SOCIALIST Party president Fred M’membe told a presentation of parliamentary and local government candidates that it was the majority who should be ruling Zambia.
“Who are the majority in this country? They say democracy is majority rule. If it’s the poor who are the majority, why don’t they rule? This year, you, the poor should rule,” he said.
Dr M’membe was speaking at Kingfisher Garden Court in Lusaka at the unveiling ceremony for 34 parliamentary and three local government candidates.
He asked them, “Was Jesus rich or poor? Were his disciples rich or poor? When choosing a chief, do they choose the rich or the wise?
“Does having money amount to being wise? Is leadership about money?”
Dr M’membe said that, for the most part, those who ruled lived well but those who were governed suffered, adding the poor had not ruled Zambia since independence.
“They use you like a ladder when climbing onto a wall and when they are at the top they drop the ladder,” he said.
And he warned what would happen if the poor did not take control in the August elections this year. “If you, poor people, don’t rule, poverty will not end,” he said.
“This year, for the first time in our history, we will have a Parliament dominated by the poor. We will have a Parliament where the poor have a direct voice, where the poor are speaking for themselves, where the poor are representing themselves.”
Dr M’membe said the wealthy and their political parties had made themselves rich by exploiting the poor.
“You have been represented by the rich for too long. But what have they done for you? They have enriched themselves. What you can’t do for yourselves, nobody will do for you. You have sent abakankala to represent you, but they have not represented you. This time, go and represent yourself.”
Dr M’membe told the candidates that no other political party would adopt them.
“How many of you have K2,000 or K5,000 to pay for adoption? These other political parties you see all have owners,” he said.
“These political parties you have voted for are owned by the rich, you have just been used.
“But your party, the Socialist Party, is for the poor. You can’t be adopted in the political parties owned by the rich.”
Dr M’membe told the candidates to go out and educate people who were used to voting for people with money, to vote for themselves this time instead.