Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Machines are the big reason why so many workers are out of work-Fred M’membe


SOCIALIST Party presidential candidate Dr Fred M’membe
SOCIALIST Party presidential candidate Dr Fred M’membe

SOCIALIST Party presidential candidate Dr Fred M’membe has said machines have taken over the jobs that the people had.

In a statement to mark labour, which falls tomorrow, Dr M’membe, the Socialist Party deputy secretary general, stated that May 1 was not simply a day of celebration for the working class, their trade unions and political parties.

“On this day, we are reminded about why the flag of working class organisations – trade unions, political parties – is red. ‘Our life’s blood has dyed its every fold’, goes the traditional labour song,” Dr M’membe stated.

“We know that for the working class, it’s authentic trade unions and political parties, the road ahead is tortuous, full of twists and turns.”

He stated that the struggle, therefore, was for the unemployed and precariously employed people too.

“To overcome these challenges is going to take serious effort to develop the working class theoretically and strategically as a class,” Dr M’membe stated.

“A big reason why so many workers are out of work is because they have been replaced by machines – excavators, combine-harvesters, ATMs. In a more just, fair and humane world, it would be a good thing to have machines to do boring, dangerous, backbreaking work. It would mean that the workers have more time to learn, to be creative, to worship and develop themselves spiritually, to spend time with family and friends. But this isn’t a just, fair and humane world. This is capitalism.”

He stated that workers produced enough to feed, house, and clothe every person on the planet, but millions starve and live without homes, proper sanitation, clean water, education, health services.

“This is because with capitalism, the fundamental reason we produce things like food, houses, and clothing is not to use them, but to make a profit for the rich,” Dr M’membe stated.

He stated that an alternative world was possible, where workers could produce what they need in order to use it, and where they all have a say in what they make and how they make it.

“So how do workers get there? It’s through socialism and the Socialist Party! It’s only socialism and socialism alone that can help us solve these problems and create a more just, far and humane society,” Dr M’membe statec.

He stated that for the working class and its organisations, May 1 was a day for casting away illusions and preparing for struggle and to unite all working class forces against real class enemies.

Dr M’membe stated that on a day like this, the workers were reminded that not all those who wave the red flag or claim to speak for the working class actually do so.

He stated that May 1 started when Chicago police massacred workers and revolutionaries who were fighting for an eight-hour workday.

“Back then, workers drudged through ten, twelve-hour shifts. Today, workers face the same long hours at dangerous work and still barely make enough money to get by,” stated Dr M’membe.

“But for some, instead of working too much, they can’t find work at all, or can’t get enough hours in the clocking jobs they have. What we need to realise is that this unemployment is not primarily due to globalised labour markets, but to mechanisation, digitisation or the shift from formal to real domination of capital.”


  1. Why is this man doing this?

    He wont be President, surely he is not delusional and unlike (like MB)

    I dont understand why he is doing this

    Politics dont suit you Mmember



    • Kakuluwele Kakuluwele eeeehh yaaaeee
      …and you expect these characters to defeat Lungu…Mmembe also needs to have his head examined

    • Lets us face facts here??? lol. Who creates employment?? GOVT yaba. We have the private and public sector period

    • Mushota I keep away from your PhD cantankerous demure and you make me ‘delusional’! From what I hear, you are the Secretary General of this Socialist Party! Scary that Mmembe wants us to like like the Amish!

    • Membe is not going anywhere by propagating 1950 revolutionary messages!
      He needs to tell us how lungu et. al. are stealing, how corrupt they are how because of poor leadership this country is headed for failure.
      To blame the high unemployment on machines ………… where have you been?
      Its MMD that distroyed the manufacturing sector by allowing smart centre and PEP to set up shop Swarp spinning, mukuba textles, sakiza spinning were forced into bankruptcy.
      Talk about the problems people are facing now!

    • Marubbish how do you expect the country to develop without the private sector and using stone age tools?


    • Fred my man !

      It also helps if businesses pay taxes to the government. The money paid to the government helps in creating more jobs in the civil services.

      You saying this is just being a hypocritical person that you been all your life.

      And by the way ! What a cheap way of entering politics. Your statement is is just quacking like a chicken.

