Author: Socialist Party ZambiaThe Socialist Party is a political formation whose primary mandate is to promote and entrench socialist values in the Zambian society. Anchored on the principles of Justice, Equity and Peace (JEP), the Socialist Party shall transform the Zambian society from capitalism to socialism, building socialism in three key sectors: Education, Agriculture and Health.

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, QATAR WORLD CUP AND HUMAN RIGHTS

FIFA, QATAR WORLD CUP AND HUMAN RIGHTS Featured

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