Fred M’membe

I don’t want to defeat Hichilema on back of national failure – M’membe



We are patriots; we do not want to defeat Mr Hakainde Hichilema and his corrupt tribal puppet regime on the back of national failure.

And we know that crop failure is looming. By June/July this year, if nothing is done, the price of our staple food – mealie meal – will more than double.

The options are very limited, and if these people are not careful, they will end up feeding this country with imported genetically modified (GMO) mealie meal, most probably from South Africa.

Other than boasting, posturing, and lack of humility, there’s absolutely nothing that they are doing to mitigate the looming threat of immense hardship ahead of us. They probably think a miracle will happen! There will be no miracles! Bembas say Lesa tapela muminwe apalamika fye. Chachine, inshiku sha kwa Noah shalipita kale. Tashakabwele. Modern human-beings must produce their own food. They can’t live by hunting and gathering anymore.

If there is a crop failure, as it seems to be the case in this situation, it means food has to be imported. This is much more so because in his wisdom, Mr Hichilema decided to nearly wipe out all the maize reserves. They sold the maize that could have been used as reserves to the DRC and other countries. The country is literally left without any food reserves. Even the financial reserves needed to enable us to import maize or mealie meal have also been depleted. Clearly, they have created a mess, which they are trying to get us out of by guesswork.

And it’s not only mealie-meal that will be affected. Stock feed will also be affected, which means the price of chicken, pork, beef, and other livestock products will also go up.

Without enough stocks of maize, especially if we make a mistake of importing mealie meal like we are doing currently – although ZNS is saying it’s importing for the DRC which is so foolish not to import for itself – our milling plants will not have stocks of maize for their operations, which means jobs will be lost. There will be job losses in the milling industry and on livestock farms.

We certainly have a huge crisis looming, which requires much thinking, much honesty, and much tenacity. But Mr Hichilema and his minions do not have any of these qualities.

That is why today, despite having denounced the National Day of Prayer as being useless, Mr Hichilema is turning to prayer. Nafikosa! Nafibipa! Abija makani!

We know they’re worried. They’re panicking, but worry and panic without reason is dangerous.

We also know that because of these socio- economic challenges, they’re likely to resort to suppression of fundamental rights of the people like freedom of assembly, freedom of association, and freedom of expression and speech.

Mr Hichilema has been clear to his friends in the EU and the US that he can’t allow these liberties when the country is undergoing austerity measures. Since he came to power, Mr Hichilema has never allowed any political rally for anybody else other than himself and his minions.

They’re running the country like we are under a state of emergency. Literally, all freedoms and liberties of citizens and political opponents in a normal democracy are supposed to enjoy have been taken away.

We are in a very autocratic space where nobody except Mr Hichilema and his minions are free to express themselves, assemble, associate, and protest. He has resolved to abuse the Public Order Act with impunity by citing the austerity programme.

This is a position he has proudly shared with his Western friends to justify his dictatorship. There is a tin pot dictator on the rise in Zambia, and the West has chosen to pay a blind eye. What hypocrisy? Can Western governments deny their citizens’ rights and freedoms on account of austerity measures? Which government in the West can ban protests and political rallies and remain in office? But they have allowed Mr Hichilema to get away with it. It won’t work. We shall not allow it.

This is not how you govern a country. This is not how you unite a country. Things can’t continue in this way.

We make a clarion call to all Zambians of good will to unite and fight for our existence as a people with fundamental human rights.

Fred M’membe
President of the Socialist Party

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