    • Well, Fred still depends on machines to print his Mast and New Diggers newspapers and move them from one place to the next, as was the case with his Post newspaper. He also used machines to take part in the transportation of maize for FRA. Am sure he also uses ATMS on public holidays like yesterday when workers cannot always be at work. To do mining and produce more minerals, especially for our old copper mines, you cannot do without machines. That is the reality of life!

    • I forgot to mention that even for us to hear what Fred was saying about machines, we still had to depend on machines for this.


  2. Ba Mmembe naimwe that is a tired argument which socialists no longer use because other skills often spring up when you invent a machine. The machine doesn’t replace labour. It replaces the skill. Muleyako nakuma sukulu
    Baambabukunsensa ba LT

  3. So what are suggesting we should do now iwe ka Meembe? Me l am not with you here cos the socialist ideas that you have are fake and full of fake manifestos.

    • In this age and time, we have someone calling himself Doctor of philosophy who is so disjointed than a wire car made in a Zambian village. Dr. Mmembe my foot!. I had written you off morally after the gay allegations but now even academically you are not even the least on my list. Give me any country in the world today which embraced socialism and it is still standing firm? USSR disintegrated and Cuba is in a mess and you are talking of socialism? You are an embarrassment to your profession in particular and to humanity in general.You are deranged.

    • @mwakale, For your information Dr. M’membe is a Doctorate in Law.
      For your information, Sweden and every other Nordic Country, Canada, China, Soviet Union, Britain of today, France of today, Germany of today, India of today are mixed economic models of erstwhile socialism and capitalism.

      They realised and are now people-focused as against people-exploitative countries.

      Socialism failed due to idiocracy of visionless politicians, who for themselves wanted to rule with iron fist, tinpot dictatorship while using workers for their ulterior motives.

      socialism of today is Chinese model, outgoing, hardworking and getting up there.
      No bar except customer-focused and selfless leaders in right places.

  4. Where are the industries? If we can fail to run and maintain Kabwe Industrial Fabrics and Mulungushi Textiles, among others, how can we expect to keep-up with mounting unemployment?

    • But according to the story, the machines and industries are the ones which will take away our jobs.

    • Chitapankwa, machines can only take away from us what we already have, not what we don’t have. If we have businesses of our own, we can decide to mechanize or not to; and if to mechanize, how much mechanization to undertake. It becomes a different ball game altogether when the business does not belong to us, since we don’t sit on their boards to influence those decisions. The days of robots and computers are upon us. Woe unto us when we remain this indolent. We can choose to be politically savvy, but that won’t take us anywhere. We will continue to find ourselves dancing to the tune of foreign companies. At the end of the day, it is Zambia which is bleeding, and Zambians who remain impoverished.

  5. Dr Mmembe what about China. The Zambian case is not about machines it’s about selling our companies especially the mines. The mines and other quasi government companies did not only employ production crews: Social Community departments of these companies employed thousands of people like housing officers, domestic teachers, instructors, mine police too many to mention. We have failed to replace these companies and the new miners apart from employing their country men can only employ people in production and supporting sections. It’s not a secret that the casualization of jobs is just a way of running away from certain responsibilities.

  6. Is this the same PhD Mushota is pursuing?. Which institution gave Fred a PhD.
    Surely we cant blame machines as though they manufacture themselves.

    Anyway, the summary comment has already been written: Laughable. But I may just add: unimaginable low calibre

  7. Most of the capital floating in Zambia’s economy, including that in agriculture, Zambia’s main stay, is foreign sourced. It’s characteristic of foreign investors to maximize return on their investment. They are therefore, less likely to settle for costly, unproductive labor. That’s partly the reason they tend to rely on machines, and not human labor. That capital, though floating in Zambia, is, in essence not resident in Zambia. It flows out with whatever wealth it has amassed. That’s the power of wealth transfer by MNCs. The net effect is that, poor countries are contributing to the wealth of rich countries, making them richer; while rich countries are contributing to the poverty of poor countries, leaving them poorer. That is partly the Zambian story.

