The International People’s Front condemns the arrest and detention of Dr. Fred M’membe, President of the Socialist Party Zambia. Dr. M’membe ran for president in the elections in Zambia last 12 August 2021. He was arrested last Tuesday by the Woodlands Police in Lusaka on charges of libel filed by Deputy Inspector General of Police Milner Muyambago.
A statement released by the Inspector General of Police said that “they noted with serious concerns (sic) utterances” made by Dr. M’membe regarding the situation in West Africa. They accuse Dr. M’membe for his utterances which are allegedly meant to cause anarchy in Zambia.
Dr. M’membe was subsequently released but the charges hang like the sword of Damocles above his head, ready to drop at the whim of the authorities. No, Dr. M’membe was not arrested because of his comments regarding a situation in another region of Africa thousands of miles away. He was arrested because after a long time, a new party has offered a viable alternative to traditional politics in Zambia. A party that seeks to do away with the neoliberal dictates of the ruling elite and their imperialist masters and build a socialist society. That is what Fred M’membe represents.
Upon his temporary detention Dr. M’membe was quoted as saying: “We have been locked up. It is not the first time it has been done but it won’t be the last.”
Dr. M’membe has been harassed and attacked by the ruling class of Zambia so many times in the last thirty years. He has been arrested and insulted. His home has been invaded and occupied by the state. His newspaper, the Post, which served as a platform for Zambians to criticize the shortcomings of the establishment was shut down on flimsy grounds.
The Socialist Party’s campaign rallies for bye-elections have been brutally attacked by members of the UPND, the ruling party. Twice, in January and April of this year, Dr. M’membe himself was physically attacked during the campaign for bye-elections in Serenje and Chililabombwe. When the matter was reported to the police, it was Dr. M’membe who was charged by the police officers.
As the ruling system, represented by the Hichelema regime, gets more desperate, we can expect the attacks against Dr. M’membe and the Socialist Party to intensify.
Let us call for a stop to the attacks against Dr. Fred M’membe and the Socialist Party.
Hands Off SP President Dr. Fred M’membe!
No to Political Intimidation!
Long Live the Socialist Party Zambia!