021.Nominations of MP’s, Mayors, council chairpersons will be on 14 June, 2021. Ward councilor nominations will be one day after, on 15 June 2021. Petitions for nominations will run for 21 days (21 Jun -11 Jul, 2021).

Ballot printing will be the whole of July, from 1-31 July, 2021, for ALL ballots, from councilors all the way up to the President. The verification of ballot papers will happen between 29 Jul – 4 Aug, 2021.

Of course, the general election, the biggest day of them all, will be on August 12, 2021.

If you have not yet registered to vote, those extra 4 days are your lifeline.

Please, please, please I urge you to visit your nearest registration centre and get it done. Never forget that your vote is your voice!

Fred M’membe

Garden Compound

Laughing or chuckling at the problems of others

Laughing or chuckling at the problems of others Featured

Have you ever laughed at someone who was visibly struggling with the challenges of life?
Has your moment of suffering ever been the butt of a joke? How did it make you feel?
We seem to have leaders who laugh or chuckle at their people’s problems, suffering in this country.
Serious leaders don’t laugh or chuckle when their people are in distress and cry out for help. Leaders are expected to feel the distress their people who have serious problems meeting the cost of food, schools, health services, transport and many other necessities of life.
Psychologists have an explanation for this type of behaviour. They call it Katagelasticism – a psychological condition in which a person excessively enjoys laughing at others – from καταγελαστής, katagelastēs, ancient Greek for “mocker”.
Katagelasticists actively seek and establish situations in which they can laugh at others – at the expense of these people. There is a broad variety of things that katagelasticists would do – starting from harmless pranks or word plays to truly embarrassing and even harmful, mean-spirited jokes. They would be of the opinion that laughing at others is part of the daily life and if others do not like being laughed at, they should just fight back.
For the katagelasticists it is fun laughing at others and there is almost nothing that might hinder them from doing so. For them, some people even might provoke getting laughed at – and surely deserve being laughed at. 
This is sadistic behaviour. What will such a person stop at? What won’t he do to have a laugh at you?
Is such a person really fit to be a leader of a country?

Fred M’membe

Silayi Village, Kalabo

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).

Extension of voter registration period

Extension of voter registration period Featured

The voter registration exercise has not been conducted in an efficient, effective and orderly manner.

In many places, there have been very long queues. In some places, Electoral Commission of Zambia officers have not been there throughout the period of registration. There are also many cases of equipment failure.

If there’s no extension of voter registration days as many as 4 million people may not be registered to vote – around 40 per cent of 9 million the people the Electoral Commission of Zambia was targeting to register as voters.

The most important political right or privilege is the vote. No one should be unnecessarily denied the right to register as voter.

We therefore urge the Electoral Commission of Zambia to extend the voter registration period to give a fair chance to all qualifying citizens to register as voters.

Fred M’membe

Garden Compound, Lusaka

Corrupt, tyrannical politicians cling onto power

Corrupt, tyrannical politicians cling onto power Featured

It’s difficult for one who has soiled himself to stand up and leave while everyone is watching.

But without standing up to leave and clean oneself the mess won’t disappear. And the humiliation won’t go away. It’s only by stand up to clean oneself that the humiliation disappears, goes away.

Similarly, politicians who have abused their public offices, who have stolen from their people and have been tyrannical have serious difficulties leaving power.

They invariably seek to perpetuate themselves in power. They seek to change constitutions and give themselves more years in power. They are never ready to leave. They try to persuade and convince everyone that only them can govern well, without them there will be chaos in the nation – only them are God chosen to lead.

Corrupt and tyrannical politicians work against the nation’s best interests to hold onto power.

There are two sides to political leadership. On the positive side, great political leaders can make a big difference in the nation. They can inspire fellow citizens to share a vision and to work together to achieve great national things. On the negative side, there are comforts that come with political leadership roles including higher salaries, respect, and other perks and even possible abuses. So, when someone attains a political leadership role, they are reluctant to give it up.

