By Cosmas Musumali and Fred M’membe
President Edgar Chagwa Lungu has initiated a process to recall the Cuban Ambassador to Zambia. This is essentially an expulsion of this Cuban patriot out of Zambia. The Ambassador, comrade Nelson Pages, is accused of having breached diplomatic etiquette and therefore crossed a “red line” by shortly attending the launch of the Socialist Party on the 31st march, 2018 in Lusaka and giving a congratulatory message. He was openly and arrogantly ridiculed by the Presidential Spokesperson, Mr. Amos Chanda that the diplomat should have “known better” that opposition political parties are a “no go area” especially coming from Cuba!
The expulsion of comrade Nelson is however not an isolated act by an insecure and desperate President. Two days earlier, nine (9) international guests to the Launch of the socialist party were denied entry into Zambia. They were intercepted, interrogated, humiliated and impolitely sent away on subsequent flights out of the country. International protocol and traveling rights were blatantly breached.
This seemingly irrational behaviour of the President and his government over the launch of the Socialist Party is based on real fear. This is the fear of informed and political conscious Zambian masses, of a genuine revolutionary political formation with a credible leadership and that of international solidarity sympathetic to the plight of the people of Zambia. The Socialist Party and its leadership are bringing out all these elements. The Party is the symbol of hope and a new beginning for the suffering and disillusioned Zambia people. There is therefore a good reason for the panic exhibited by the President and his government. However, this panic mode is exposing serious faults and extreme levels of incompetency in the ability of the President to continue running this country.
The Socialist Party, on behalf of all progressive Zambian people, wishes to extend its apologies to comrade Nelson Pages and to the Cuban people. The decision by the president is not a true reflection of the aspirations of the Zambian masses. We are saddened and ashamed of this uniformed and opportunistic decision. Comrade Nelson is and will remain a true friend to the Socialist Party and Zambian people. Our victory in 2021 is assured and we look forward to receiving him back in the country.
Similarly, we would like to convey our apologies to the nine comrades that were humiliated at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (KKIA). Their commitment to the spirit of Pan-Africanism and the working class struggle was manifested by their humility in the face of all the injustice they had to endure on Zambian soil.
Our comrade Benewende Sankara, President of the Sankarist Party of Burkina Faso, who was amongst those having been deported at KKIA, is back in his country and sent us the following text message: “I mark my unwavering support for the comrades of Zambia and all people in the struggle. My moral remains high and I know victory will eventually triumph over undemocratic and anti-social forces.”
As of 10:30 hours today, the socialist party has received 79 international congratulatory messages from political parties, trade unions and popular movements of 32 countries. The messages highlight the significance of the Launch of the Socialist Party in Zambia but also condemn the behaviour of President Lungu and his government.
The responses coming from all districts of Zambia are equally confirming our resolve to fight for Justice, Equity and Peace (JEP) and for Socialism in our homeland. The process is gathering fast momentum. The fast pace is to some extent supported by the incompetency of the current government and failures of the capitalist system in our country. It is now very certain that Fred Member will be the President of a socialist Zambia in 2021.
Long live the Cuban revolution;
Long live the spirit of Pan-Africanism;
Long live the Zambian working masses;
Their victory is certain;
And the days of capitalist exploitation and mass poverty will soon end.
Press Statement by General Secretary Dr. Cosmas Musumali and Party Presidential candidate Dr. Fred M’membe on the expulsion of the Cuban Ambassador.