THE Socialist Party has announced that former Post Newspapers editor-in-chief Fred M’membe is their presidential candidate for the 2021 general elections.
Speaking during the launch of the party in Lusaka, Socialist Party deputy general secretary Dr Cosmas Musumali said the majority of Zambians were in desperate poverty, which he said his party was resolved to end once voted into office in 2021.
He pledged that his party would transform the country once ushered into office.
“With this launch, we are declaring our total commitment and undivided attention to transforming Zambia along socialist lines in 2021. For the time being, to spearhead this process, I will serve as the party’s general secretary. And then we have Comrade Fred M’membe who will serve as deputy general secretary. Comrade Fred M’membe is also suggested as our presidential candidate for the 2021 elections,” Dr Musumali said.
“2021 comrades, you are getting state power. We commit and dedicate ourselves to solidarity with oppressed people wherever they may be, including beyond our artificial boundaries.”
Dr Musumali said the formation of the Socialist Party was based on the cries of the people from around the country.
“The party was finally registered on 16th October 2017 [and] we have since embarked on a campaign to recruit members to set up structures in all corners of our country and the birth of our party is a direct response to very strong and clear calls from the people across the boundaries of Zambia to chart a call out of capitalism. You will see a dramatic change in the Zambian politics starting from today, we will not compromise in terms of our principles…change must come,” Dr Musumali said.
“The majority of Zambians today are destitute, poverty has increased and the living conditions of Zambians are very desperate. The system that we have blindly glorified so much has never been and shall never ever be a system that will emancipate the poor from want. Capitalism is inherently a corrupt system that strives on greed and exploitation of the masses to benefit a few.”
He stated that the current government was corrupt and no change should be expected from them and they must be stopped before they destroy the country.
“It’s either socialism or death and we are choosing socialism. Zambia has become completely capitalistic, the ruling elite is a mere conveyor belt of capitalism, and these conveyor belts receive kick-backs from the capitalists. No change should be expected from today’s elite, we must actually stop them. We must stop the ruling elite from ruining our country and that is our mandate and that is why we are here. We shall never surrender until victory becomes possible,” said Dr Musumali.
And addressing Socialist Party members who turned up in numbers for the event also attended by Cuban Ambassador to Zambia Nelson Pages, Dr M’membe said the only hope for the Zambians was socialism because capitalism was only taking turns while changing shape exploiting the people.
“They say chameleon achinja fye colour but inkanda imo ine; a chameleon changes colour but the skin remains the same. That is how all exploitative systems are, that is how capitalist exploitation is. As long as capitalist exploitation is not totally uprooted, eradicated it, will just change form and all its evils will remain \ intact,” Dr M’membe said.
He recalled how over 120 years ago, Mpezeni’s son, Nsingu, the commander of the Ngoni forces, was assassinated for resisting capitalist takeover by Cecil John Rhodes.
“In December 1897, the British forces stationed at Kota Kota in Malawi attacked the Ngoni people for refusing to hand over their land so that Cecil Rhodes’ companies could prospect for and mine gold in the area…Capitalism kills, steals, subjugates and humiliates. It killed Nsingu and his 10,000 young Ngoni fighters, it stole their cattle and imprisoned and humiliated Mpezeni in order to exploit, subjugate, colonise them,” stated Dr M’membe.
“Many things seem to have changed since then, but the fundamentals, the key things remain intact – our people are still being killed, robbed of their land and minerals, neocolonised by capitalism, its enterprises and states…It is a struggle we have to continue in honour of commander Nsingu and his fighters; it is a struggle we have to wage for the future generations of this nation and indeed for our own liberation from today’s capitalist exploitation, subjugation and humiliation. Just as Nsingu and his comrades chose to die from Maxim-guns and Seven-pounders than to live under capitalist exploitation, subjugation and humiliation, we today commit ourselves to a struggle without respite against capitalism and for establishment of a more just, fair and humane society in our homeland. It is socialism and only socialism that can truly free our people, Nsingu’s people and homeland and all humanity from capitalist exploitation, subjugation and humiliation.”
Dr M’membe has been playing a background role in the political arena until last week when the Socialist Party announced his active involvement in their party and the subsequent announcement of his intentions to run for presidential office in 2021.