SOCIALIST Party 2021 presidential candidate Dr Fred M’membe says it is impossible to have peace in a society that is divided between the haves and the have nots.
He also says while Zambia belongs to everyone, it belongs more to young people.
Meanwhile, Dr M’membe feels the injustice he is suffering, at the hands of the PF regime, is very small, compared to the injustice being committed against other Zambians.
Featuring on One Love radio in Lusaka on Thursday evening, Dr M’membe said Zambians and humanity in general today was seeking justice.
He explained that such justice should be in terms of social material and spiritual life.
“All Zambians today are eager or dying for equity. Equity in terms of access to education, health services, nutrition, housing, sanitation, water and all the other services required in an organised society. These are things our people are yearning for,” he said. “Also all Zambians today are seeking peace in their lives, homes, neighbourhoods, in their country and in the world. These are things that are eluding us today.”
Dr M’membe highlighted that poverty, hunger and unemployment were all growing in the world today and that those were worrying even the die-hard capitalists.
“It’s not only us socialists who are worried about this. Our point of departure is on how these things can be resolved. How do you bring about justice, equity and peace?” he said. “Can you have peace where there is no justice? Can you have peace where there is no equity? Can you have peace in a society that is divided between the haves and the have nots? Between kwa (poor residential areas) and ku (upmarket areas)? It’s not possible!”
Dr M’membe recalled that the Zambia he grew under had very little gaps between the haves and the have-nots.
He said way back, there was a certain level of justice in the society.
“And because there was a certain level of justice [and] equity, there was also a high level of peace. There weren’t glaring gaps among our people. We all had the opportunity to go to school, regardless of the family you were born in,” Dr M’membe explained. “Who has brought the world or our country to what it is today, in terms of lack of peace? Has injustice, inequality or violence been ordained on us by God? No! It’s our own decisions and our own actions that have brought the world and our country to what it is today. If this is not ordained on us by God, then we ourselves can make this world and this country a better place.”
About the endeavours of young Zambians to voice out on matters of national governance, Dr M’membe said “if you silence young people, you will not have a better country.”
“You’ll not develop, politically, economically, socially and otherwise,” he said, further decrying the cruelty of society towards thinkers. “While the Europeans and others have been more tolerant to their thinkers, we have been very cruel towards our thinkers…Our rulers are not able to live with thinkers, unless they worship them. Because of that, we are lagging behind and we are continually moving backwards in very long strides.”
Dr M’membe noted that young people had a big role to play in Zambia.
“This country belongs to all of us. But it belongs more to young people and they are the majority. Over two thirds of the population of this country, 66.03 per cent are below 25. That means the bulk of the resources of this country should go to developing young people – to give them a better present and a better future. That’s what democracy demands. Democracy is the rule of the majority! Isn’t it?” he explained. “What young people lack in terms of experience is compensated for by their energy. And we are not saying let just the young people be on their own. No! There has to be a combination of all; we still need old people. We still need all age groups to participate.”
Dr M’membe said since the majority of Zambia were young people, the leadership structures in political organisations, churches and traditional institutions should reflect that.
“We need to see younger and younger traditional rulers, younger and younger pastors leading our churches, younger and younger people leading our political parties. It’s inevitable! These are not future leaders [but] present leaders,” he said. “The future is built on the threshold of what we do today. So, these young people have to be part of today’s activities. We are not doing anybody a favour in the Socialist Party by appointing young people to key leadership positions. Parties that do not involve young people become fossils – they belong to the archives.”
Meanwhile, on a special edition of COSTA programme on Diamond TV on Wednesday afternoon, Dr M’membe, who was the editor-in-chief and managing director of Post Newspapers Limited (in liquidation), said as far as he knew, the company’s provisional liquidator Lewis Mosho had not paid the employees.
“He has sold assets but there is nobody he has paid. We don’t know who he has paid. Maybe he has just paid himself! The employees are not paid, they are suffering. The death rate [of Post employees] has been quite high. We have lost a good number of people due to depression and other sufferings,” Dr M’membe said.
He, however, was quick to indicate that he was not the only person the PF regime had committed injustices against.
“Didn’t you see what happened to Hakainde [Hichilema] the other year? Locked up for four months on trumped-up treason charges! After humiliating, torturing him for four months, they released him on a nolle, on a matter they knew very well it was not going anywhere. You can see what has happened to [Chishimba] Kambwili!” Dr M’membe noted, adding that he was being mistreated because he opposed their (current government) despotic rule. “How else can they defend their criminal activities every day? The injustice that they commit to so many people! It’s not me who is suffering from injustice. Probably the injustice I’m suffering is very small compared to the injustice being committed against other Zambians.”
Dr M’membe further said he did not feel threatened at being stripped of his possessions, by State agents.
“I did not come in this world with anything. They can take whatever they want from me. As long as they don’t kill me, I’ll be there to live,” asserted Dr M’membe. “They thought by closing The Post they would have finished me. [But] here I am, running a political party and contesting elections against them next year. They are panicking because they never anticipated that I would jump into this. We are making progress in the party and they are feeling the pressure.”