Unfortunately, the behaviors that some politicians may engage in to hold onto a political leadership role once they have it can seriously undermine national interest and well being.

When politicians had a political leadership strategy focused on keeping themselves in power in perpetuity, they limited the development of a new leadership to replace them to avoid being challenged. So, political leaders protected their position from the most threatening fellow citizens when they felt they could lose their position.

In this case, leaders with a desire to cling onto power would isolate the most talented fellow party members or citizens from everyone else. Those not seeking to cling onto power would allow alternative leadership to develop.

Politicians who are prone to want to protect their power will engage in behaviors that promote their own interests over those of the nation in cases where their continued hold on power is in jeopardy.

These tendencies are likely to influence even more well intentioned political leaders, and so they provide a tendency that political leaders need to overcome to ensure that they act in the best interests of their people and country.

Fred M’membe

Garden Compound, Lusaka

UNIP and Dr Kenneth Kaunda have been linked to socialism and its failures. Was Zambia under UNIP a Socialist State?

UNIP and Dr Kenneth Kaunda have been linked to socialism and its failures. Was Zambia under UNIP a Socialist State? Featured

Good day Comrade. Thank you for your continued effort of addressing some of the misconceptions and burning issues. Another issue that has been floating around is that of linking UNIP and Dr Kenneth Kaunda to socialism and its failures. Was Zambia under UNIP a Socialist State?

Great thanks Comrade!

To answer your question, let’s try to understand what Kaunda himself said on this score.

I know we don’t like reading long articles – we don’t have a reading culture – but I want to explain this at length for those who want to read to understand. This response is not for those who want to understand things without effort – those who don’t want to read much.

Let’s start with Kaunda’s own words on this topic.

Kaunda said, “Capitalism and communism are out. Let them go. And so long as I am leader of the Party, I am not going to allow any stupid people to come here to disrupt the country because of their ideologies. If I discover them here in Zambia, they go by the earliest plane” (Chifubu rally, Ndola, January 17, 1965)

.And in a United Nations address on December 4, 1964, Kaunda said, “Our African personality contains elements of simplicity of service – of community which all the world needs. Our economic life has always been based on what I should like to describe as traditional co-operative way of living. This is the African substitute for the capitalism, socialism and communism of the East and West. We offer it as our contribution to the world sum of experience.

“I now turn to Kwame Nkrumah. And this is what Nkrumah wrote on this issue in an article published in 1967:

“The term ‘socialism’ has become a necessity in the platform diction and political writings of African leaders. It is a term which unites us in the recognition that the restoration of Africa’s humanist and egalitarian principles of society calls for socialism. All of us, therefore, even though pursuing widely contrasting policies in the task of reconstructing our various nation-states, still use ‘socialism’ to describe our respective efforts. ‘The question must therefore be faced: What real meaning does the term retain in the context of contemporary African politics? I warned about this in my book Consciencism (London and New York, 1964, p. 105). And yet, socialism in Africa today tends to lose its objective content in favor of a distracting terminology and in favor of a general confusion. Discussion centers more on the various conceivable types of socialism than upon the need for socialist development.

Some African political leaders and thinkers certainly use the term ‘socialism’ as it should in my opinion be used: to describe a complex of social purposes and the consequential social and economic policies, organizational patterns, state structure, and ideologies which can lead to the attainment of those purposes. For such leaders, the aim is to remold African society in the socialist direction; to reconsider African society in such a manner that the humanism of traditional African life re-asserts itself in a modern technical community.

Consequently, socialism in Africa introduces a new social synthesis in which modern technology is reconciled with human values, in which the advanced technical society is realized without the staggering social malefactions and deep schisms of capitalist industrial society. For true economic and social development cannot be promoted without the real socialization of productive and distributive processes. Those African leaders who believe these principles are the socialists in Africa.

There are, however, other African political leaders and thinkers who use the term ‘socialism’ because they believe that socialism would, in the words of Chandler Morse, ‘smooth the road to economic development’. It becomes necessary for them to employ the term in a ‘charismatic effort to rally support’ for policies that do not really promote economic and social development. Those African leaders who believe these principles are supposed to be the ‘African socialists’.

