Category: Opinions

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.

SP’s Position on the AfCFTA – Dr Cosmas Musumali

SP’s Position on the AfCFTA – Dr Cosmas Musumali

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

‘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).