Tag: struggle

It’s time to choose between the future and the past – M’membe

It’s time to choose between the future and the past – M’membe Featured

ON AUGUST 12, Zambians will face a stark choice: a choice between the future and the past, Socialist Party president Fred M’membe has said.

“Today the case I put before the Zambian people is that if we are to secure the future for our children, for our communities and for our nation, the government of Zambia must now change in a real and revolutionary sense,” he said.

“The neoliberal, capitalist policies being pursued and advanced by our opponents belong to the past. Socialism is the future and we must build it now. After a decade in power, the PF has lost touch with the poor and working people. It no longer understands what fairness, justice, equity and peace actually mean. It simply doesn’t understand the new challenges we face, now, and in the future.”

In a statement ahead of the party’s official campaign launch, Dr M’membe spelled out some of the challenges Zambia was facing.

“One challenge is to revolutionise our hospitals and make health services free and socialised. And above all, there is the challenge to transform our education system and make it free and socialised,” he said.

“The PF has no plans for the future because it’s not going to be there to deal with the challenges of the future. It is being sent to the wire on August 12.

“The way forward for Zambia is to elect a revolutionary party and president with progressive ideas to meet the challenges of the future, a new president and government that understand and respect the values upon which our independence struggle was fought.”

Dr M’membe said those values were honesty, equity, humility and solidarity.

“We need to build a Zambia anchored on justice, equity and peace. We need a nation where there’s decency, fairness and respect,” he said. “You can’t have a plan for Zambia’s future if you have lost sight of such basic values. For us socialists, these values are in our DNA.”

Dr M’membe said Zambia needed a new leadership with fresh ideas for the future. “With barely three months to go in this election campaign, the PF government has put forward no real new ideas for the future. It has run out ideas. It has clearly run out of energy. And it has run out of time.

“The Socialist Party is offering new leadership with a plan for the future, and however many words and however much money the PF may yet throw at these longstanding challenges over the next 11 weeks, it is just not going to be real. The truth is, it’s all just too late to be believable.”

Dr M’membe said nation-building required vision. “And the cornerstone of our vision for Zambia’s future is an education revolution. We believe passionately in the power of education,” he said. “We believe education is the engine room of equity and the engine room of the economy. I would not be standing as a presidential candidate today were it not for the encouragement and instruction provided to me by the teachers who shaped my life. They made it possible for a child like me from Lubemba and Bulozi to finish school, go to university and be here today seeking to lead our nation into the future.

“I know the difference a great education can make. Our vision for Zambia is to build a very good education system so we produce an innovative, skilled and well-trained workforce.”

Dr M’membe said the economies competing against Zambia were making huge investments in education. “They know that knowledge-intensive economies will be the wealthiest economies of the future. We must take decisive action now,” he said. “We need nothing less than an education revolution now to improve radically the performance of the education system. Universities are critical to the education revolution that Zambia so urgently needs. Undoing the damage this government has done to our universities will not be easy. But this challenge begins today.

“Zambia cannot be put on the path of a knowledge economy if we do not help our universities attract and retain our best scientists, innovators and researchers into the future.”

Dr M’membe said he was approaching the election “with a passionate commitment to Zambia’s future”.

“The values I bring to leadership are the values instilled in me by my strong Bemba royal upbringing,” he said. “They are also the values that are intrinsic to this revolutionary party. I understand that life is sometimes harsh, but I believe that as a people we have a responsibility that when one of us falls down we must help to lift them back up. That’s what decency and fairness is all about.

“Another thing I have learnt is the absolute value of hard work, of not being wasteful, and the importance of planning for the future. For me, these are enduring values. And these are the values that, as president, I would bring to our nation’s challenges.

“The nation now needs new leadership for the future. The nation now wants new leadership for the future. And today, I am ready to deliver that new leadership for Zambia’s future.”

Dare to struggle, dare to sing, dance, act, paint…

Dare to struggle, dare to sing, dance, act, paint… Featured

The number of artistes joining the struggle led by the Socialist Party is increasing ceaselessly.

We have musicians, singers, dancers, actors and actresses, sculptors, painters and so on and so forth being selected as local government and parliamentary candidates in various parts of our country to stand on the Socialist Party. This is very pleasing.

In the world today all culture, all literature and art belong to definite classes and are geared to definite political lines. There is in fact no such thing as art for art’s sake, art that stands above classes, art that is detached from or independent of politics. Peasant and working class, poor people’s literature and art are part of the whole struggle of the humble by the humble for the humble; they are, as Lenin said, cogs and wheels in the whole revolutionary machine.

Revolutionary culture is a powerful revolutionary weapon for the broad masses of the people. It prepares the ground ideologically before the revolution comes and is an important, indeed essential, fighting front in the general revolutionary front.

All our literature and art are for the masses of the people, and in the first place for the workers, peasants, police officers and soldiers; they are created for them and are for their use.

Our literary and art workers must accomplish this task and shift their stand; they must gradually move their feet over to the side of the workers and peasants through the process of going into their very midst and into the thick of practical struggles. Only in this way can we have a literature and art that are truly for the workers and peasants, a truly poor people’s literature and art.

Our duty is to ensure that literature and art fit well into the whole revolutionary machine as a component part, that they operate as powerful weapons for uniting and educating the people and for attacking and destroying the exploiters, and that they help the people fight the exploiters with one heart and one mind.

