LET the best among us win next year’s elections, says Socialist Party president Fred M’membe.
Dr M’membe also tells Zambians that choice of quality political leadership is paramount.
He says a pact between the UPND and the PF is possible, because: “they are all pro-capitalist parties.”
Speaking on ‘Let the people talk’ programme on Phoenix FM radio yesterday, Dr M’membe said each political party in Zamia had the right to exist.
“Let the best among us win next year’s elections. We may not like the PF but if the PF emerges to be the most supported, the most trusted, next year, let them continue to rule,” Dr M’membe said, in response to some callers who proposed for political mergers ahead of the August 2021 elections. “If the UPND next year emerges to be the most supported, the most supported, let them rule. If any other party, including the Socialist Party, next year emerges to be the winners, let them rule.”
He said the expediency of trying to undermine the country’s multiple political dispensation leads to nowhere.
Dr M’membe referred to abortive past political alliances.
“We have seen these alliances before; the UPND that you (a caller) are saying we should join because it’s your party in 2006 it had an alliance called UDA (United Democratic Alliance)…” Dr M’membe recalled. “In 2009, there was a pact that was initiated by the UPND with PF. [But] that alliance collapsed on who should become president and who should get how many seats in Parliament…”
He indicated that the Socialist Party was not there to win power for the sake of it.
Dr M’membe said the Socialist Party did not exist because of the PF being in government.
“With or without PF, the Socialist Party will exist in this country,” he said, adding that political pacts have been seen before in Zambia and that people knew what those arrangements were about.
“Definitely, there will be a winner next year. If UPND is strong, why do they need a pact? Sata and the PF won the elections in 2011 without a pact,” he said.
Dr M’membe underscored that next year, the strongest party would win the polls.
“If it’s UPND that will win, let it win. And we should win not because of the political schemes we come up with but because of what we believe in. We want to win because of what we believe in – not because of the formations or the pacts we get into,” he explained. “Alliances are not forced on people. Why force us to get into an election pact? It’s like forcing somebody into a marriage…It must be a voluntary union. Let alliances be voluntary.”
Dr M’membe said those with common aims – “whose agenda is to remove the PF at any cost – let them band together.”
“We are not against them! [But] our agenda goes beyond that; it’s to build socialism in Zambia… We are not out to replace one group of bandits with another,” he clarified. “We have seen it before; we all ganged up against UNIP. Who did we replace UNIP with? Let’s be a bit more serious.”
Dr M’membe noted that those in the Socialist Party were very clear on who they were and that: “we have a very fair understanding of who others are.”
“Actually, there is more similarity between UPND and PF – they are all pro-capitalist parties. A pact between UPND and PF is possible, after all, they were in a pact before in 2009,” Dr M’membe said.
“How did they manage to get in a pact in 2009? They were similar! So, there are more similarities between UPND and PF than there are more similarities between us and them.”
Meanwhile, one caller told Dr M’membe that his promises of a just and peaceful Zambia amounted to him being a liar.
The caller praised the PF government’s ‘second-to-none’ delivery of developmental projects across Zambia.
In response, Dr M’membe said: “cawama tata muleikala bwino (it’s good that you are living well).”
“Mulesekelamo (you are happy) but te bonse abalesekelamo yama (it’s not everyone who is happy about the status quo, uncle). Imwe muleikala bwino (you are living well), namutemwa ifyo muleikala (you are happy with the way you are living). Cilifye (it’s okay),” Dr M’membe said. “We are living in a multiparty political dispensation which allows many political parties to be formed and to give our people a choice, both in terms of which political party they support or join and in terms of the policies that they want to choose from. So, if you choose to be with PF, cilifye (it’s okay). It’s your constitutional right! If others choose other political parties, it’s also their entitlement.”
He added that: “choice of leadership is a very important thing.”
“Those you want to represent you must be people you trust [and] if not, mukalabepwa fye cila mwaka (you’ll be lied to every year),” he cautioned.
Earlier on in the programme, Dr M’membe reiterated that today Zambia had got one of the highest social inequalities.
He asked how possible it was for Christian country like Zambia to have such glaring inequalities.
“The gap between the haves and the have-nots is huge. If we are One Zambia, One Nation, we should live similar lives; our conditions should not be so different,” Dr M’membe said. “[But] we have left other people behind and [yet] they are telling you there will be nobody left behind. No! The [capitalist] system leaves people behind. It’s designed to leave people behind, wherever it is in the world.”
Dr M’membe argued that capitalism could not carry everybody along at the same pace and level.
“We have people in front [and] we have people behind. Socialism, under the Socialist Party, will make sure we all travel at the same rate, we are all at the same spot, going to the same destination [and] as one country and one people,” explained Dr M’membe. “You can’t be one people [when] others are eating, others are not eating, others are living well [while] others are not living well…Can you have peace under such conditions? No! The Zambia we grew up under had no walls. [But] today to have security you have to have big wall fences around your house.”