The massive boycott of the Lusaka Mayoral by-election is a reflection of people’s resolve to not prey to deceitful messages of the advocates of capitalism, says Socialist Party spokesperson Fr Richard Luonde.

According to a statement posted on the Socialist Party’s official Facebook page, Fr Luonde observed that Zambians had finally started seeing the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) and ruling Patriotic Front (PF) as the capitalist parties that they really were.

Fr Luonde stated that it was encouraging to see that the majority of Zambian people were becoming more conscious of the fact that capitalism was not a system for the poor, but a system that soaks the poor people to enrich the rich.

“The massive boycott of the recent Mayoral polls in Lusaka heralds the beginning of a “cold season” for the advocates of neo-liberal right wing politics in Zambia and across the continent. The refusal by the vast majority of our people to participate in electoral processes that are meaningless was a phenomenal feat of bravery and must be commended. By and large, it is a reflection of the people’s resolve not to fall prey to deceptive messages from the advocates of the capitalist order. ‘Apo twatampila uku vota tapali ico tusangapo, ba PF na ba UPND bonse bamo bene, ma capitalist baisekeshafye abene beka, bakala ivotela abene beka (from the time we started voting, there is nothing we have gained. PF and UPND are just the same, they are both capitalists who just want to please themselves so they will be voting for themselves)’ is a common refrain across wide sections of the people these days,” Fr Luonde stated.

“Given the paralyzing statistics of poverty that define our daily lives, one would have expected a massive turnout at all polling stations in the hope of free WiFi, skyscrapers in Misisi and Kanyama, a state-of-the art road network in Matero as promised by the various contending candidates. Yet, in spite of these sugar-coated statements, the conscioustized mass of our people were able to decipher lies from these dishonest pronouncements. These ill-fated statements did not resonate with the needs of the people. At worst, it showed that all the contestants in the Mayoral polls were remotely connected to the needs of the people and did not understand in the least the upstream social and economic factors that largely, but insidiously, dictate our livelihoods.”

Fr Luonde added that the Socialist Party was the only political party with a progressive message likely to restore the country’s economic state and that it was worth paying attention to.

“It is encouraging that the majority of our people are becoming ever more conscious of the fact that capitalism is not a system for the poor. It is a system that “soaks” the poor to enrich the rich. Since 1991, when we got seriously involved with neo-liberal capitalism, hunger has been rising, poverty has been rising, unemployment has been rising, and life expectancy has been decreasing exponentially. Primary health-care is nothing to speak about in Zambia today. Access to education is a real nightmare. A large number of our youths are not in school because they have not paid school fees while a good number of them have not gotten their transcripts of results due to outstanding fees,” bemoaned Fr. Luonde.

“Over time, Zambia has progressively lost its economic sovereignty. The majority of citizens have been pushed to the peripherals of the economic circles, thereby, reducing them to free, cheap packets of labour for the Chinese nationals and consumers of Chinese cheap products. The Socialist Party is so far the only political party with a progressive message worth paying attention to. Restoration of economic sovereignty, unfettered access to education, access to primary health-care, and restoration of dignity to all our people are the major cornerstones of the Socialist Party.”