Tag: inequality

Happy women’s day

Happy women’s day Featured

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, greetings and best wishes to fellow citizens.

Women in our country are setting new records and achievements in various fields. Let’s all resolve to promote gender justice eliminate inequality between women and men.

The history of all times, and of today especially, teaches us that women will be forgotten if they forget to think about themselves.

Be Fearless and conquer the world.

Happy Women’s Day 2021!


Dr Fred M’membe

President of the Socialist Party.

Inequality impeding economic growth, increasing suffering

Inequality impeding economic growth, increasing suffering Featured

During Covid19 pandemic the poor have become poorer. Prices have substantially risen. Many people are pushed to extreme poverty.

But also this time many millionaires or billionaires have increased their wealth excessively.

In Zambia, a trend was noted while millions of poor children have missed out on education, those from affluent families learnt online or were able to access e-learning on different platforms,including, Whats App.

We as a country need to build a better, fairer, equitable and just society. Poverty levels are high. Northern Province has 79.7 per cent poverty levels. Some areas of Zambia have even higher than this.

The fight against inequality requires the involvement of people at grassroots level. No doubt about this. In some areas of Zambia, we can see passion and proactive attitudes of people to change their lives. But they don’t know how.

So why grassroots involvement?

This is where people need to work collectively and organize themselves to bring about change with good leadership in place to support them. Letting people use their Voices and be heard. How else can they be served without being heard? They had to be a stop of weakening voices of the ordinary people let them be heard. Let them govern.

Inequality is not just hindering growth of our economy by causing poor production from the vast number of poor Zambians, and therefore results in no excess for agro-processing and/ or export to bring money into country, it also exacerbates poverty.

Its making societies/ communities less healthy. Zambia is 4th hungriest country in Africa. Poor diet leading to stunted growth, poor school performance, and families hungry will produce less. Poor production, leading to poor rural development and again poor health and an economy non performing continues in a viscous cycle. The poor get poorer in every way. This unacceptable cycle continues. 

Inequality has also created mistrust. People failed over and over again and they don’t trust government and politicians. Hope is reduced, and this affects production, they get even poorer , with everything which  goes with this persisting.

Inequality to the poor additionally hampers vital action to climate change which in turn affects rain and production and economy at large. In many rural areas you drive around trees cut for either “Chitemene” system of cultivation, or for charcoal. How do you tell these people to stop without replacing with an option . Like lime supplement instead of cutting trees and burning. And it’s any tree cut until it runs out locally.

Addressing inequality will also reduce corruption. It’s rampant and down the line it’s the poor and economy which suffers more. 

As a country enhancing power of all our people is critical. Supporting communities, women, youth , children’s education, cooperatives, finance and marketing of products. Let people be heard at every level.

From grassroots, strengthening big numbers of people to come together and build their communities with support from government.

There has to be redistribution of wealth, equity, through government funded actions and accountability to the public and to the nation. Accountability to all and to the poor, to break the viscous cycle of inequality and poverty.

Let’s struggle together as a nation for our nation. You have to plough to get crops they won’t just appear. We have to plough at inequality factors until it concedes and we have a harvest.

As Zambians, strong, organized revolutionary actions together with good honest leadership, can transform our nation.We can transform lives of people and economy. We can give hope to generations, better peace and better lives.

Margaret Pikiti

Socialist Party parliamentary candidate for Malole Constituency.

A ‘conversation’ with Dr Cephas Mukuka

A ‘conversation’ with Dr Cephas Mukuka Featured

Dr Cephas Mukuka, you say whoever is elected president next year must work tirelessly to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor. We agree with you! Like you dear brother, this issue pains us a lot and is top in our thoughts and actions.

I am referring to you as a dear brother because if you tremble with indignation at every inequality, injustice and the degradation of any human being then you are a dear brother of mine.

My dear brother, the Socialist Party is in total agreement with you on this score. Its entire programme is devoted to fighting this inequality, injustice, degradation, abuse, exploitation and humiliation of fellow human beings and citizens, of the poor.

Dear brother, you say the gap is too wide. Yes, it is – extremely and dangerously wide. You say, “Let resources be distributed equitably without fear or favour. Let for once our people feel that sense of belonging to a nation like Zambia which is blessed with abundant resources…May someone somewhere come to realization and do what is right to help these suffering masses.”

Dear brother, we are here and that’s what we are here for. That is what this party – the Socialist Party – is here for.

