Rainbiw Party national congress delegates
Rainbiw Party national congress delegates

AN academician says Zambia will become an island in the global economy if it reverts to a socialist economic regime as being espoused by the opposition Rainbow Party.

And the Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) says socialism cannot yield positive results for Zambia because global economies are changing to capitalism.

Head of development studies at the Zambian Open University Thomas Mabwe said if he had an opportunity to advise the Wynter Kabimba-led Rainbow Party, he would discourage them from championing socialist ideologies because they have failed throughout the world.

Mr Mabwe said countries around the world are changing from socialism to capitalism and it would not be prudent for Zambia to go back to an economic system that failed and almost ground the economy to a halt.

“Even the Soviet Union, which is an architect of socialism, did away with socialism. China,which is one of the biggest economies, is also going away from socialism,” he said.
In a socialist economy, firms are owned and controlled by the state and politicians control resource allocation.

On the other hand, capitalism is an economic system in which investment and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations.

Mr Mabwe said Zambia was a socialist economy in the first republic but it discarded the system and embraced capitalism due to economic problems.

Mr Mabwe, however, said the Rainbow Party can only hope for democratic socialism, though it is a thing of the past.

Meanwhile, MUZ says socialism discourages hard work because “everything” is shared even with people who are not producing anything.

Union president Nkole Chishimba said Zambia is part of the global community which is shifting from socialism because of its negativity.

“We saw how the economy deteriorated under socialism because it promotes laziness,” he said.

But a Lusaka-based economist Reuben Banda contends that there is no one perfect system of governance, and socialism can work if it borrows capitalist elements.

“Socialism is not entirely bad because if combined with capitalism, it can give positive outcomes,” Mr Banda said.

Mr Banda said socialism tries to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor, while capitalism promotes entrepreneurship which suits the rich.

Rainbow Party spokesperson Goodson Banda defended the socialist ideology, saying it is the only way to revive the economy and provide free services.

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32 COMMENTS

  1. For some Strange reason, I think Wynter Kabimba’s party stands for something truly different from the rest. Whether the man himself is the right person to lead that movement is another question altogether.

    Here are the facts. Zambia has been independent for 50 years. It can be argued 25 of those years have been under SOCIALIST UNIP and the other 20 years under CAPITALIST MMD.

    It can be strongly argued that the Socialist did more for Zambians in terms of infrastructure , education and human dignity. The Capitalist have really not much to show for in terms of infrastructure, education and human dignity except make foreigners and a few individuals rich.

    Look at ZR under UNIP and under MMD and you get the story

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    • Mines under SOCIALIST UNIP delivered towns and cities people were proud of. Mines under UNIP delivered education and social amenities , likes sports facilities, clinics and hospitals people were proud of.

      Mines under CAPITALIST MMD have delivered nothing to the broader society despite making the most money than mines under UNIP. They have infact destroyed the roads infrastructure on the CB with their heavy trucks.

      So a Party like Rainbow has a solid cause that you cannot easily dismiss. Privatization has not delivered for Zambia as nationalization did.

      I think it is good that we have a party that clearly is for nationalization, unlike the privatization parties like PF, MMD, UPND.

      Rainbow party has a point and just look past your hate for Kabimba and you will get it.

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    • MMD bootie another element that supports the Rainbow Party agenda of socialism I’d the fact that ZAMBIANS are inherently socialists (or precisely humanis) by nature. Like the Chinese we can adapt our socialist nature by glossing it with element s of capitalism that work for our economy to make things work. China has done things this way and they are on the move. Their heavy-hand approach such as the regrettable Tiananmen square sacrificea, socialism and capitalist economic approach have made them One of the richest countries. This lecturer criticizing is thinking about UNZA Student Marxism. Socialism is practiced in UK and US through welfare systems. ZAMBIANS needs to what works for them.

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    • Imwe this mabwe from zambia closed university is a dunderhead. he seems not to understand what rainbow party are saying.Banda said a combination of democratic and socialist tendencies are what is needed.Need i remind this academician that there is no country on this planet which is 100% capitalist.They all have socialist tendencies embeded in their systems.The varying percentage proportions of capitalist and socialist practice is what makes countries differ from one another in terms of managing the countries wealth and how well the citizens live.America is rich, but the citizens cant even dream to live the life an average norwegian does.why is this ba academician?Go and read some more!!I hope tamulebepa abaice mu class with your limited knowledge!! Academicians are zambias worst enemy

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    • I don’t think people would be advocating for free things mate!!

      I think its finding the balance between the two that should be attempted!!!

      That’s what they are saying here!!