    • So where then is Zambian capital? Well, it is hidden somewhere in some off-shore account, because the money is believed to have been stolen. That money is floating somewhere, probably never to make its way back home. That money is also helping contribute to the wealth of rich countries. Meanwhile, we are busy knocking on their doors, begging them for money, not free money, but money to borrow at a rate so high, we are simply committing suicide by so doing. But we can’t help it. We have to borrow to survive. But it is the same borrowed money that finds its way back into those offshore accounts, stolen by those among us, smart enough to do so. It’s a vicious cycle.

    • Any businessman aims at maximizing profits. Even NGOS want to make profit. You need men of impeccable integrity to ensure the country gets its full share but the whole chain is rotten Startin with office orderly.

    • @8Meimatungu, SPOT ON!! This time around we seem to be “pinned to the ground”by big forces!! We are back to the colonial yoke as we have failed to manage our resources with discipline!! We are in real trouble!!

  8. Well, well , well, what can I say? At least M’membe has an ideology he believes in and he has to be respected for believing in his S T U P I D antiquated ideology.

    My only fear, worry and concern is that he is desperately trying to COPY and PASTE a 1960s ideology into the 2018 politics. It WONT work!!!

    I thought the PhD study enables you to create new knowledge and break the boundary of human known knowledge. Times have moved, comrade. Please NOTE that the Communism that is working in China today is NOT the same as MAO’s Communism, and therein lies the insight, my friend. And the same can be said of Russia.

    Comrade M’membe, try to develop your modern brand of socialism, isn’t that what PhD studies is supposed to equip you? You can’t copy paste from Castro’s relic…

    • Comrade M’membe, try to develop your modern brand of socialism, isn’t that what PhD studies is supposed to equip you? You can’t copy paste from Castro’s relic stuff.

      Coming back to the topic, your analysis is really SHALLOW at best and a disgrace, coming from somebody with a PhD. While machines have historically destroyed jobs, the number of new jobs created by machines have exponentially surpassed the number that have been destroyed, and this has led to better human life. You have a bad and outdated attitude toward technology. Think again, please.

      Surely, you are not advocating that we start building roads using picks and shovels. While that will create jobs for every youth in Zambia, do you realise that the world will not wait for us to finish that road being built by…

    • Surely, you are not advocating that we start building roads using picks and shovels. While that will create jobs for every youth in Zambia, do you realise that the world will not wait for us to finish that road being built by the whole employed workforce in country using spoons and knives?

      You can think better than this, Comrade. Surely two PhDs in your party can create an ideology that blends modernity and human values from the past to create sustainable lives for our people.

      I would technically argue that most Scandinavians countries, Sweden, Norway, Finland , etc, at the core, are actually Socialists States. We could create something similar than rehash those old and antiquated Marxist nonsense you are obsessed with. It is about adopting and re-purposing ideologies. China…

    • I would technically argue that most Scandinavians countries, Sweden, Norway, Finland , etc, at the core, are actually Socialists States. We could create something similar than rehash those old and antiquated Marxist nonsense you are obsessed with. It is about adopting and re-purposing ideologies. China and Russia are a good case in point.

      I’m MMD Chief Bootlicker, and there is my free advice Comrade.

    • I wrote this for Kaponya Chitapankwa

      @Chitapankwa, PF-licking is your profession.
      Mr. M’membe is a doctorate in law.
      It seems you thieving masters before giving you a desktop and instructing to spew venom against opposition leaders, parties and comments that are not friendly to your robbing Perpetual fools, forgot to give you ABC of research before opening ugly mouth.
      Mushota is a conman while Mr. M’membe’s credentials are all over internet.

    • These countries are not socialist in the context of the Soviet Union, Cuba and the like. They business friendly and they operate like capitalists but there’s “social welfare ” for its citizens.

  9. If these were the ancient times, Fred Mmembe would have been a slave owner. He has no respect for the working man just like he has no respect for his workers. He does not allow them to form or join a union. Mmembe is in no position to speak for the worker especially a laborer.

  10. A big reason why so many workers are out of work is because they have been replaced by machines – excavators, combine-harvesters, ATMs.

    Is this coming from an aspiring president? No way. I think he should go back to the weekly post.