My dear brother, it is not enough for a country to attempt to increase its wealth. It is also necessary to ensure that it is evenly distributed. But inequality is an important feature of capitalist economies.
In the capitalist countries it is generally recognized and accepted that inequality will remain and that cannot be helped. Some economists make even virtue of this necessity and they see lot of good in these inequalities from the point of view of capital formation.

But we know and we have seen that inequality leads to some very serious economic and social consequences. It creates two sections in society – the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots – which are ever on a war path. This has resulted in ever mounting social tensions and political discontent.

The rich dominate the political machinery, and they use it to promote their own exclusive interests. This results in corruption, graft and social injustice. The rich exploit the poor. The consciousness of this exploitation leads to political awakening and then agitation and even political revolution. Thus inequality is an important cause of social and political instability.
Inequality promotes monopolies. These powerful monopolies and industrial combines charge unfair prices from the consumer. And crush the small producers. The bigger fish swallow the small fry.

It is said that ‘slow rises merit by poverty depressed’. It is not easy for a poor man to make his way in life, however brilliant he may be. It is a great social loss that brainy people without money are unable to make their due contribution to social welfare.

Democracy is a farce when there is a wide gulf between the rich and the poor. Political equality is a myth without economic equality. The rich are corrupted by vice and the poor demoralized by lack of economic strength. Thus inequalities spoil the rich and degrade the poor. Vice and corruption rule such a society. The poor man finds it almost impossible to regain the virtues of honesty and integrity. Human dignity is lost altogether.
In the present era of social and political awakening, it has become a major plank of political policy that inequality should be reduced, if not eliminated. And dear brother, here is what the Socialist Party manifesto says on inequality:

“You do not suffer just because you are getting fewer calories than required. There is another sort of suffering; social inequality, which makes you feel constantly debased and humiliated as a second-class citizen in your own country. Inequality has divided our country into two nations – the Kwa and Ku nations – the nations of the poor and the well-to-do. As such, we cannot truly speak of One Zambia, One Nation. Those who live in Kwa have poor water supply, sanitation, shelter, nutrition, schools, healthcare, roads, and very high rates of unemployment. Those who live in Ku have the best of everything. And whereas in the past it was easy to move from Kwa to Ku, today it is very difficult to do so. In those days, all one needed was to work very hard at school, college or university. Today, hard work is not a guarantee that one will finish school, college or university. It is money that determines that, the ability to pay school, college or university fees. If you are born in Kwa, it is highly unlikely you will marry someone from Ku. Where are you going to meet? You live in different places, you go to different schools, churches, shopping centers, places of entertainment, and even bury your dead in different graveyards. To unite our people in ‘one land and one nation’ – as is our cry in our national anthem – will require equity of access to necessities such as education, healthcare, water, housing, sanitation, transportation, physical security, land and food. Most, such as health, education, and physical security, should be public goods, and others should at least be distributed according to the level of need in order to ensure access for all. Zambian society is a long way from realizing this requirement. The rich have ‘first-world standard’ goods and services, whereas the poor masses have access to poor-quality services or none at all. There should be no such gap. The Zambian masses are suffering from poverty, injustice, humiliation and inequality. This suffering is both material and moral. Even when no one lives in absolute poverty, the existence of a glaring disparity in income levels indicates an intolerable imbalance in the way wealth and resources are distributed, where average rural poverty is 76.6 per cent. Western Province has poverty levels of 82.2 per cent, Luapula Province 81.1 per cent, Northern Province 79.7 per cent, Eastern Province 70 per cent, North Western Province 66.4 per cent, Southern Province 57.6 per cent, Central Province 56.2 per cent, Copperbelt Province 30.8 per cent and Lusaka Province 20.2 percent.

In a compassionate society, there should be no differences in outcomes based on factors for which people cannot be held responsible. Zambia has one of the worst situations globally. There is a glaring gap between the rich and poor. Between 2010 and 2015, the Gini coefficient increased from 0.65 to 0.69. This is a very high rate of income inequality. It is volatile and dangerous for national development. It could be argued, of course, that those who enjoy the highest level of income have achieved it through hard work, and that they deserve the benefits of their efforts, regardless of the poverty afflicting others. There are many reasons to reject this argument.

