Tag: covid-19

Statement from the Socialist Party on the deaths of two members of parliament

The Socialist Party wishes to convey its condolences to the families, relatives and friends of the late MP for Mwansabombwe, Hon. Rogers Mwewa, as well as to those for the late Lukashya MP, Hon. Mwenya Munkonge.

Their death is a great loss to the affected families and communities. Zambia has also lost two serving legislatures shortly before completing their term of office. This entails more by-elections in the coming months. It is tragic and costly.

The Socialist Party had previously warned about the lukewarm, incompetent and seemingly arrogant manner in which the COVID 19 pandemic was being managed in this country. The Party had specifically pointed to the management of human traffic at the border areas, the need for a more systematic contact tracing system, the enhancing of the health workforce, adequate PPEs for frontline staff and above all an intensive public messaging and a socialised behaviour monitoring. We also pointed to the substantial financial requirements and the strict use and accountability of these resources.

With hindsight today, the management of the pandemic is a national disaster. Many more Zambians will pay with their dear lives. In the midst of a global pandemic, the President of the country is burning a lot of aviation fuel moving from one constituency to another dishing out slush funds to traditional leaders and party cadres. The serving Minister of Health is caught up in a huge corruption scandal and is mobilising sections of the ruling party for political support. From a distant, this would be a typical lousy comedy of failed and greedy tinpot dictatorship. But when thousands of innocent lives are about to be sacrificed, then we have to come back to reality and stop the calamity from destroying our homeland.

Before the onset of COVID 19, the Zambian health system was already pathetic and characterised by low, erratic funding. Accountability has been zero for decades now. With the emergency of COVID 19 plus by all standards the most incompetent and corrupt government since political independence in 1964, the decay is open and painful to watch. The death of 2 legislatures in a single day is about a failed state of the health system and entire political system of the country.

Neo-liberal capitalism anchored on individualism, greed, unbridled competition and consumerism is the ultimate cause of death of the 2 members of parliament. It’s a system that has given rise to a breed of politicians that are self-serving, arrogant and yet find joy in sheer ignorance. May more Zambians will continue dying avoidable deaths over the years to come if capitalism is not stopped and a more humane, socialist order put in a place.

Statement Issued on Behalf of the Politburo by Dr. Cosmas Musumali, General Secretary

Zambia’s deepening crisis in COVID era: a shortage of health workers – Dr Cosmas Musumali

Zambia’s deepening crisis in COVID era: a shortage of health workers – Dr Cosmas Musumali

Today, Zambia faces a huge challenge as there is a glaring shortage of health workers to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Our country lacks close to 15,000 to 16,000 health workers for a normal work routine. Given these shortages of so many health workers, today’s deepening crisis in the era of Covid demands more work on the few available health workers.

Over 70 to 80 percent of all the health workers in Zambia are in the public sphere. As such, it is the public sector that should be taking a lead in terms of the employment of health workers. Yet, over the years, the country has not recruited enough health workers. Each year, this country is producing close to 4,000 health workers, and recruitment is around 2,000 to 2,500. The attrition rate is around 2000 to 3000 workers.

Our health workers are the soldiers that we are sending into battle to help us fight the virus. Instead, what we have seen is a leadership that has failed to act timeously, and wasted public resources on unnecessary purchases. What we should have instead seen is a leadership that is more committed to addressing the COVID-19 crisis through channeling efforts to staff recruitment through the Ministry of Health. Recent pronouncements for the Ministry of Health reveal promises to increase the recruitment of more health workers. However, the Socialist Party’s findings in most of the districts across the country show that no new health workers have joined the work force.

As a result of this lack of priority and incompetence from our government, we are today faced with a crisis of inadequate health workers to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Zambia is yet to reach the peak of the crisis. The growing number that we are seeing today is just the beginning of a far much deeper crisis ahead. Our levels of preparedness to handle a far much larger crisis is very low. With these few numbers of health workers we have today, what should we do? We have armies of trained young people that are not on the payroll. What should we do? Where are we channeling the health resources? We need answers!

It’s about time Zambia turned left! Dr M’membe the answer to our despair! -Socialist Party Women’s League

It’s about time Zambia turned left! Dr M’membe the answer to our despair! -Socialist Party Women’s League

A saying goes: “’if in doubt, go left. Always”.

Today, Zambia stands at a crossroad. Not only are we in doubt about the direction that we are headed as a country, but everyone is either stressed, depressed, overwhelmed, or anxious about tomorrow. The uncertainties are truly overwhelming and require extraordinary leadership to help us jump from this fire and begin to face the future with some confidence.

The leadership we have endured in the past years and today has not inspired much confidence. We have been jumping from fire to a frying pan and back. The capitalist oriented approach that the previous and current leaders have knowingly and unknowingly embraced since the 1990s have not helped us much. We are really lagging behind and the future looks totally dark. Nothing has changed for the majority poor Zambians and the working class. The struggles in the urban townships are immense, and our rural communities remain so remote with so little hope of ever playing catch up.

Before the Corona virus outbreak, we were rated the fourth (number 4) hungriest country in Africa after Chad, Central African Republic and Madagascar. Today, it is hard to tell where we stand – but the declining economy, long hours of load shedding, and food insecurity – mealie meal now at its record high in our history point us to the many troubles ahead.

The answers truly lie within us.

We are truly called to soul search and deeply do so to restore the dignity of our country, the Zambia we want. Zambia thirsts for a committed, dedicated, free from corruption, hard-working, humble, visionary leadership that truly puts the masses first, and has their interests at heart. Zambia truly needs a leadership that will turn us to the left to allow for a collective approach to addressing the problems we face today.

The world over, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the dark side of capitalism and the deep inequalities that have existed and only favoured a few. But we have also seen that this pandemic is an equalizer; it knows no rich or poor. Many people have expressed views that going forward, we absolutely need to do business differently. The old normal is gone!

In Zambia, we need leaders that think big about how we are going to restructure our lives, address our problems, the health system, economy and education among others. We have been on a capitalist right turn for years and it has led us to nothing but poor governance,poor leadership, individualism, corruption, closing up of media freedoms and deep misery.

It’s about time we turned left!

Dr Fred M’membe is truly the answer to our puzzle; the answer to our quest for justice, equity and peace.

M’membe Uwesu, Witu, Wesu, Nguwesu, Wathu Wathu is the answer to our despair.

Join the movement fellow Zambians and vote Dr Fred M’membe in August 2021.

Socialist Party Women’s League

Statement of the Socialist Party to mark World Malaria Days

Statement of the Socialist Party to mark World Malaria Days

This year we mark World Malaria Day – April 25 – in the throes of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While cases of the coronavirus in our malaria-affected country currently represent only a small proportion of the global total, the situation is evolving rapidly. Given this very complicated situation, it is necessary to recognise the critical importance of sustaining efforts to prevent, detect and treat malaria, using best practices to protect health workers and communities from COVID-19 infection.

The fight against the coronavirus shouldn’t completely take away focus from keeping malaria high on the political agenda, mobilising additional resources, and empowering communities to take ownership of malaria prevention, care and treatment.

To radically reduce suffering and death leadership and collective action is needed.

We were making progress in the fight against malaria but in recent years that has almost ground to a standstill.

We are not recording much gains in reducing new infections. And nearly as many people died from malaria in 2019 as the year before.

Urgent action is needed to get back on track.

Issued by Fred M’membe on behalf of the Politburo of the Socialist Party

Garden Compound, Lusaka