In literary and art criticism there are two criteria, the political and the artistic. There is the political criterion and there is the artistic criterion; what is the relationship between the two? Politics cannot be equated with art, nor can a general world outlook be equated with a method of artistic creation and criticism. We deny not only that there is an abstract and absolutely unchangeable political criterion, but also that there is an abstract and absolutely unchangeable artistic criterion; each class in every class society has its own political and artistic criteria. But all classes in all class societies invariably put the political criterion first and the artistic criterion second. What we demand is the unity of politics and art, the unity of content and form, the unity of revolutionary political content and the highest possible perfection of artistic form. Works of art, which lack artistic quality, have no force, however progressive they are politically. Therefore, we oppose both works of art with a wrong political viewpoint and the tendency towards the poster and slogan style which is correct in political viewpoint but lacking in artistic power. On questions of literature and art we must carry on a struggle on two fronts.

Letting a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend should be the policy for promoting the progress of the arts and a flourishing socialist culture in our country. Different forms and styles in art should develop freely and should contend freely. We think that it is harmful to the growth of art if administrative measures are used to impose one particular style of art or school of thought and to ban another. Questions of right and wrong in the arts should be settled through free discussion in artistic circles and through practical work in these fields. They should not be settled in summary fashion.

It is said that an army without culture is a dull-witted army, and a dull-witted army cannot defeat the enemy.

Fred M’membe

February 13, 2021.

Some sad reflections

Some sad reflections

This evening I had a very, very, very sad message from my daughter: “The child you were pictured holding when you visited Kanyama last year has passed away. The Comrade located the place. The child died yesterday from what they are saying is a running stomach and she found the expected, completely nothing at the funeral house. She has given me some contact numbers but both are currently unreachable.”

Life is sacred. It shouldn’t be lost in this way. It really breaks my heart. I am very far away from Lusaka carrying out my revolutionary duties. We have to struggle very hard and with all the tenacity to give our children, and indeed all our people, a better and dignified life.

And let Dr Ernesto Che Guevara’s very important revolutionary words ring in our ears: “At the risk of seeming ridiculous, let me say that the true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love. It is impossible to think of a genuine revolutionary lacking this quality.”

Fred M’membe
Mwika Royal Village, Chinsali
22:41 hours

Reflections on our struggle

We hope to live long, all of us! In the ideas that we believe and the conviction that those following in our steps will carry them forward.
The idea of the future society is the most important and most noble idea that a revolutionary can harbour. Revolutionaries have always fought for the future. But to fight for the future doesn’t mean avoiding to do everyday what must be done for the present. The future is not built in the future; it is built on the threshold of what we do today.

And in this I draw some strength and inspiration from a Jimmy Cliff song – Struggling Man sang by some young people, PS22 Chorus:

Every man has a right to live
Love is all that we have to give
Together we struggle by your will to survive
And together we fight just to stay alive

Struggling man has got to move
Struggling man, no time to lose
I’m a struggling man
And I’ve got to move on

As the sun lights the day and the moon lights the night
Struggling man keeps reaching for the higher heights
So we plan for tomorrow as we live for today
Like a flower we bloom and then later fade away

Struggling man has got to move
Struggling man, no time to lose
I’m a struggling man
And I’ve got to move on…

Fred M’membe
Mwika Royal Village, Chinsali

Who is a worker? mubeleki? mukakuzata? mukakupanga? mubelesi? Umubonfi…?

Who is a worker? mubeleki? mukakuzata? mukakupanga? mubelesi? Umubonfi…?

Eight days ago on May, 1, Zambia joined the rest of the world to commemorate Labour Day. Labour Day is a special day for all workers here, and across the globe. As such, it matters that we reflect on who the worker, mubeleki, mukakuzata, mukakupanga, mubelesi, umubonfi is!

By and large, a worker is ANYONE who earns his or her livelihood by selling his or her labour. And it doesn’t matter whether she/he is able to find a buyer or employer for his or her labour or not. This means that even an unemployed person, one who cannot find a buyer for his or her labour, is also a worker. The self-employed also fall in this category. So examples of a worker range from marketeers, cross border traders, (abamakwebo), miners, bankers, builders, farmers, house wives, house husbands, students, civil servants, doctors, nurses, lecturers, teachers, domestic workers, bus drivers, conductors, vendors, carpenters, tailors, journalists, the unemployed, artists, construction workers, small business men and women, and so on and so forth.

In his statement on Labour Day, Uwesu, Wathu Wathu, Ki Waluna, Witu, Nguwesu – Dr Fred M’membe had this to say:

“Today many workers in this country face the … long hours at … work and still barely make enough money to get by”.

“But for some of us, instead of working too much, we can’t find work at all”.

“This has to change. Change must come. We have to struggle for a better order, a better society. And all need to participate, play a role”…

“It gets dark sometimes but the morning comes. Let’s not lose hope; a better Zambia is possible if we struggle for it. And it’s our duty to struggle for it”.

“Let all the workers of this country join the struggle for a socialist Zambia”

Indeed, come 2021, the worker, mubeleki, mukakuzata, mukakupanga, mubelesi, umubonfi must, and will win big!

Remember the wise saying: what we can’t do for ourselves as workers, no one will do for us.

Cde FM for 2021!

Socialist Party Media Team.