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    • “social responsibility” by gov. requires funds. not everything is profitable. cutting grass in parks, does not make money. who does it? government. specialized medical services cannot be afforded by all. it requires “subsidies” by government. commercial hospitals are not so feasible in a broken economy. required equipment demands huge capital investment. a “socialism” government can mean, hospitals are well equipped. we need a mix.
      but im against “social welfare” that’s wrong

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  2. Why are Zambians attracted to completely irrelevant ideas and demagogues like Kabimba and Sata? These are crooks who just wanted to get to State House to loot for themselves? A socialist with over 100 houses like Sata or millions of dollars in kickbacks from Trafigura like Kabimba? Why don’t they start giving away what they have stolen in the first place to show how they believe in “free” things? These are not Mother Theresas but crooks and thieves.

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    • This kind of bitterness can only come from a disgruntled tomato selling graduate who wants to be given a job or things by those that have worked. Now get off your backside and get thinking and get working mate. The world don’t owe you a living, you owe the world a contribution. Shud up.

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  3. It’s neither socialist nor capitalist since they are saying they will borrow some ideas from capitalist system.
    Wow what do we call it then. A term like visionless wouldn’t fully describe the direction of this party. However a country like Australia is known to be a capitalist nation but with a federal government. You will find that some companies are still run directlty by the federal states while others by private sector. The best way to go is capitalism say 75% while some strategic companies can still be under direct control of the state for equities sake.

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  4. @Bootlicker: You call queing for sugar and cooking oil at 4AM and developing scabies from sabina soap, 4 days to travelling on battered from kitwe to kasama or Lusaka to sesheke as economic delivery to the citizenry. Even chibuku was in short supply and mosi had to be treasure hunted accross town & bought with conditions of cold nshima and dodgy sausages. Yes our privatisation has had its imperfections due of lack of indigenous participation, politicians have made sure the privatise cheaply to foreigners only (who are easy to maniplate). Huge proceeds from the economy are repatriated. If Wynter can re-orient his party manifesto to ensure indigeous Zambian PARTICIPATION in the ownership of the mainstream economy I will join him

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    • Of course you are right in your assessment, but you are rather shallow and short sighted and not wanting to put your brain to work this morning. You are forgetting that the era you are describing was very short and in fact the late stages of UNIP’s socialism failure caused by world economic change. It was never like that ALL the 27 years UNIP ruled. There were some good parts in that system and the question is still open if copper prices and oil prices remained solid if UNIP would have collapsed? Remember Communism is worse than socialism, but the Chinese have made it work.

      Am a capitalist and am MMD. All am saying is Kabimba and his team have a point and need to be listened to. You just can’t dismiss them as lunatics with money on their mind. Yes, Socialism under UNIP eventually…

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    • Yes Socialism under UNIP eventually failed, but it had left it mark in terms of education , infrastructure that cannot be ignored.

      Truth be told capitalism is yet to deliver for Zambia and it is the key reason MMD was booted out of power. Ask the investors in Switzerland and they will tell you how great capitalism in Zambia has been for them. I doubt people in Mufulira will say the same. These are hard facts that needs us to reflect as a nation. We now have hard data of both systems and it is time to have a prudent debate about this.

      Why do we buy the west capitalist idea that we have to dig copper and export it to them. Dangote has shown that you can come to Zambia and setup an industry and help the local community. We need to rethink things now.

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  5. @1.1 MMD Chief Bootlicker: Did you grow up in a village? Unip didn’t deliver those services in mine townships. Being a child of miner brought up in the mine township I can confirm the services in mine townships were put up by the colonial owners of NCCM & RCM (later to become ZCCM). In Nchanga where I grew up we had football grounds of good standard and other recreational facilities in all townships. We had functioning clinics in each township from Nchanga to Mudzabwera. These services were extended to municipal run townships such as Chiwempala. Please don’t talk about things that you don’t know. In fact when Unip created ZCCM, we called it: ZAMBIA CHIPUBA CHAONAU MINE. Socialism is a God that has failed lamentably. Putin leads a socialist Russia but lives a Capitalist life.

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  6. Failures of a socialist economy worldwide cannot be overemphasized. Kabimba should first try to work on his political personality before entrenching on different political ideologies. Do not stretch to far in your attempt to play it differently while the bottomline just lies in you.

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    • In fact it is KKs socialist policies albeit his good intentions that have brought Zambia on its knees.

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  7. @Bootlicker: How has state owned ZR performed with the Eurobond funds. How much have Tazara, Zamtel & Zesco contributed to state coffers to help provide free things. China has a communist govt running a capitalist economy. Besides discipline from fear of the liberal use death penalty makes Chinese conform/perform. Unip’s socialism only used up the wealth left by colonialists for a few free things and once that dried up it was helta skelta! How do you explain Botwsana’s rise (which insists on baTswana participation in any enterprise since 1976) during the same period you wrongly cite global problems for Unips mismanagement of Zed’s economy. We need pratical indigenous Zambian participation in mainstream economy (not ideologies) so that wealth is retained/spread the country. Period!