Firstly, from a religious point of view. It is sinful to keep for oneself an overabundance of wealth when one’s sisters and brothers are suffering, and even dying for want of simple necessities. In such a situation, it is of no consequence how and why some people come to be excessively wealthy while others starve. Distributive justice demands that sufficient sharing takes place to ensure the basic needs of all are met. Secondly, even if the demands of charity are rejected, and were it possible to argue that those enjoying excessive wealth are fully justified in doing so, common sense dictates that our society cannot prosper under such conditions. The good of each of us in the long term is secured and promoted by the common good. Failure to do so can only precipitate social instability and threaten the well being of all, rich and poor. History abounds within stances where the rich and powerful have brought about their own downfall by refusing to recognize in good time the legitimate demands of the poor. And as long as this gap remains at its current scandalous level, the future of our country is at risk. If the gap between the rich and poor is unacceptable, then so, too, is the actual degree of poverty in our society. By tolerating such high levels of poverty, the Zambian economy undermines the common good, and fails to demonstrate the solidarity that our shared human dignity demands.”

Dear brother, doesn’t it behoove you that we can work together to try and remake the world and remove inequality, injustice, exploitation, degradation and humiliation of fellow human beings and citizens, especially those who are poor?

Fred M’membe
Mwika Royal Village, Chinsali

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

Speech by comrade Dr. Fred M’membe – Kitwe Rally

Speech by comrade Dr. Fred M’membe – Kitwe Rally

It’s really a wonderful feeling to be here in Kitwe among you. To be in the town of my early childhood in Wusakile and of my university days at the University of Zambia, Ndola Campus at Kitwe, now Copperbelt University.

I am here because of you.

I am here because of your suffering.

I am here because of the humiliation you have to endure everyday due to unemployment, poor housing, sanitation, water supply, failing to feed your children and pay their school fees.

I am here because of the challenges you are facing in paying medical bills for yourselves and your families.

I am here because of the difficulties you are facing to clothe yourselves and your children.

Now you have to resort to wearing clothes from dead people in Europe – salaula!

Nshile tukana salaula iyo! Paliinonshita salaula ilefwaikwa. Ukwabula salaula ngatwenda ubwamba!

We have poverty levels of 30.8 per cent on the Copperbelt – the industrial centre of our country.

Of course, this is not the worst. We have poverty levels of 82.2 per cent in Western Province; 81.1 per cent in Luapula Province; 79.7 per cent in Northern Province; 70 per cent in Eastern Province; 69.3 per cent in Muchinga Province; 66.4 per cent in North-Western Province; 57.6 per cent in Southern Province; 56.2 per cent in Central Province and 20.2 per cent in Lusaka Province.
Today our country is the fourth hungriest country in Africa after Chad, the Central African Republic and Madagascar. We are number four in Africa kunsala. If it was soccer we would qualify straight to the semi-finals of the Africa Cup.

Chad and the Central African Republic are deserts or semi deserts.

We are blessed with good soils and plenty water. What do we need from God? Mana! Tayakamoneke mana. Inshiku shakwa Noah tashakabwele!

How can we be number four in Africa kunsala na fyonse ifi Lesa atupela?

Tatuletekwa bwino! !

But our suffering, misery, humiliation did not start today.

In December 1897 our Ngoni ancestors, who had built themselves a relatively prosperous economy, were attacked by that capitalist bandit Cecil John Rhodes. This bandit’s better-equipped and resourced army destroyed our people’s economy and had their cattle and land stolen.

But our people did not just give in, they resisted, they fought back. It was a very difficult war – the assegai against Maxim-guns and Seven-pounders! On the 4th February 1898 the Ngoni capital was overrun and commander-in-chief of the Ngoni forces Nsingu was captured and executed.

But in the early 1950s the struggle for independence, dignity and a better life was reignited. In 1964 we got our independence with great hope for a better and dignified life.

But the promise did not live long. By the mid 1980s a feeling for change was growing. And in 1991, in the quest for a better and more dignified life, Zambians changed the political leadership, economic and social direction of this country.

But the better and more dignified life has not come, is yet to come – things are actually getting worse. It was like jumping from a frying pan into fire.

Now we need to quickly get out of the fire before we are all burnt to ashes. But not jumping into the frying pan again!

This is where your party, our party, a party of the humble, by the humble, for the humble, the party for all those who toil to make a living – the workers’ party, the Socialist Party – comes in.

This is where you come in; this is where I come in.

Without you, as a class – the working class – directly taking over the governance of this country through your party, guided by the working-class, your ideology of socialism, you will be jumping back and forth from frying pan into fire.

What you can’t do for yourselves, no one will do it for you.

You the worker works for others but no one works for you. Do you see any people coming from ku to come work for you in kwa? It is you from kwa who are everyday going to ku to work for them – to clean for them, wash for them, make their beds, cook for them and look after their children as maids.

