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Post closure not finished – M’membe

DR FRED M’membe says the closure of The Post is not finished.

And Dr M’membe, who is Socialist Party president, says the party’s vision is to create a just economy in which every citizen can earn a living.

The Post (in liquidation) editor-in-chief and managing director said a decision to close the newspaper was made by those in power because they did not want the tabloid to bother them as they govern, “but the matter is not dead. The closure of The Post is not finished.”

Speaking on Muchinga Radio, Dr M’membe said he was leading a party of the humble, by the humble and for the humble.

He said he wanted to see a society where there is equality in terms of access to basic services such as education, health and food.

“As the name suggests, the Socialist Party, is a party of the humble, by the humble and for the humble. It is a party for those who toil, those who produce the wealth of society but get very little out of it. It is a party of those who sweat, and it is a party of those who suffer. It is a party for those who are not employed, unemployed workers, small business people, traders, students, nurses, clinical officers, doctors, agriculture extension officers, all those who labour, those that provide us with the necessary goods and services that we use every day. It is also a party of the peasant, it is also a party of working intellectuals; in short it is a party of all the humble people,” Dr M’membe said. “Our vision about our economy is creating a just economy, a just economy is one in which every citizen can earn a living. You earn a living in an economy by finding work in it. If you can’t find work in an economy, it is very difficult to earn a living. Most of us depend on work to earn a living, to earn an income. Yes, there are others who are in business, small business, so a just economy has to make sure that everyone has work in it. An economy that does not have work in it is not a just economy – it is an unjust economy. We want a society where there is equality, where there is equity in terms of access to the things that will make a human being survive such as education, health services and food. We need a society where people have access to key services such as water…water is an important source of life. Before God created us as human beings, He created water. Water was there before we were created.”

He lamented that today most people do not have access to water.

Dr M’membe noted that not much could be done without access to water, an important component of man’s wellbeing.

“You need water to drink, water to cook, water to wash your body, clothes, feed livestock, you need water to grow vegetables. You literally need water for everything. Today water is becoming an increasingly difficult commodity to access for many of our people. It is increasingly becoming expensive; those without money have little access to water,” he noted. “If God wanted us to be buying water, He would have created money, the money we are using today was not created by God; it is a creation of our own. So if water is life, one does not need money to access life. It’s the same as air, today we are buying water and tomorrow we will be buying air to breathe, where will that take us?”

Dr M’membe lamented that soon water will be very difficult to access by poor people.

And Dr M’membe said a decision to close The Post Newspaper was made by those in power because they did not want the tabloid to bother them as they govern.

He said some of them believed that with The Post around they would not govern well and do many of the things they are doing today.

Dr M’membe said a decision in June 2016 to close The Post using the Zambia Revenue Authority was made, explaining that the company like any other going concern had its liabilities.

“There was a liability but the liability that was there was not what ZRA claim. They exaggerated the figures, blew them out of proportion. We went to the Tax Tribunal to challenge the demands that ZRA was claiming but before they could even conclude or even allow us to respond to their claim, they closed the company, seized the company and drove everyone out of there,” Dr M’membe recalled.

He said after going to the Tax Tribunal to challenge their action, it was ruled that the ZRA should vacate The Post and allow the company to operate then reconcile the tax figures with the company’s accountants and auditors.

Dr M’membe said unfortunately the order from the Tax Appeal Tribunal was disobeyed and his effort to implement the order landed him in police cells.

“They ignored the legitimacy of the Appeals order and closed the company. We decided that even if we do not agree with their figures, maybe the best thing is to pay it and then reconcile later and then recover our money later. We mobilised that money, put it in an account with our lawyers. We were ready to pay but our lawyers and ourselves got information, legitimate information, correct information, reliable information that even if we paid that money, they would still close the company because they are determined,” he said.

Further, Dr M’membe said even the process of liquidating The Post was a criminal act.

He said the process used to liquidate The Post was not legal, thus it is today being challenged in court.

“They closed the company without hearing the other side, they never heard anybody. They closed the company on an ex-parte order, meaning only themselves were heard. None of us was heard as a director, shareholder or as an employee of The Post. To this day nobody has ever been heard. But the matter is in court and our lawyers will pursue the matter on the way to the highest court, the Supreme Court. The matter is not dead. The closure of The Post is not finished. It was done in a very criminal way,” said Dr M’membe.

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