  11. Fred, can never be trusted with instruments of power…look at how he ran the post like a capitalist. Roads in Africa are costly partly due to govts insisting on labour intensive options …

  12. Socialism in its pure form can never work, you need a bit of capitalism. Russia and China, the proponents of socialism do not use this outdated practice any more, they mix it with capitalism. Having said that we need a fairer society where the common man is not exploited by capitists who care for nothing but satisfying their share holders. Even countries like the U.K have socialist mechanism which mean every child is entitled to £20 (K260) per week and if you are out of employment the government gives you £50 (K650). Education is also free until you finish secondary school. These safety nets are needed for the very poor in Zambia. So please do not rubbish Mmembe and his ideas.

    • @ Titus Musankwa
      Iwe dont confuse things, thats not what M’membe is proposing, he is saying he wants machines and computers to be replaced by people, basically he believes in manual and colloquial ways of doing things. Ask him this question, how was he printing his defunct Post Newspaper? was it by fast and quiet printers or type writers? If he can honestly answer that question then maybe you can give him your vote.

    • Even some politicians are heartless machines. They need to be replaced also.
      Human focused, socio-capitalism is the way forward.

  13. does he understand his audience this guy?
    I met him once at his post office, I thought he was smarter than he’s coming across.
    his rhetoric sound like someone teaching a political science class not a leader of a political party in Zambia. he’s definitely not cut out for what he’s ventured into, politics. he doesn’t have it. I wonder what ba mayo na batata ku muyombe or nyiba will make of his stance and his messages.
    maybe you guys on the cb and lsk get him cuz I surely don’t

  14. LOL- Is this some kind of a joke or what? So, we must do away with emails, whattsup, Skype etc.. and revert to pen and paper so that we can employ more postmen and women to sort and deliver mail??

    • Imagine this guy! Why did he modernise his printing section in his company moving away from stencils? Fred should try farming not this! Politics ain’t for him,sorry!

  15. This is now total confusion in the opposition and its clear for all to see that they dont know why they have entered politics and those already in it dont know what they represent. PF was very serious whilst in opposition and the belief was clearly spelt out in their manifesto, you remember how SC by the Wynter Kabimba sold it? This whta happens when hate, greed, jealous, envy and personal ego drives you to get at someone, you get exposed! Today, in this age and era, you want to do things manually, how?
    People are making artificial rains in the dry lands and someone is saying machines and computers have to blame, do you wonder why the Soviet Union disintegrated and those countries are among the poorest in Europe. Ask Ms. Trump, she will best tell you the difference between Capitalism…

  16. Ask Ms. Trump, she will best tell you the difference between Capitalism and Socialism, she will never return back to a Socialist country after experiencing Capitalism!
    For example, to plough a 10 hector piece of land, it will take, 8 oxen cattle and 16 strongmen for 30 days, but it will only take 1 tractor, one operator for full day to do the same work, and the rest of 29 days will spent on other useful things. So M’membe and HH, you dont know what you are doing and please to wasting people’s time twapapata.

  17. how can you make a road without a dozer to uproot trees, a grader to level surfaces, an excavator to dig volumes of soil.It will take a billion years to Complete T2 road (from livingstone to tunduma).
    Its a chinama case I guess, stone age thoughts so backward.

    • In fact the machines he’s mentioned have been with us for many years. Zambia is 1 million kilometers from being automated. Other countries have gone AI. We just don’t have jobs simple.

  18. The simple fact is we just dont think period.It is impossible for us to think no matter how hard we try we will never think.we need to ask God why we cant think?

  19. My biggest issue is the Kabwe disease. During elections a politician just goes to stand on the gates of Mulungushi textiles and says I will open this thing and they vote for him. After elections nobody even goes near the building. Next elections same cycle


  21. Politics of post independent Africa will not take anybody anywhere. Fred is trying to use wrong tools to fix a complex problem. Amalaisha stopped long ago, mining methods have changed. If you ask minere to get back to the days of amalaisha they will doubt your sanity

