By Dr Cosmas Musheke Musumali
Fred is a true Zambian patriot. He loves the people of Zambia and has been fighting for their human, political, and economic rights for more than 40 years.
Fred took up the fight against injustice in the late 1970s as a student. He founded a socialist student newsletter. Its focus was on Zambian, international, and student politics. It was an informative and influential left-wing newsletter that called for justice and equity and provided solidarity with the national liberation movements in southern Africa.
Later, in1990, Fred was to build on this student experience by contributing to Multiparty News. This was a newsletter initiated by the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) advocating for political change in Zambia. This was before he set up The Post newspaper in July 1991.
Fred did not come up with The Post in order to make money. It was a political move. He wanted to contribute to the consolidation of democracy in our country. The Post was a political project – and, ironically, died a political death.
Through The Post, he created a platform where Zambians had a loud voice and fearlessly pointed out the shortcomings of the existing establishment. And, because of that, he has been both loved and hated, depending upon the point of view of those who judged him.
Fred has been arrested, insulted and abused. He has been stripped of his earnings and personal effects. His home has been invaded, vandalised and occupied by the state. Few have attracted that much venom from the corrupt, ruling elite. The aim was to cripple him economically and psychologically – to stop him from being a voice of the masses. And this has been going on for almost 30 years now. Yet Fred has grown stronger and more resolute in his fight for justice, equity and peace.
The Fred of today is more resilient than ever before. He is in the true sense uwesu, wathu-wathu, wesu, wetu, waluna and yowetu, for the voiceless masses.
The Author is General Secretary and First Vice-President of the Opposition Socialist Party in Zambia