SOCIALIST Party 2021 presidential candidate Dr Fred M’membe says parenting in Zambia is a burden to parents as fending for their children is not easy.
Last month, Martha Mwansa, 25 delivered quadruplets – three girls and a boy – at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka. Speaking when he delivered gift bags containing baby supplies to the newborns’ father Chikonde Terry Mwansa, Dr M’membe said children are not only for their parents but for the nation at large.
He told Mwansa that it was the responsibility of communities to raise children.
“Comrade Mwansa, we have just come here to pay a bit of solidarity to you and your wife. Having four children at a go is not easy in today’s Zambia. Even looking after one child is no easy. If we were living in the right type of society, you would have no worry, but today, as you are rejoicing the birth of your four children, you are also worried on how you are going to look after them – how you are going to clothe them, feed them, take care of their medicals and later on their education,” Dr M’membe said.
“In a more just, fair and humane society you wouldn’t worry at all about that, because children are not only born to a father and a mother, they are also born in a family, a bigger family. They are born in a community, in a society, in a nation and it is the responsibility of the nation, of the community to look after those children.”
He added that today’s society was not just and fair to parents in helping them to take care of their children.
“These four little babies are not yours, you are simply workers working for us to look after these children. Your wife is just a maid looking after our children. These are our children, they are Zambian children, you cannot sell these children. If you decided to sell them today we will arrest you and send you to prison, why? Because they are not your children, they are our children. If you sold this shirt of yours today, nothing will happen to you because it is yours. Those children are ours,” Dr M’membe said.
“But there is something amiss here, we are not there to look after these children, to meet their requirements as society. We only come in when you want to sell, then we say they are our children. Is that fair? Is that just? Certainly not. We need to do more as a society. These children are a huge responsibility for you and your wife alone to look after but you don’t have a choice, this is the society in which you were born, this is the society in which these children are born. It is our duty to create a more fair, more just and humane society where a parent does not worry how he or she is going to bring up the children. That society is possible and it is our collective responsibility to build up that society.”
And receiving the gifts on behalf of his family, Mwansa expressed gratitude to Dr M’membe and other well-wishers for their generosity.
“As a family, we are very happy to receive the gifts that we have been given. Also we want to say thank you to UTH for taking care of us, well from the time that the children were born. Thank you to everyone who has come to our aid. Thank you to Mr M’membe for his generosity, for giving us these donations,” said Mwansa.