In a strongly worded statement, Dr Fred M’membe, President of the Socialist Party of Zambia, criticized opposition leader Mr Hakainde Hichilema for aligning himself with what he referred to as “imperialists” in recognizing Morocco’s colonization of Western Sahara. Dr M’membe accused Mr Hichilema of being a “United States puppet” and accused him of following the instructions of his “American masters” in this matter.
Dr M’membe emphasized the significance of the historical context and the principles of self-determination. He stated, “It’s very sad and humiliating that Mr Hichilema has decided to make our country a puppet and agent of imperialism against the subjugated, humiliated, and struggling courageous people of Western Sahara. This act undermines the principles of self-determination and solidarity that Zambia should uphold.”
Highlighting the consequences of this recognition, Dr M’membe continued, “By siding with imperialists and recognizing Morocco’s colonization of Western Sahara, Mr Hichilema has not only disregarded the aspirations of the Sahrawi people for independence but has also compromised Zambia’s reputation as a supporter of justice and freedom.”
Drawing attention to the historical struggle of the Sahrawi people, Dr M’membe explained, “The Polisario Front, founded in 1973, has fought for the self-determination and liberation of Western Sahara. The Sahrawi people have endured years of oppression and displacement, and their plight should be a cause of concern for all progressive and justice-loving individuals.”
Regarding the international context, Dr M’membe highlighted the importance of unity and support for the Sahrawi cause. He said, “The African Union, the successor to the Organization of African Unity, recognized the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic as a full member in 1984. It is disheartening that while the African Union works towards a peaceful resolution and maintains a ceasefire, Mr Hichilema has chosen to side with imperialist forces, undermining the solidarity of the African continent.”
Dr M’membe concluded his statement by urging the Zambian people to stand against such actions, stating, “It is essential for the people of Zambia to recognize the importance of solidarity, justice, and self-determination. We must reject any attempts to undermine the rights and struggles of oppressed nations, such as the Sahrawi people. Let us remain committed to the principles of justice and support those who fight for their freedom.”