It is interesting to recall that before the split in the Second International, Marxism was almost indistinguishable from social democracy. Indeed, the German Social Democratic Party was more or less the guardian of the doctrine of Marxism, and both Marx and Engels supported that Party. Lenin, too, became a member of the Social Democratic Party. After the break-up of the Second International, however, the meaning of the term ‘social democracy’ altered, and it became possible to draw a real distinction between socialism and social democracy. A similar situation has arisen in Africa. Some years ago, African political leaders and writers used the term ‘African socialism’ in order to label the concrete forms that socialism might assume in Africa. But the realities of the diverse and irreconcilable social, political, and economic policies being pursued by African states today have made the term ‘African socialism’ meaningless and irrelevant. It appears to be much more closely associated with anthropology than with political economy. ‘African socialism’ has now come to acquire some of its greatest publicists in Europe and North America precisely because of its predominant anthropological charm. Its foreign publicists include not only the surviving social democrats of Europe and North America, but other intellectuals and liberals who themselves are steeped in the ideology of social democracy. It was no accident, let me add, that the 1962 Dakar Colloquium made such capital of ‘African socialism”‘ but the uncertainties concerning the meaning and specific policies of ‘African socialism’ have led some of us to abandon the term because it fails to express its original meaning and because it tends to obscure our fundamental socialist commitment.

Today, the phrase ‘African socialism’ seems to espouse the view that the traditional African society was a classless society imbued with the spirit of humanism and to express a nostalgia for that spirit. Such a conception of socialism makes a fetish of the communal African society. But an idyllic, African classless society (in which there were no rich and no poor) enjoying a drugged serenity is certainly a facile simplification; there is no historical or even anthropological evidence for any such society. I am afraid the realities of African society were somewhat more sordid.

All available evidence from the history of Africa up to the eve of the European colonization, shows that African society was neither classless nor devoid of a social hierarchy. Feudalism existed in some parts of Africa before colonization; and feudalism involves a deep and exploitative social stratification, founded on the ownership of land. It must also be noted that slavery existed in Africa before European colonization, although the earlier European contact gave slavery in Africa some of its most vicious characteristics. The truth remains, however, that before colonization, which became widespread in Africa only in the nineteenth century, Africans were prepared to sell, often for no more than thirty pieces of silver, fellow tribesmen and even members of the same ‘extended family’ and clan. Colonialism deserves to be blamed for many evils in Africa, but surely it was not preceded by an African Golden Age or paradise. A return to the pre-colonial African society is evidently not worthy of the ingenuity and efforts of our people.

All this notwithstanding, one could still argue that the basic organization of many African societies in different periods of history manifested a certain communalism and that the philosophy and humanist purposes behind that organization are worthy of recapture. A community in which each saw his well-being in the welfare of the group certainly was praiseworthy, even if the manner in which the well-being of the group was pursued makes no contribution to our purposes. Thus, what socialist thought in Africa must recapture is not the structure of the ‘traditional African society’ but its spirit, for the spirit of communalism is crystallised in its humanism and in its reconciliation of individual advancement with group welfare. Even If there is incomplete anthropological evidence to reconstruct the ‘traditional African society’ with accuracy, we can still recapture the rich human values of that society. In short, an anthropological approach to the ‘traditional African society’ is too much unproven; but a philosophical approach stands on much firmer ground and makes generalization feasible.

One predicament in the anthropological approach is that there is some disparity of views concerning the manifestations of the ‘classlessness’ of the ‘traditional African society’. While some hold that the society was based on the equality of its members, others hold that it contained a hierarchy and division of labour in which the hierarchy — and therefore power — was founded on spiritual and democratic values.. Of course, no society can be founded on the equality of its members although societies are founded on egalitarianism, which is something quite different. Similarly, a classless society that at the same time rejoices in a hierarchy of power (as distinct from authority) must be accounted a marvel of socio-political finesse.

