Dr. Fred M'membe


By News Diggers Editor

Socialist Party leader Fred M’membe says his party has some corrupt members who will be in prison by December 2026 once they win the next general elections. During a political programme on Prime TV, Dr M’membe said the fight against corruption needs to start from within the ruling party, and that the Socialist Party would lead by example in ensuring that corrupt elements are brought to book.

Dr Fred M’MEMBE: “Under the Socialist government, the corruption fight will start with us. We tell our members that if we win elections in August 2026, by December we can guarantee you some of them will be in prison for corruption. There are corrupt Socialist members. Some of them, you give them K1,000 to take for party work, the party work where that money is supposed to be taken will be lucky to receive even half of that, K500. They will pocket. Will they stop this when we win elections? They won’t. And we’re aware and we are telling them [that] by December, they will be in prison. Corruption fight will start with ourselves at all levels. Doesn’t matter whether you are president, you steal, you go in. There can be no immunity against theft. A Socialist sitting president if he steals, he will go”.

It is important to acknowledge that there is no political party that is without corrupt elements. What the Socialist Party leader is talking about is something that all political parties can relate to. The only difference is that the Socialist Party is brave enough to admit it. Corruption starts at the party organ. When a political party receives money from well-wishers, top officials are usually the first to take and pocket it for personal use. When the little that remains is distributed to committees, the leaders of those branches also remove their own ‘tax’ and pocket it. As Dr M’membe said, by the time the money reaches the intended party work, 75 per cent of it has already gone to individual pockets. This is what happens in PF, in UPND, in MMD, and all the other political parties.

It also explains why small political parties that stand no chance of winning an election keep going, soliciting money under the pretext that they need resources for campaigns. In reality, their political party is just a begging bowl; they are only in it to eat and survive. When such people form government, they go on rampage plundering public resources. This is what the leader of the opposition Socialist Party is talking about. We don’t know how many political parties can be brave enough to acknowledge this fact. What most political parties say to the public is that there is no corruption in their organisation. We heard from the current chief government spokesperson that there are no corrupt people in this regime. But is this true?

The first step towards correcting a mistake is accepting that it exists. You cannot fight corruption if you don’t admit that it exists around you and your party members. If the President believes that none of his ministers and government appointees are corrupt, there is no way he can wage a successful fight against the vice. This is why we say that the seriousness of a government’s anti-corruption agenda is reflected by the number of arrests and convictions of those who are currently holding public office.

We can only commend the Socialist Party for identifying a problem that exists within its structures. Our advice to them, however, is that they should not wait until they form government before they remove bad apples. It doesn’t make sense to work with thieves and corrupt elements throughout the mobilisation stages and campaigns, with intent to isolate them when the dream is achieved. That can’t work and it’s actually dangerous. If you cannot remove a snake from the house when it is small, you face a higher risk when you try to remove it when it is fully grown.

Admitting that there are corrupt elements in the party is the first step in the right direction. The Socialist Party must now demonstrate that they have a zero-tolerance policy towards corruption and that members involved in the theft of party resources will be discarded, regardless of the positions they hold. In fact, if the Socialist Party detests corruption, they need to do more; screening members who want to join them from the Patriotic Front. Politics is about numbers, but what are numbers if they are made up of people who are facing criminal charges?

-News Diggers


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