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    • Quest you are on a roller coaster here today! You are totally correct. These ideologies are a waste of time. We just need proper empowerment of Zambians to own companies and create jobs. PF have crowded SMEs out of the capital markets by overborrowing to the extent that interest rates are now over 30%. Who can afford that for a private company?

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  8. I think there are very few countries that are either 100% capitalism or socialism. Capitalism left without government intervention promotes social inequalities and I am sure you all agree by seeing what has happened in Zambia. Socialism left to run its course with little private hands can be very inefficient and waste a lot of resources. Zambia under UNIP like Mr Bootlicker has said achieved a lot and then the world changed so we needed to change with time. The developed world functions in mixed economies which is capitalism with a degree of government intervention because going 100% capitalism doesn’t work. I think our leaders in UNIP did the best in their time and we commend them for that. We need a mixed economy with a good ratio between socialism and capitalism.

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  9. We are our own worst enemies. KK in line with his Socialist ideals put Zambian as heads of State companies including the mines. Zambian managers stopped buying personal things as they were able to draw things from the companies they were running. They even used the companies to buy cars for their families. Farms run by ZCCM were meant to afford miners cheap sources of food stuffs, but these Zambian managers started sharing animals free until the farms collapsed. And all the while we poor people were made to have faith in Socialism. Karl Marx and Engels were just dreamers. A human being wants independence.

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    • @Ndaje: we are on the same page on this one. Why don’t these political Zambians look at how enterprise was in traditional societies instead of importing foreign ideologies? We want free markets, fair costs of borrowing, flexible labour laws, moderate taxes (I think Penza’s 25% tax cap was the sweet spot) and a fair playing field against foreign companies. Yeah, we want economic freedom – not socialism.

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  10. But all of us know that Kabimba will NEVER be president of Zambia just like another president from a known party, come rain or sunshine.

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  11. I think what Bootlicker is saying, is if you find the right balance between the two, it just might work!!!!

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    • Why bother with another experiment when what works is well known. Just go to Botswana, don’t go to failed states like Zimbabwe, to see how it’s done.

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  12. MMD Booties is not an ENDORSER like Mpombo, Katele, Mulongoti or Mangani. People should learn to draw a line. Bootie is an observer and a Bootlicker. Give the MAN space in any case his opinion s are well thought about.

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  13. Well it seems many people are against the ideologies of socialism just because of the experience during the late UNIP era. Can we only say it never worked for Zambia or it simply cost towards the late 1980s? Things changed and indeed socialism failed the country but what we are seeing today in a capitalist state is not helping majority Zambians. Your capitalism is only promoting corruption and favoring the elite and the investors who are taking everything out of the country. In Zambia we only policies that work for the common man period. I do not care what political system the country because at the end of the day, non is better than the other.

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    • Spot on ! Its not ideologies that will make the difference but discipline, zero tolerance to corruption. However, capitalism under zero tolerance to corruption has an edge because risk takers either win or lose their cash NOT THE STATE. In Socialism it’s the system & ultimately the ordinary citizen that loses out on such scums as the Dalbit oil or Trrafigura oil deals. Surely 50 years after independence should’nt we RESTRICT such simple (finished oil products importation/guaranteed profits) businesses to indigenous Zambians? Ask yourself, what economic multiplier effects such a policy will around the country? Now all these profit are going to Kenya & a few corrupt campaign dollars trickle back to to Zambia to you know who!

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  14. Winter’s ideology is a just another version of the meaningless PF Terminology of MORE MONEY IN THE POCKET! The intentions of the proponents of these ideas are to deceive the citizens!

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  15. MMD Boot licker I agree with your analysis.

    Let us compare the two systems instead of dreaming about capitalism. Some of us have lived under both of them and can make vivid comparison not blind comparison. On the social aspect most of the stadia we are using today where built under this system namely;

    (1) Nkana Stadium, Mufulira Wonderous Stadium, Kalulushi Modern Stars Stadium, Nchanga Rangers Stadium, Kabwe Worrious Stadium, Power Dynamos Stadium etc. Tell me which stadia your new investors in mines have built? They pocket all the profits and to build one you require to beg from China.

    (2) Education – UNZA, ZIT now chnaged to CBU, NORTECH, Evely Hone College etc even the current universities being proposed by PF in all the nine provinces would be possible under socialism set up.

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    • Do you really call that chilata at Nkana, Nchanga or Kalulushi as stadia. Made from scrap metal for entertainment for off duty miners by colonialists on weekends but glorified/repainted in Unip socialist days as stadia. They recruited “professional footballers”. What contribution to copper production did these “professional” footballers contribute to justify their getting higher salaries & conditions of service than medical doctors & engineers whilst the real miners wallowed in poverty in wusakile. Why should a mining company reward a footballer more than its mining engineer? Let the footballer go to Kaizer chiefs, manchester utd which institutions make their turnover from soccer. Socialist Africans always expect one hard worker to support a nation of lazybones

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