FRED M’membe says Zambia’s poor people should vote for themselves in this year’s election.
At Kingfisher Garden Court in Lusaka yesterday, Socialist Party general secretary and first vice-president Cosmas Musumali unveiled 37 parliamentary and councillor candidates.
Out of the 37 candidates, there are 34 MP candidates and three councillor candidates from Lusaka, specifically from Matero Constituency.
“We have a total of 18 men and 19 women. We don’t just talk about gender equity – we practice it as the Socialist Party. From Northern Province we have one candidate and in Northern Province we are literally closing,” Dr Musumali said. “We have one candidate from the Copperbelt Province, two from Muchinga, 10 from Luapula, Southern six, Central five, North-Western one, Eastern five, Western one and Lusaka five. Out of these candidates, 15 of them are below the ages of 30.”
In terms of professions, eight of the adopted candidates are trained teachers but: “cannot find employment.”
“We have marketeers, we have people in the chicken business, peasant farmers, three hairdressers, a mobile money booth agent but also sells tomatoes and fish. These are the men and women who are committed and live in those constituencies,” he said. “This is real democracy; real democracy entails people taking power into their own hands. Democracy can never be delegated.”
Dr Musumali added that the Socialist Party was proving to the world today that women and men could realise the values of equity.
“We are proving to the world that how much money you have is not a determinant for you to get into political office,” said Dr Musumali. “We are proving to everyone today that age can never be limiting, in terms of you governing yourselves.”
When called to address the adopted candidates, Socialist Party president M’membe asked the gathering: “nibani abafula muno calo (who are the majority in this country)?”
“Abateka nibani (who are ruling)? But batweba ati (they tell us that) democracy ni (is) majority rule. Nga bapina abafula cinshi tabatekela (if it’s the poor who are in the majority, why don’t they rule)? Uno mwaka naimwe abapina mutekeko (this year, even you the poor should rule),” he said.
Dr M’membe continued: “were the disciples of Jesus poor or rich?”
“Was Jesus rich or poor? When choosing a chief, do they go for the rich or basala impanda (they choose the wise)? Bushe ulupiya emano (does having money amount to be wise)? Bushe ubutungulushi lupiya (is leadership about money)?” Dr M’membe said. “Uno mwaka naimwe abapina mutekeko. Those who rule, mostly, live well but those who are ruled suffer. The poor have never ruled since independence; bamibomfya kwati mitanto yakunina kucibumba (they use you like a ladder when climbing on to a wall) and when they are atop they drop the ladder.”
He reminded the poor that: “nga tamwatekepo mwebapina ubupina tabwakapwe (if you, poor people don’t rule, poverty will not end).”
“Uno umwaka mukaivotele mwebene (vote for yourselves this year),” he said.
He further noted that if it were in other political parties, none of those adopted would qualify for adoption.
“How many of you have K2,000, K5,000 to pay for adoption? Ifipani mumona ifi fyonse fyalikwata abene (all these political parties you see all have owners),” Dr M’membe said. “Tapaba icipani icishakwata abene (there is no political party without owners. These political parties you vote for are owned by the rich – you are just used. But your party, the Socialist Party is for the poor. You can’t be adopted in the political parties owned by the rich.”
Dr M’membe also pointed out that Parliament would change this year.
“This year, for the first time in our history, we’ll have a Parliament dominated by the poor. We’ll have a Parliament where the poor have a direct voice; where the poor are speaking for themselves, where the poor are representing themselves,” Dr M’membe said. “You have been represented by abakankala (the rich) for too long. [But] what have they done for you? They have enriched themselves. What you can’t do for yourselves, nobody will do it for you. You have sent abakankala to represent you, but they have not represented yourself. This time go and represent yourself.”
He told adopted candidates to go out and educate people, who are accustomed to voting for people with money, to vote for themselves this time around.
Those adopted for parliament in Lusaka are Henry Kalolo (Mandevu) and Eucridy Mwiinga Chirundu Constituency. For local government in Lusaka, it’s Newton Ng’ambi (Mwembeshi Ward 27), Ronald Mutale (Matero Ward 28) and Treza Kayanda for Muchinga Ward 24.
The rest of parliamentary candidates include: Levy Songiso (Sikongo), Janet Zimba (Lumezi), Misozi Kaleya (Chasefu), Lovemore Mvula (Kaumbwe)
Edna Lungu (Luangeni), Alice Phiri (Msanzala), Precious Samalesu (Ikeleng’i), Oswald Chikwaba (Serenje), Simon Bwalya (Bwacha), Peggy Siamundele (Mumbwa), Laston Chibuye (Muchinga), Jonathan Katoota (Lufubu), Fitzwell Moomba (Chikankata), Carolijne Simwala (Namwala), Victor Siamulonga (Mapatizya),
Teinson Musanje (Kalomo), Chilema Caesar Machila (Bweengwa) and Gertrude Chikampa (Sinazongwe).
Others are: Astridah Mubanga (Chipili), Clara Chomba (Mansa Central), Cleopatra Mweemba (Bahati), Hope Kalenge (Milenge), John Chenge Kasanda (Pambashe), Miriam Mwewa (Chifunabuli), Margaret Nakanga (Mwense),
Justine Ngosa (Mwansabombwe), Charles Friday Kalumba (Chembe), Jackson Mukupa (Nchelenge), Purity Ng’ambi (Chama North), Agness Mwila (Mfuwe), Lilian Matowe (Kafulafuta) and Lewis Chizu (Mpulungu).