The Socialist Party of Zambia has vowed to continue its revolutionary agenda despite the recent setback of losing in the just-ended three local government by-elections. In a press statement released on Friday, April 21st, the party acknowledged the temporal setbacks and loss but stated that it will not dampen its revolutionary spirit.
“The temporal setbacks such as our loss in the just-ended 3 local government by-elections will not dampen our revolutionary spirit as we endeavor to grow our party into a strong and popular formation,” said the spokesperson for the Socialist Party of Zambia, Frank Bwalya.
Bwalya further emphasized that despite the loss, the party would celebrate the strides they have made in popularizing the socialist agenda. “The main cause of our celebration is not the good votes our party received in the just-ended by-elections but the interest of our people in the socialist program,” he said.
The party believes that the just-ended ward by-elections in Chililabombwe, Lupososhi, and Serenje were characterized by illegalities and electoral malpractices, including violence, intimidation of political competitors and voters, and vote-buying sponsored by the ruling United Party for National Development (UPND).
“The UPND again sponsored violence, intimidation of political competitors as well as voters and engaged in many electoral malpractices such as vote buying,” said Bwalya. He also mentioned that the UPND disregarded basic arrangements to facilitate peaceful campaigns, such as the agreed timetable facilitated by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ).
Bwalya also highlighted the violent incidents that occurred during the by-elections, including an attack on the party’s leader Dr. Fred M’membe and other members in Serenje. “Our leader Dr. Fred M’membe and other members were attacked in Serenje and locked up by the police leaving the UPND members who perpetrated the violence scot-free,” he said.
In Chililabombwe, the party’s members were also attacked by the UPND, and the police were forced to lock up their members only to release them after the campaign period elapsed.
Despite these challenges, the Socialist Party of Zambia says it will continue to engage with the people peacefully and with respect so that more Zambians can appreciate the difference their party would make when given an opportunity to govern.
“We shall continue to engage our people peacefully and with a lot of respect so that more Zambians can appreciate the difference our party would make when given an opportunity to govern,” said Bwalya.
He further noted that the party’s members would not be discouraged and would continue to push for change. “Our members will not be intimidated. Instead, they are determined to continue pushing and all of us are ready to pay the price of opposing a corrupt and violent regime. It is aluta continua,” he added.
The Socialist Party of Zambia stated that free and fair elections would continue to elude them as the police and the ECZ behave as lapdogs of the ruling party. Nevertheless, the party’s members will not be discouraged, and they will continue to fight for their cause.