Dr. Fred M'membe


…as he observes that the growing number of unions is weakening their effectiveness

Lusaka, Tuesday, May 2, 2023 ( Smart Eagles )

As the world commemorated International Labour Day, leader of the opposition Socialist Party (SP) Dr Fred M’membe encouraged trade unions to unity.

Dr M’membe noted when he featured on Daimond TV’s “Costa”, Sunday, that there are a lot of unions in different fraternities.

He observed that the growing number of unions is weakening their effectiveness as many are financially constrained.

And the opposition leader charged that the civil service under the New Dawn Administration is full of cadres.

“There is need to unite our small fragmented trade unions. Even if they maintain their individual identities they have to corporate. If they don’t cooperate, they remain fragmented, it will take a long time for them to win back their strength. The civil service needs a revolutionary change,” he said.

“The civil service we have today cannot deliver meaningfully under the conditions we are in and the challenges facing our people. It has become not a professional civil service. It is a civil service of cadres. And it didn’t start with the UPND. It has been degenerating for a long time.”

On claims that the “government of angels” is cleaning up the civil service, he argued that “they are not doing that.”

He urged the country to learn from other countries regarding how the civil service works.

“The evidence over the two years of them being in government now don’t show that. If you go to China today, China has got the most difficult entry into the civil service. It is almost like ZIALE here. To enter the civil service, it’s not easy in China. Its highly professional. When you get there you don’t want to leave,” he said.

“Despite having a population of 1.4 billion human beings, they have a civil service of about eight million. And teachers are not civil servants there. Doctors and nurses are not civil servants there. There is a lot we can learn from other countries and also on our own. We have to learn our own lessons.”

Regarding the Presidential order for the XVs to be sold, Dr M’membe accused the Head of State of playing cheap politics.

“….He is just playing cheap politics. Even he himself, is he driving an old flit? There is even an addition of a helicopter that is not being talked about,” he said.

“There isn’t much that is being saved (from the sale of the VXs) compared to what is being bought. Let us not allow ourselves to be deceived. This is deception. It is very cheap politics. He is just trying to bring down his ministers and try to make them look as if they are bad people.”

Meanwhile, Dr M’membe stressed the need for unity.

“Our leaders, the founders of this country were not wrong to be part of the nonaligned movement, to initiate it and consolidate it. They were nonaligned in a world that was divided into two and they dealt with both. The world will not be any better if we put ourselves into groups here and there. We are on one planet,” he said.

“We are traveling on this one vessel, all of us, called planet. If this vessel hits an iceberg, all of us perish the way they perished on the titanic. It didn’t matter on which cabin you were traveling on…when that ship sunk, everybody perished. If we don’t create a world that is peaceful, that is fair, that is just, that is more humane, no matter how many groups you form on this planet, it will not guarantee us the peace that we are seeking. We will all perish.”

He also lamented that “our poverty is partly due to unequal trade.”


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