We know that the ‘traditional African society’ was founded on principles of egalitarianism. In its actual workings, however, it had various shortcomings. Its humanist impulse, nevertheless, is something that continues to urge us towards our all-African socialist reconstruction. We postulate each man to be an end in himself, not merely a means; and we accept the necessity of guaranteeing each man equal opportunities for his development. The implications of this for socio-political practice have to be worked out scientifically, and the necessary social and economic policies pursued with resolution. Any meaningful humanism must begin from egalitarianism and must lead to objectively chosen policies for safeguarding and sustaining egalitarianism. Hence, socialism. Hence, also, scientific socialism.

A further difficulty that arises from the anthropological approach to socialism, or ‘African socialism’, is the glaring division between existing African societies and the communalistic society that was. I warned in my book Consciencism that ‘our society is not the old society, but a new society enlarged by Islamic and Euro-Christian influences’. This is a fact that any socio-economic policies must recognise and take into account. Yet the literature of ‘African socialism’ comes close to suggesting that today’s African societies are communalistic. The two societies are not coterminous; and such an equation cannot be supported by any attentive observation. It is true that this disparity is acknowledged in some of the literature of ‘African socialism’; thus, my friend and colleague Julius Nyerere, in acknowledging the disequilibrium between what was and what is in terms of African societies, attributes the differences to the importations of European colonialism.

We know, of course, that the defeat of colonialism and even neo-colonialism will not result in the automatic disappearance of the imported patterns of thought and social organization. For those patterns have taken root, and are in varying degree sociological features of our contemporary society. Nor will a simple return to the communalistic society of ancient Africa offer a solution either. To advocate a return, as it were, to the rock from which we were hewn is a charming thought, but we are faced with contemporary problems, which have arisen from political subjugation, economic exploitation, educational and social backwardness, increases in population, familiarity with the methods and products of industrialisation, modern agricultural techniques. These – as well as a host of other complexities – can be resolved by no mere communalistic society, however sophisticated, and anyone who so advocates must be caught in insoluble dilemmas of the most excruciating kind. All available evidence from socio-political history discloses that such a return to a status quo ante is quite unexampled in the evolution of societies. There is, indeed, no theoretical or historical reason to indicate that it is at all possible.

When one society meets another, the observed historical trend is that acculturation results in a balance of forward movement, a movement in which each society assimilates certain useful attributes of the other. Social evolution is a dialectical process; it has ups and downs, but, on balance, it always represents an upward trend.

Islamic civilization and European colonialism are both historical experiences of the traditional African society, profound experiences that have permanently changed the complexion of the traditional African society. They have introduced new values and a social, cultural, and economic organization into African life. Modern African societies are not traditional, even if backward, and they are clearly in a state of socio-economic disequilibrium. They are in this state because they are not anchored to a steadying ideology.

The way out is certainly not to regurgitate all Islamic or Euro-colonial influences in a futile attempt to recreate a past that cannot be resurrected. The way out is only forward, forward to a higher and reconciled form of society, in which the quintessence of the human purposes of traditional African society reasserts itself in a modern context-forward, in short, to socialism, through policies that are scientifically devised and correctly applied. The inevitability of a forward way out is felt by all; thus, Leopold Sedor Senghor, although favoring some kind of return to African communalism, insists that the refashioned African society must accommodate the ‘positive contribution’ of colonial rule, ‘such as the economic and technical infrastructure and the French educational system’. The economic and technical infrastructure of even French colonialism and the French educational system must be assumed, though this can be shown to be imbued with a particular socio-political philosophy. This philosophy, as should be known, is not compatible with the philosophy underlying communalism, and the desired accommodation would prove only a socio-political mirage.

