WE, the women in the Socialist Party, believe that Zambia has no better supporter of women’s rights than Dr Fred M’membe, says party aspiring Mongu Central parliamentary candidate Christine Musole.
Musole said in the Socialist Party, International Women’s Day was not only a day when they celebrate each other as women, but also a day to recognise comrades who had contributed towards the promotion and defence of women’s rights.
“We firmly acknowledge that the struggle to fight patriarchy and achieve gender equity is one that should be driven by all peoples, regardless of their gender. This year, we choose to celebrate, among others, our party president, Dr Fred M’membe, for his unwavering support for and contribution to the visibility of women in our party and multiparty dispensation,” she said. “In a highly patriarchal society dominated by male chauvinism, it hasn’t been easy to advance the Socialist Party national congress’ resolution of fielding not less than 50 per cent women at both local and parliamentary levels for the August 2021 elections. Dr M’membe has, however, demonstrated leadership saying the resolutions of the congress must be implemented in every province and at every level.”
Musole said the Socialist Party can today proudly reveal that the adoption of women so far was the result of proposals pushed by Dr M’membe to the central committee and adopted by it.
“He has closely guided the implementation of the national congress’ resolution on gender equity. And today, the central committee is composed of 50 per cent women. We are also aware that Dr M’membe has a long history of championing and defending women and their causes,” she said.
Musole said in the early days of the Weekly Post newspaper, Dr M’membe worked very closely with Laura Harrison to defend and champion women’s causes.
“He also worked very closely with Lucy Sichone, promoting and defending her at every turn. He further worked very closely with Emily Sikazwe at Women for Change, developing very strong bonds of friendship that extended to family ties, where today the two are as brother and sister,” she said.
“Dr M’membe is also a friend to many Catholic nuns in Zambia and has supported their work in various ways. There are also many chieftaincies in this country who count on Dr M’membe as a reliable friend and ally. When he was editing The Post Newspaper, Dr M’membe supported and defended women’s rights and their struggles in so many ways. Women dominated the last Post management.”
Musole recalled that the deputy managing director was a woman, the managing editor was a woman, the general manager of finance was a woman, and the marketing manager was a woman.
“Nearly all key positions at The Post were held by women,” he said.
Musole said Vice-President Inonge Wina would probably not have been where she was today without Dr M’membe’s support in all sorts of ways.
She also said Dr M’membe had been a great friend and supporter of Sylvia Masebo.
“He worked closely with Maureen Mwanawasa and earned her great confidence. He has also been a great friend and supporter of Dr Christine Kaseba. Many, many women in our politics have enjoyed Dr M’membe’s help. In the Socialist Party, we women have enjoyed great support, solidarity and encouragement from Dr M’membe, helping us to be where we are, both in the party and in national politics. Most of us are the product of his promotion and defence of women’s rights,” Musole said.
She said most young people in the party were discovered and nurtured by Dr M’membe.
Musole said Dr M’membe identified the national spokesperson, Rehoboth Kafwabulula, at the age of 17.
“Dr M’membe and the Socialist Party have supported her and many young women, such as Nancy Busiku Mpongo, Rachael Chimodzi Zulu, Mable Tabaaka, and countless others have also received his support. In addition, Dr M’membe’s writings on women’s issues – as well as their backing and defence – are well documented,” said Musole. “We have no doubt that with him as president of the Republic of Zambia, the position of women will certainly change for the better. We, the women in the Socialist Party, believe that Zambia has no better supporter of women’s rights than Dr M’membe. With a leader like this, we have no doubt that we will make progress as women on many fronts, including producing a female president, and breaking the chains of patriarchy that are embedded in our society.”