  22. Capitalism and automation are not synonymous. They are two different animals. Keeping a balance between the two is the function of government. Kabwe is one of the world’s most polluted cities. Left unrestrained, that is what capitalism is capable of doing. Today, the world is reeling from heavy pollution, China and America included. That is capitalism. These countries are not sitting back, doing nothing. They are imposing new restrictions on the capitalist. Given his way, the capitalist will produce goods with free labor. That’s what the American capitalist did, when he conceived that labor can be bought and owned, an idea that gave birth to the Triangle Slave Trade. The American government did not sit back. It compelled the capitalist to give-up slavery. It meant fighting. A bloody…

  23. Today, America is fighting hard to bring back American jobs from overseas. Why? Because, left alone, the capitalist doesn’t care where he produces his goods. He can have them produced in China or Mexico and then ship them to America to sell. Overtime, that’s what America has become – merely a market where Chinese goods are being sold. America is not sitting back. They are saying no, to this practice. Why? Because, by moving manufacturing jobs to China or Mexico, etc., it is the American worker who gets unemployed. If rich countries can fight like that, how much more vigilant should we be, ourselves, a poor country that Zambia is? Do we think the capitalist cares? Certainly not.

  24. Let Meembe start by throwing away his cellphone and employ a messenger to run around to deliver his messages. Change is inevitable but which would you prefer, for the better or worse? This is madness generated by too much reading of books from the west. The Fidel dressing says it all.

  25. The Lenin’s, the Stalin’s and the Castro’s of this world tried it. Is this man really serious. He is basically trying to reinvent the wooden wagon wheel. The wheel has evolved, you berk!!!

  26. Mr you are complaining about machines when AI robots have already started taking over the rest of jobs. The world will keep moving forward, Horses are not coming back to start transporting people. We have to keep adjusting forward.

  27. Very interesting comments. But may I add something. What destroyed most was the liberal Democrats, the FTJ times. I remember towards the end of KK time, he tried to introduce Scientific socialism, whatever that meant its not an issue now because it failed. Then came the liberal Democrats. They said, NIEC stores the likes of shoprite were in profitable then sold them cheaply workers laid off, ZCBC the likes of PEP Stores sold, Marketing cooperative unions in all the Provinces, closed including NAMBOARD, IN preference for FRA, in all the cooperative unions there were milling plants as opposed to the now solar harmer mills. These are a few examples in the agric sector, in the mining sector,ZCCM was disibandled and mines sold cheaply. Some of of our politicians who are with us now shouting…

    • Scientific Socialism? Even its proponent didn’t know what it meant. …probably to reentrench the one party system, maybe.

    • Chpanta, what an interesting trail you have created. Those willing to walk its full length will be able to find how and where we went astray along the way. The trouble is that, given a second chance, we will still, once more, go astray. Why? Because we are not the kind who can learn from their own mistakes. Economics is not completely scientific. It’s partly hunch. That’s why even those who have gone to the best of schools, like Harvard, still stumble. It’s because economics is not pure calculus. It is not a tangible mathematical formula that one can lay hands on, as in engineering, and make it work. It’s like riding an unbridled horse. Though tame, chances are, it can still throw you off.

  28. I don’t know about you other bloogers but this is not working for bo M’membe. Sorry. Try next time.

  29. It’s the idea, not the person, that should be the focus of our attention. For this reason, great minds discuss ideas, ordinary ones, events, and the simple, people. It’s the idea that belong to us all. The person doesn’t. He belongs to himself. It’s the idea that is for our common good or for our common detriment. And so it should be, that when it comes to matters of our common survival, we should wean ourselves from this respectable and popular notion of attacking an idea, not for what it is, but because of who said it.

  30. All socialist political leaders ate very well while their citizens were kept poor. They were typical of the old men’s superiority over women by keeping them barefoot and pregnant. They wanted their subjects or women in perpetual state of begging for anything. Socialism is all about total political control of the minds and bodies of their subjects.
    Until African leaders teach their people how to make things for trading on the world market they will NEVER develop their economies. For Zambia this means not just exporting copper for others to make copper wire and other goods and then buying it back as electrical goods.

    • Today, around the world, there is neither a purely socialist country nor a purely capitalist country. Socialism and Capitalism are extreme ends, neither of which is practical. A mixture brings the two to the center. This is what is working.

