Sunday, July 29, 2018

SP Not Anti-religion, Says M’membe
By Speedwell Mupuchi
The Mast Online
July 29, 2018

SOCIALIST Party presidential candidate Dr Fred M’membe says Zambia is ready for a Socialist government. And Dr M’membe has told Pan African News that the Socialist Party cannot be anti-religion because it cannot oppose the working class, which is largely religious.

He said every country where there was a ruling class was ready for a socialist government because the only answer to the challenges that the working class were facing today lies in socialism.
“Capitalism cannot resolve those problems,” Dr M’membe said.

Asked whether Zambians were ready to embrace Socialism, Dr M’membe said the working class was ready because the capitalist class, together with the petty and comprador bourgeoisies that work for the capitalist class, would never be ready to embrace socialism.

Asked whether Zambians would be able to stand firm under a socialist government given threats from capitalist western powers, Dr M’membe said such would depend on how “we organize ourselves”.

“What is needed is building a strong working class organisation, a strong working class movement, entrenching the revolution in the working class and the masses of our people to support it and also working out a strong internationalist position. We need to mobilise the world,” Dr M’membe said.

He said the whole world was ripe for socialism or to support a socialist revolution in certain parts of the world.

“But of course we don’t expect the defeated capitalist class just to take it like that. Capitalism, if it’s hit hard, it fights back like a wounded buffalo and we are seeing that in Venezuela, we have seen that in the last 60 years in Cuba; we’ll not be an exception,” Dr M’membe said.

Asked whether he felt the Zambian government felt the Socialist Party was a threat to it, given it’s action to expel from the country international delegates that had travelled to witness the launch of the party, Dr M’membe said if they did not feel they were a threat, they would not have done what they did.

“They did what they did because they feel we are a threat and indeed we are a threat because we are not just talking in the media, we are anchored on the working class. We are organising the working class from where the working class is located within the poor neighbourhoods, we are situated where the working class is and they know it and they don’t have the means of stopping that other than humiliating our guests who came here to pay solidarity to our cause, which is also their cause. They sent away Ghanaians; they sent away people from Burkina Faso, Cape Verde and others. They know those comrades came to pay solidarity and they don’t want that solidarity but they can’t stop it,” Dr M’membe said.

On measures his party had put in place to protect their rights from being curtailed, Dr M’membe said the enemy never creates or gives freedom to opponents.

He said his formation would have to win that freedom for themselves.

“We have to win the space under which we operate inch by inch. We have to liberate certain areas of our country where we can operate freely, liberate them in terms of mobilising our people to support us. The more our people support us, the more we become stronger and nobody can crush us. To crush us they have to crush the masses of our people,” he said.

Dr M’membe said the government operatives would not stop attempt to curtail the Socialist Party’s activities.

He said the only thing that would stop them was the defence of “our people for what they are doing”.

“If we liberate certain areas and our people support us in those areas, they will not be able to come and stop us from holding meetings in those areas because the people will rise against them,” Dr M’membe said.

On the question of Socialist Party being anti-religion, Dr M’membe said his party could not be anti-religion.

“We respect faith, we respect convictions, we respect all religions. We respect our people’s convictions. We are not a religious organisation; we are a political organisation but a political organisation comprising of people coming from various religions and we respect that. Our party spokesperson is an Anglican priest,” he said.

Dr M’membe said nobody in the Socialist Party was discriminated against on the basis of their religion or hindered from professing their religion. He said the Socialist Party had Moslems, Christians, Hindus in its formation.

“So we respect religious convictions, we are not anti-religion. If you are anti-religion, who are you going to be against? You are going to be anti-the working class, which is religious. Can we turn against our working class elements because they are religious? And what is the purpose of being anti-religion?” he asked.

Dr M’membe said Christ was a great revolutionary, “a revolutionary par excellence” whose whole doctrine was devoted to the downtrodden, the poor.

“How can you oppose that and still remain a revolutionary? Who can oppose the efforts of the early Christians? Who was Christ? Wasn’t Christ a working class element? Who was Jesus’ father? Joseph, isn’t he? Wasn’t Joseph a carpenter? Isn’t a carpenter a working class element? So how do you turn against Jesus? How do you turn against Christianity whose leader, whose founder, Christ, was a member of the working class? How do you oppose what Christ stood for, how?” asked Dr M’membe. “Christ stood for honesty, Christ stood for equity, Christ stood for humility, Christ stood for solidarity. How can you remain a socialist if you turn against Christ and his doctrine?”

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