Senghor has, indeed, given an account of the nature of the return to Africa. His account is highlighted by statements using some of his own words: that the African is ‘a field of pure sensation’; that he does not measure or observe, but ‘lives’ a situation; and that this way of acquiring ‘knowledge’ by confrontation and intuition is ‘negro-African’; the acquisition of knowledge by reason, ‘Hellenic’. In African Socialism [London and New York, 1964, pp.72-3], he proposes ‘that we consider the Negro-African as he faces the Other: God, man, animal, tree or pebble, natural or social phenomenon. In contrast to the classic European, the Negro-African does not draw a line between himself and the object, he does not hold it at a distance, nor does he merely look at it and analyze it. After holding it at a distance, after scanning it without analyzing it, he takes it vibrant in his hands, careful not to kill or fix it. He touches it, feels it, smells it. The Negro-African is like one of those Third Day Worms, a pure field of sensations… Thus the Negro-African sympathies, abandons his personality to become identified with the Other, dies to be reborn in the Other. He does not assimilate; he is assimilated. He lives a common life with the Other; he lives in a symbiosis.

‘It is clear that socialism cannot be founded on this kind of metaphysics of knowledge.

To be sure, there is a connection between communalism and socialism. Socialism stands to communalism as capitalism stands to slavery. In socialism, the principles underlying communalism are given expression in modern circumstances. Thus, whereas communalism in a non-technical society can be laissez-faire, in a technical society where sophisticated means of production are at hand, the situation is different; for if the underlying principles of communalism are not given correlated expression, class cleavages will arise, which are connected with economic disparities and thereby with political inequalities; Socialism, therefore, can be, and is, the defence of the principles of communalism in a modern setting; it is a form of social organisation that, guided by the principles underlying communalism, adopts procedures and measures made necessary by demographic and technological developments. Only under socialism can we reliably accumulate the capital we need for our development and also ensure that the gains of investment are applied for the general welfare.

Socialism is not spontaneous. It does not arise of itself. It has abiding principles according to which the major means of production and distribution ought to be socialised if exploitation of the many by the few is to be prevented; if, that is to say, egalitarianism in the economy is to be protected. Socialist countries in Africa may differ in this or that detail of their policies, but such differences themselves ought not to be arbitrary or subject to vagaries of taste. They must be scientifically explained, as necessities arising from differences in the particular circumstances of the countries themselves.

There is only one way of achieving socialism; by the devising of policies aimed at the general socialist goals, each of which takes its particular form from the specific circumstances of a particular state at a definite historical period. Socialism depends on dialectical and historical materialism, upon the view that there is only one nature, subject in all its manifestations to natural laws and that human society is, in this sense, part of nature and subject to its own laws of development.

It is the elimination of fancifulness from socialist action that makes socialism scientific. To suppose that there are tribal, national, or racial socialisms is to abandon objectivity in favour of chauvinism.”

Fred M’membe

Garden Compound, Lusaka

Does socialism encourage laziness?

Does socialism encourage laziness? Featured

Hello Comrade, when you have a chance, kindly reflect on the common assumption that socialism encourages laziness.

Great thanks Comrade and here is my brief reflection on the assumption:

The laziness trope is often used as a way to kind of discredit socialism overall. However, there’s some truth to this. In the experience in the Soviet Union and Cuba and Eastern Europe, there was a point in the development of socialism where workers were less motivated than certainly everyone that imagined what socialism would be thought would happen.

Now, before getting into that, let’s look at, first of all, the increase in productivity and the growth of the economy, industrialization in the Soviet Union during the 1920s on was astounding. The fact that this semi-feudal country industrialized so quickly that it actually could fend off this highly developed industrial power of Nazi Germany, and eventually win that war, the extent to how hard people worked and how much they sacrificed to be into that position, you can’t call that laziness. Let’s not forget the Soviet Union got to space before the United States. In a very short amount of time after World War II, the Soviet Union built a nuclear weapon to counteract the nuclear threat of the United States, and the extent to which it was an offensive threat to the United States and that the Soviet Union was in a defensive position.