  31. So now from a consultant we also have a deputy Secretary General as presidential candidate! Naba Mmembe ati standing for President! And why not, if h.h can stand why not him? Ala Presidential ambition naishupa, if h.h is one why not them?

  32. I can’t debate whether socialism or capitalism is better as Mmembe wants me to do. I cannot comment on the messenger and carrier of utter crap. Surely I cant debate an idoit.
    Just imagine, he was printing his Past newspaper using a printing machine, instead of hand writing the newspaper in ink by the workers so that he could employ ten times more workers. Today he becomes a socialist!!!

  33. My cow and it’s milk belongs to the state(socialism)
    My cow and it’s milk all belongs to me (capitalism). Dependence on natural resources is the beginning of development especially economical development which has a bearing to social and economic life. Know the prior stages of evolution of development, hunting,fishing and feeding on wild fruits was the order of the day. Everything thing was communal, no one claimed ownership of a tree in the wild or hunting grounds.
    Later another stage in the evolution of development was the aspect of slavery in which one was the master and another a servant.
    Next stage was Feudalism in which masters owned land and the slaves. When owners of land upon exchanging ownership of land, slaves remained and we’re under the rule of of a new…

    • Thus wrote Cohen in 2009: “The socialist aspiration is to extend community and justice to the whole of our economic life. As I have knowledge, we now know that we do not know how to do that, and many think that we now know that it is impossible to do that.” However, which government, the world over, is not socialist in one aspect or other?

    • Frankly, Karl Marx, himself, had the catfish by the tail. He got lost in the forest he had set himself to explore. We do well to take heed Rousseau’s dictum: “If men could recognize how much more dangerous it is for them to be mistaken than it is for them to have knowledge, they would be less eager to listen to the teachings of the philosophers; and the philosophers would be more cautious about dispensing them…”

  34. Reading Dr Mmembe’s post, I thing the doctor is against capitalist investors who have been given platform in Zambia.
    These have brought into the country all sorts of means to maximize profit.
    Manual labour of the 60’s through the 80’s was most inefficient and risky. The investor has come to harvest big and his methods are appropriate for the task. Dr Mmembe want to do away with private enterprise and bring back government businesses which most of them had failed then.
    His POST was most exploitative in as far as workers service conditions was concerned. Nonetheless, good luck Dr with your socialist ideas !

    • We all know why Socialism failed. It has not worked anywhere in the world. It must not be expected to work anywhere. That said, one can’t help but notice that Capitalism is just as much an evil as is Socialism. The only difference is that Capitalism has self-sustaining existence, while Socialism does not. Otherwise, without Capitalism, Apartheid would not have been in South Africa, and slavery would not have been in America. Fortunately, the world is learning that a mixture of the two evils, creates a lesser evil. It’s finding that right balance that is critical.

  35. On our mines machines have made dangerous jobs safe to execute ….miners used to die needlessly before……i thank new technologies for improved safety…….

  36. Fred Mmembe, please don’t take that root! Without a thriving private sector during the Chiluba era your Post Newspaper would not have taken off and you probably would be wallowing in abject poverty today like the majority of Zambians. What is wrong with you, sir? I thought the Lungu government only closed the Post Newspaper, but now I see they also closed your brains! GOODBYE, YOU are the weakest link!!

  37. now i’m doubting if Mmembe was really editor in chief at the Post because, if he was and he has any knowledge relevant for the development of this country he cannot say what is written above. Technology and machine will take a bigger and bigger share of daily work in the future, as such humans must evolve and take on new roles, even Russia gets it look here ****************

  38. Machines can not function without human beings operating them. No human being can stand in the way of technology advancement because technology has itself created good number of jobs for human beings. Technology itself has improved on production and service delivery in terms of efficiency and effectiveness to match the needs of human beings. To day every worker need to reposition themselves in this new technological world by upgrading themselves professionally to meet the new qualification requirements in the labour market that has been created by machines. Zambia is not an island and will continue to be affected with technologically advancement taking place in other countries.

  39. Comment:This sort of thinking is very very old going back more than two hundred years when a man by the name of Luddite ran a movement which went by his name at the start of the Industrial Revolution in England and went about breaking machinery. The Zambian party needs to come up with new and inspiring ideas.

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