Category: Opinions

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