When people have a guaranteed job and you can never get fired, when people have a guaranteed standard of living, they have healthcare, they have schooling, there’s no fear of poverty, which is more or less what there was in the Soviet Union, people get lazy. And if there’s no competition, like if everyone gets paid the same no matter how hard you work, then why work hard?

The Soviet Union was incredibly innovative. Some of the most amazing inventions came out of the Soviet Union, including, if you go back to the beginning, the Soviet Union gives birth to modern film making and so on, and all kinds of developments in the sciences.

So if you look at the stages of the Soviet Union, for a long time, it was very productive, as you see, what I said about taking on Germany and getting to space and so on. And then also, in certain sectors of the economy, it remained very productive, especially the sciences. The Soviet Union was able to compete with the United States in the development of technology.

But on this one specific thing – and it’s a complicated subject, we can’t get into it all now – but there was something that developed in the Soviet Union, and it happened in Cuba, and to some extent in Eastern Europe. When you got to the level of the factory floor and much of the working class, kind of everyone got paid the same. And it kind of didn’t matter if you worked hard or didn’t work hard, and there was a lot of resentment. Workers that did work hard, were motivated, were definitely pissed that this person over there was having a cigarette half the day and nothing happens. And then it was difficult to fire somebody and even discipline them, because ideologically, this was supposed to be a worker’s state and all the rest. And one of the reasons that is because the bureaucrats, especially, to maintain their own positions of power, didn’t want to piss off sections of the working class. And a lot of them believed in this theory too, that you pay everyone the same because that’s the socialist ideal. Except it’s not. There’s absolutely no reason under socialism why everyone should get paid the same. And in fact, they didn’t. In the Soviet Union, the artists got paid more, filmmakers got paid more, the party leaderships got paid more. It’s not like everyone got paid the same, it was mostly in the working class you didn’t have hardly any variance. But there’s no reason why that needs to be.

If we go back to what Karl Marx said, socialism is not the same – and there’s so much misconception of what communism is because of the Cold War and all the rest. But if you take what Marx and Engels thought communism was, communism is when the state withers away and isn’t there anymore because there’s no classes anymore, because the whole point of the state is to be coercive.

And if you don’t have distinctions in classes, you don’t need cops, you don’t need armies. So communism is this ideal kind of utopia. Who knows if human society ever gets there, but that’s the theory. It got all demonized because they called the Soviet Union communism because the Soviet Union sometimes called themselves that, but it wasn’t.

So under communism, the tagline is, “From each according to their ability, to each according to their need.” Because this ideal state, where there’s no classes, everyone is highly motivated, but not everyone is equal in ability. Some people run fast, some people run slow, some people are smarter, some people can do this and that. So everyone gives what they have to give, but everyone gets what they need. That’s this utopian state of communism, and that was the ideal. But socialism, the slogan was, the tagline from Marx was,

“From each according to their ability, to each according to their work.” You don’t work, you don’t get. So that was not what was followed. This idea of having the same wage did demotivate people.

In Cuba people became so educated, they didn’t want to do agricultural work. They didn’t want to go work in the fields because people were learning sciences and medicine. And in those areas, Cuba excelled. They have a pharmaceutical industry in Cuba that competes at a world level. Though when it came to when you have such an educated population, a lot of people didn’t want to do that kind of work.

But it also was the same thing, with everyone kind of getting paid the same, and they were resentful about that. People said, ‘Well, why should I work hard when they don’t?’ But there’s no reason for that. This isn’t something inherent in socialism. You can have competition between workers, you can pay people more for more productivity. This is not a state where you get what you need, it’s an economy where you get how you work.

Moreover, even capitalist countries somehow faced some similar challenges when it came to social security. There are some people who were satisfied just sitting at home drinking, producing children and collecting social security for each child and didn’t want to work. It seems, regardless of the social and economic system, this is the side effect of providing social security beyond a certain optimal level.

Socialism is not promoting laziness, it does not say that you can live off other people’s work while sitting at home collecting welfare. You will not get paid if you do not work. People will say that socialism is just giving someone money that they didn’t earn. This is wrong, you still have to work.

