SOCIALIST Party 2021 presidential candidate Dr Fred M’membe says there is no progressive struggle or cause that Simon Zukas and wife Cynthia have not been involved in or supported in Zambia.
Dr M’membe notes that Simon and Cynthia, all freedom fighters, are great Zambian patriots, without ceasing to be internationalists.
He said in their student days in Cape Town Simon and Cynthia belonged to the Communist Party of South Africa and the national liberation movement.
Dr M’membe was speaking after he seeing Simon and Cynthia who had asked to see him at their Woodlands home in Lusaka on Wednesday.
Dr M’membe, who was accompanied by his son, Nchenga, had a half-an-hour private chat with his hosts.
“I can actually say they grew up in communist parties. That shaped their political outlook and they have remained committed to human progress, human dignity and solidarity throughout their lives. There is no progressive struggle in this country that Simon and Cynthia have not been involved in or supported,” Dr M’membe said. “Everything good in this country has received their support or direct involvement. We also share something with Cynthia, which is love for the arts. I’m not an artist but Cynthia is an artist; she has helped to bring up many of our artists in this country, in addition to her own work. She has helped many of our artists today – young and old – and she is still doing that.”
He added that Simon and Cynthia were old comrades who have refused to retire from taking an interest in what was happening in their country and in the world.
“They love this country; and their love for this country is not about the rivers, the trees, the mountains, the land [but] it is love for the people. They really love the Zambian people! They are great patriots of this country, of course, without ceasing to be internationalists at the same time,” Dr M’membe noted.
He pointed out that since the launch of the Socialist Party, “I have avoided seeing Simon and Cynthia and I told them this today because I want them to retire.”
Dr M’membe stressed that Simon and Cynthia have done enough revolutionary work in Zambia and South Africa.
“How much can one do in one life? They have given us everything they have; their great intellect, their commitment and whatever resources they have had they put them in our struggles. What more can one ask of them?” Dr M’membe said. “So, I decided to stay away from them. But, of course, Simon is Simon [and] Cynthia is Cynthia; they were looking for me. I had to come to see them. I gave them a brief of where we are, what we are doing. They asked a number of questions [and] I made a number of explanations. They offered very valuable revolutionary advice – these are highly experienced revolutionaries.”
Meanwhile, Dr M’membe said he felt very sad that Simon, at 94, was still so much active mentally, psychologically, and otherwise in what was going on in Zambia.
“He is much more interested about the future of this country, the future of our people than young people who still have many years to live in this country,” lamented Dr M’membe.
“It is sad that Simon is still fighting for us. He has fought all his life for the betterment of our people’s lives. But anyway, revolutionaries don’t retire and they are an example of that.”