SOCIALIST Party 2021 presidential candidate Dr Fred M’membe says capitalism will not create jobs and that anyone who thinks otherwise is either ignorant, stupid or both.
And Dr M’membe says the PF government is not a regime that is there for the poor.
Speaking on a special interview programme on Prime TV on Thursday night, Dr M’membe, who is the Socialist Party (Zambia) deputy general secretary, said the working class should take over the governance of their country.
“There is no class that governs in the interest of another class and each class has its own ideology. Capitalists also have capitalism as their ideology…. Actually, these political parties of the petty bourgeoisie have not failed; they have delivered on their agenda for their class members. Look at the lives of their class members!” he said.
“Capitalism will not create jobs. You see these days on television; 1,000 jobs are created by the US economy [and] Mr Donald Trump is tweeting the whole day celebrating! That’s the biggest economy in the world with a GDP (gross domestic product) of US$20 trillion. Your GDP in Zambia is $25 billion and you think you can create one million jobs. You are joking! It’s either those who are saying they can create one million jobs are ignorant, they are stupid or both. It’s not possible! We have a more sensible alternative in socialism.”
Dr M’membe said capitalism had failed to solve humanity’s problems.
“Capitalism is facing challenges; it cannot deal with the issues of unemployment,” he said.
Dr M’membe argued that what mattered was not how much taxes people paid or who paid the taxes or what tax regime was there but what the government did with the taxes collected.
“If you are collecting more taxes from people and giving it back to those who need it, there is no problem with that. The Scandinavian countries highly tax their citizens. There are high tax paying countries there but the money is spent on their people; they provide free education, they provide free medical services and other social services required in an organised society,” Dr M’membe explained.
“If they were collecting more taxes from the Zambian people and spending that on free education of all our people, on free health services for our people, improving the water supply to our people, improving sanitation to our people and our people I mean the poor people who live in kwa, in the compounds you can’t have a situation where in the heart of Lusaka today people our people are still drawing water from wells.”
Dr M’membe said people in Garden, Chipata, Marapodi, Chazanga, and Kabanana, among others, were drawing water from wells.
“More taxes are actually collected from these compounds where people have no sanitation, have no access to clean water, have no proper shelter, have no proper roads and everything,” he lamented.
“So, it’s not how much taxes are collected or what tax regime is there; it’s how the taxes are used. Taxes in Zambia are not used for the benefit of those from whom they are collected, especially the poor. It’s (the PF government) not a regime that is there for the poor – we have a capitalist system.”
Dr M’membe said the current ruling class was not a working class.
“A ruling class is the petty bourgeoisie and comprador bourgeoisie, together with the capitalist interests they serve. The taxes that are collected are spent in Kabulonga, in Sunningdale, in Woodlands, in Rhodes Park, in Long Acres, in Olympia, in Roma, in Kalundu and so forth. Look at the roads that are there!” Dr M’membe said.
“Do they have problems of water in these places? They are drinking clean water. Do they have problems of sanitation in these places? No! Almost all the roads in these suburbs are tarred – they are not subjected to the dust that is in the compounds where no roads are being repaired. They are not drawing water from the wells.”
Dr M’membe added that the capitalistic system was inherently corrupt.
“They are not enduring poverty levels as high as we are seeing in the compounds, they are not over-crowded. People from kwa (compounds) are the ones who go to ku (suburbs) and work for them…. Do you see people from ku going to work in kwa? The capitalistic system is inherently corrupt,” Dr M’membe said, further cautioning that Zambia would not be able to deal fully with the issue of corruption under the current capitalistic system.
“Is it today when we have started talking about corruption in Zambia? The last 27 years we have been talking about corruption in Zambia. Is it reducing or it is increasing? It is increasing all the time. Until you change the capitalist system, you will not be able to deal with the issue of corruption. It’s not enough to start pointing a finger at this one, a finger at that one; you are just going to be arresting people every day because the system encourages them to deal.”
Dr M’membe said capitalism was anchored on greed.
“They are de-gazetting government forests and sharing the land. Look at who has land in State Lodge area there! They are sharing 5,000, 10,000 and 15,000, 20,000 hectares muntu umodzi (per person),” he said.
“Have you ever heard of anybody from Garden, from Chawama who has gotten a plot in State Lodge? You will never hear anybody from these compounds getting a plot in State Lodge.”
Dr M’membe also highlighted and complained about confounding poverty levels in the rural Zambia, which were as high as 76.6 per cent.