So it’s a complicated, long story. Well, comrades, for now we’re going to have to leave it here.

Fred M’membe

Mwika Royal Village, Chinsali

Dr Fred M’membe on Venezuela’s elections

Dr Fred M’membe on Venezuela’s elections Featured

I join the many friends of Venezuela from across the world in sending a message of love and solidarity.

It is important for all progressive Nations and people’s of the world to stand in solidarity with Venezuela during this crucial time for the Bolivarian revolution and the progressive left.

The people of Venezuela should be allowed to exercise their right to exist and determine their own future through a political process decided by them.

We call on all Nations of the world to respect the sovereignty and democratic processes embarked on by the people of Venezuela. None must attempt to undermine it’s sovereignty.

We stand with the people of Venezuela as they go to the polls. Our solidarity goes to them and their struggle for justice, equity and peace.

Vamos Venezuela

A court without credibility is not a court

A court without credibility is not a court Featured

The performance of our Constitutional Court falls far below acceptable or tolerable levels of inefficiency, ineffectiveness and incompetence.

Many people have raised concerns about the work of our Constitutional Court but no one seems to be willing to listen. It’s like they have put cotton wool in their ears.

But it is too dangerous for the Constitutional Court to continue on this path and in this way. A court without credibility is not a court. Our judges shouldn’t fear criticism because the truth is on the side of those who are honest.

With criticism they can get rid of a bad style and keep the good.As we say, dust will accumulate if a room is not cleaned regularly, our faces will get dirty if they are not washed regularly.

Our minds and our work may also collect dust, and also need sweeping and washing. The proverb “Running water is never stale and a door-hinge is never worm-eaten” means that constant motion prevents the inroads of germs and other organisms. To check up regularly on our work and in the process develop an honest style of work, to fear neither criticism nor self-criticism, and to apply such good popular maxims as “Say all you know and say it without reserve”, “Blame not the speaker but be warned by his words” and “Correct mistakes if you have committed them and guard against them if you have not” – this is the only effective way to prevent all kinds of dust and germs from contaminating our minds.

Let’s learn from past mistakes to avoid future ones. And let’s cure the sickness to save the patient. The mistakes of the past must be exposed without sparing anyone’s sensibilities; it is necessary to analyze and criticize what was bad in the past with a scientific attitude so that work in the future will be done more carefully and done better. This is what is meant by “learn from past mistakes to avoid future ones”. But our aim in exposing errors and criticizing shortcomings, like that of a doctor curing a sickness, is solely to save the patient and not to doctor him to death. A person with appendicitis is saved when the surgeon removes his appendix. So long as a person who has made mistakes does not hide his sickness for fear of treatment or persist in his mistakes until he is beyond cure, so long as he honestly and sincerely wishes to be cured and to mend his ways, we should welcome him and cure his sickness so that he can become a good person. We can never succeed if we just let ourselves go and lash out at him. In treating a malady, one must never be rough and rash but must adopt the approach of “curing the sickness to save the patient”, which is the only correct and effective method.

Another point that should be mentioned in connection with criticism is that some people ignore the major issues and confine their attention to minor points when they make their criticism. They do not understand that the main task of criticism is to point out mistakes. As to personal shortcomings, unless they are related to mistakes, there is no need to be overcritical or the individuals concerned will be at a loss as to what to do. Moreover, once such criticism develops, there is the great danger that attention will be concentrated exclusively on minor faults, and everyone will become timid and overcautious and forget their tasks.

In criticism, guard against subjectivism, arbitrariness and the vulgarization of criticism; statements should be based on facts.If we have shortcomings, we are not afraid to have them pointed out and criticized, because we serve the people. Anyone, no matter who, may point out our shortcomings. If he is right, we should correct them. If what he proposes will benefit the people, we will act upon it.

We must not become complacent over any success. We should check our complacency and constantly criticize our shortcomings, just as we should wash our faces or sweep the floor every day to remove the dirt and keep them clean.