The beautiful houses they live in, it’s you the worker from kwa who build them, but look at where you yourselves live in kwa?

You the worker have problems with water, sanitation, food, shelter, jobs, education, health and roads. Those who govern, your rulers, don’t have problems with these things – fyonse fili mbwembwe!

Those you have entrusted to govern for you have governed against you. Only you, yourselves, can govern in a manner that benefits you the worker.

Only a party of the working class; a party for the poor masses; a socialist party can govern in your interest.

Only a leadership truly and sincerely committed to the cause of the working class; a party for the poor masses; a socialist leadership can serve the interests of the worker, the poor.

And this is what I am deployed by comrades to pursue as President of the Republic of Zambia.

And many years of commitment to working class causes and my personal experiences have prepared me for this deployment.

However, I am not a messiah – there can only be one Messiah, and that is Christ.

I am simply a guide to this struggle. The heroes and heroines of this struggle are you the humble workers of this country, the poor of this country. And it is you, and only you, who can establish a more just, fair and humane society – a society anchored on honesty, equity, humility and solidarity – in our homeland.

I bring to your struggle, your party, my humble peasant and working-class backgrounds.

I bring to your struggle fruits of the free education I received from you, paid for by the humble poor masses of this country.

I bring to this struggle some experience gained in the struggles I have participated in in other lands.

And above all, I come here to share with you the love given to me by the humble peasants, poor workers who brought me up and those I had the privilege of working with over the years.

The challenges before us are gigantic and require a lot of knowledge and very strong principles.

We have to create jobs in a country, and a world that is everyday losing jobs to technology, artificial intelligence systems.

No matter how many foreign investors we bring in, we will never have those big armies of mine workers we used to have. Today a few pieces of high-tech equipment wipe out thousands of mining jobs.

The big numbers of workers we used to have on commercial farms are gone. They have been replaced by more efficient machines – combine harvesters, digitalised tractors navigated by satellite.

The many jobs we used to have in the banks are gone forever and ever. Amen! They have been replaced by ATMs and other technologies. A human being can’t compete with the ATM. The ATM doesn’t go on maternity leave – taifyala. The ATM doesn’t need to take time off for funerals – it has no relatives or friends who die.
The ATM doesn’t go to church on Sunday or Saturday, it has no god to worship. It just works and works!

Let’s not make the mistake of thinking the problem is technology. We need this technology. The problem is not the technology but the capitalist system that doesn’t fairly share the benefits of technology with the worker – the worker who created the technology.
Technology should not necessarily lead to loss of jobs; it should lead to workers working fewer hours – using the time saved on further studies, family, sports, arts, visiting relatives and spiritual development.

And with industry, banks and other sectors of our economy not creating sufficient and quality jobs our survival will depend on increasing agricultural production and agro-processing.

But very little, if not nothing, will be achieved without investing much in education, without prioritizing education; without investing big in health services for our people.

There cannot be dignity without a solid roof over one’s head; without meaningful access to land.

This growing unemployment, inequality and poverty has not been ordained on us by God. If it were, I would say let’s just walk across to that cemetery and bury ourselves alive because there’s nothing we can do against God’s will. But this is a creation of human hands; greedy people. And because it is a product of human decisions and actions, with hard work and tenacious struggle, we can remedy it.

This is a product of capitalist exploitation, oppression and humiliation. It can only be corrected by you the exploited, oppressed and humiliated taking your destiny into your own hands by you, the poor masses, becoming the rulers of this country.

And this is what this party of yours is for; this is what I am here for – to enable you to win political power and use that power to build a society in which you can have the dignity that comes from justice, equity and peace.

Together we will struggle to ensure that all have jobs, free education and free health services, dignified housing, sanitation, clean water, food and all the other services required in an organized society.

But let me remind you that this struggle won’t be easy. Forty-nine years ago, 17 mine workers were killed here in Kitwe at Rokana mine by rich (capitalist), for simply demanding to be respected as human beings and to be treated in a just, fair and humane way.

Today, here in this same Kitwe, we launch our peaceful struggle for a more just, fair and humane Zambia.

In the coming days, weeks and months we will elaborate how this will be done, struggled for by you our heroes and heroines and by us your guides.

For now, I say aluta continua!

“Amaka ku bantu”

Forward to a more just Zambia!

Forward to a fairer Zambia!

Forward to a more equal Zambia!

Forward to a more humane Zambia!

Forward to a socialist Zambia!

I love you all!