As for criticism, do it in good time; don’t get into the habit of criticizing only after the event. Taught by mistakes and setbacks, we become wiser and handle our affairs better. It is hard for any person to avoid mistakes, but we should make as few as possible. Once a mistake is made, we should correct it, and the more quickly and thoroughly the better.

Dr O’Brien Kaaba and Dr Pamela Towela Sambo, law lecturers at the University of Zambia, have accused the Constitutional Court of having done more harm to constitutionalism than promoting its values.

“A judiciary committed to constitutionalism should interpret the Constitution in a manner that promotes the realization of its underlying values, not to undermine them. Judging by the Mutembo Nchito judgment, it is hard to see how the Constitutional Court’s decision safeguards the integrity of the Constitution and advances the rule of law and constitutionalism. Perhaps it was for this reason that Supreme Court judge Mumba Malila, in a recently published and well-articulated article penned in honour of the late justice [Claver] Musumali, virulently admonished his colleagues in the Zambian judiciary…When will the Zambian judges take up this challenge and heed justice Malila’s plea?” they ask, concluding that the Constitutional Court has placed itself as a tool to champion the cause of the executive. “To borrow Professor Michelo Hansungule’s words, Zambians have been looking for an ‘irritatingly independent’ Constitutional Court. Dare we ask, irritating to who?

The answer is to all and sundry that are allergic to constitutionalism and the rule of law. The problem is that the Zambian Constitutional Court, judged by the depth of its jurisprudence, does not seem to fit into the legacy of other progressive Constitutional Courts such as the South African Constitutional Court. The latest demonstration of this is to be found in the recent decision of the Court relating to the removal of Mutembo Nchito as Director of Public Prosecutions.

“It’s a pretty harsh criticism, and many judges would not want to hear that about themselves. In fact, many judges have no interest in hearing harsh criticism of themselves and some lawyers and other people, sometimes going to great lengths protect them.I’m quite sure this needed saying.

Often when we’re confronted with criticism, our first instinct is to defend ourselves against the attack, especially when the attack comes from someone whom we think doesn’t know as much as we know ourselves.

It would have been easy to dismiss what these law lecturers are saying, but it’s better to listen, evaluated their suggestions, and make changes.

When you’re confronted with criticism, consider if the person knows about an area where you lack knowledge, and then consider making changes. It may save you future embarrassment. Taking criticism helps.

I sometimes wonder how future generations will judge the work of this Constitutional Court of ours.

I dare say that history may take a slightly more moderate view than that of some contemporary commentators. Distance is well-known to lend enchantment, even to the less attractive views. After all, it has the inestimable advantage of hindsight.

But it can also lend an extra dimension to judgement, giving it a leavening of moderation and compassion – even of wisdom – that is sometimes lacking in the reactions of those whose task it is in life to offer instant opinions on all things great and small.

No section of the community has all the virtues, neither does any have all the vices. I am quite sure that most people try to do their jobs as best they can, even if the result is not always entirely successful. He who has never failed to reach perfection has a right to be the harshest critic.

There can be no doubt, of course, that criticism is good for people and institutions that are part of public life. No institution – presidency, judge, legislator, whatever – should expect to be free from the scrutiny of those who give it their loyalty and support, not to mention those who don’t.

But we are all part of the same fabric of our national society and that scrutiny, by one part of another, can be just as effective if it is made with a touch of honesty, courage and understanding.This sort of questioning can also act, and it should do so, as an effective engine for change.

Fred M’membe

Mwika Royal Village, Chinsali

HIV has not gone away

HIV has not gone away Featured

Today, December 1, is World AIDS Day, a time for reflection: on what we have achieved with regard to the response to HIV, and what we still must achieve.
This year’s World AIDS Day comes in the midst of another global epidemic: the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The public health response to these epidemics is linked. The COVID-19 pandemic is threatening access to HIV prevention, testing, treatment and care. And without strategies to meet these needs, we may see a resurgence of HIV that would threaten our public health