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M’membe dismisses Nevers, insists he’ll withdrawal the honors bestowed on Obasanjo and others

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Socialist Party president Fred M’membe has described Nevers Mumba as one of the puppets to the white imperialists insisting he will withdraw the honours bestowed on three
ex-African leaders serving in the Advisory Board of Brenthurst Foundation.

President Hichilema this week in Lusaka honored three former African presidents – General Obasanjo, Mr. Koroma and Mrs Johnson.

The three are serving in the Advisory Board of the Brenthurst Foundation an Anglo American mining lobby that seeks a low tax regime.

M’membe wrote:

WHO WILL DEFINE OUR AFRICAN HEROES?

I have read MMD leader Mr Nevers Mumba’s defence for the Oppenheimers and their agents in the Brenthurst Foundation, including the three who were honoured by the President of Zambia. I will not dignify Mr Mumba’s defence for the Oppenheimers – whom he proudly identifies himself with as his close allies – with a response.

Suffice to say that it is impossible for imperialism to succeed anywhere in Africa without local collaborators, agents, puppets, muppets or lackeys. It has been like that since European colonialism started the conquest of Africa. The forces that are after our mineral wealth always recruit from among ourselves those who are available for hire to become its voices, to defend and promote its interests. We urge our people to always strive to unearth the real class interests any idea or social, economic, and political policy or practice serves. When someone speaks, the first question to ask is: whose class interests is this person serving, protecting or advancing? Is it the poor Zambians’ interests? Or is it the Oppenheimers’ imperial and profit interests? Or is it the interests of mining lobbies? If they are defending the interests of the Brenthurst Foundation, an Anglo American mining lobby that seeks a low tax regime in our homeland and elsewhere in Africa to maximise their profits and our exploitation, what is in it for them?

We maintain that the disgraceful honours that were undeservedly given to members of the Brenthurst Foundation – the organisation created by the Oppenheimers and led by Mr Greg Mills that supported the campaign of the President when in opposition – shall be withdrawn once we assume office. We note that nearly everyone associated with the Brenthurst Foundation – including Mr Greg Mills, the Oppenheimers, former president of South Africa Kgalema Motlanthe and other members of the advisory board of the Brenthurst Foundation, and indeed Mr Nevers Mumba himself – turned up at State House on the day of the investiture ceremony to celebrate the honouring of three of their own. What were all these people doing at State House if the hastily arranged investiture ceremony had nothing do with the Brenthurst Foundation? How did they find themselves there? Who invited them to State House, and in what capacity?

It is patently clear that the President of Zambia and his right-wing sponsors are trying to use these disgraceful awards to impose agents of the Brenthurst Foundation – led by Mr Obasanjo, Mr Koroma and Mrs Johnson – on Zambia as our national and African heroes. No, those people have done nothing for Zambians, and this explains why even the person who was awarding them could not cite a single example of anything they have done for Zambia. Yes, they are heroes of the President and his sponsors in the Brenthurst Foundation, but they are not and will never be our people’s heroes. Zambians know who their real heroes are and Mr Obasanjo, Mr Koroma and Mrs Johnson are not among them.

Besides laundering the Brenthurst Foundation as an ally of Zambia and Africa, we know that the other motivation behind those awards was to counter the recent publicity of an extremely progressive message given by Thabo Mbeki during the Kenneth Kaunda Memorial Lecture at Mulungushi International Conference Centre last month. Mbeki’s lecture highlighted the huge gap between the pan-Africanist leadership provided by Kaunda and the current Zambian leadership, which is increasingly facing isolation from several African leaders who see it as a puppet of Western imperialist countries that is out to serve the interests of racist white capital and its Western backers.

Mbeki also showed that even in instances where Kaunda reached out to outside powers such as China for support, he never surrendered Zambia’s sovereignty to such powers or Western institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank. For instance, Kaunda never conflated socialist solidarity with capitalist predatory plundering relationships! There are worlds of differences between the way capitalists and imperialists relate to other countries and each other. China, for example, never ordered the Zambian government to institute austerity, remove subsidies on cooking oil, petrol, diesel, paraffin, newspapers, and books and so on in return for anything. China never demanded that Zambia unbundles ZESCO, and the government sells it, and so on. China never demanded that the government sells ZAMTEL in return for a bailout. China took a very long-term view and recognised that the country would be around even 100 years from now, if all Zambians did not perish from their poverty, and related to Zambia on a strong and mutual foundation of south-to-south solidarity.

In short, Mbeki effectively told Zambians that the real heroes of Africa are the Kaundas, Oliver Tambos, the Julius Nyereres and other great pan-Africanists who never pandered to outside forces, not the black African puppets, muppets, lackeys of the Brenthurst Foundation who are either already in power or are being sponsored into power elsewhere such as in Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe, or Tanzania. When you are President of Zambia, Ghana, or Tanzania, being a genuine pan-Africanist is not a choice. It is a matter of heritage because you are heir to pan-Africanist luminaries such as Kaunda, Kwame Nkrumah and Julius Nyerere. But the President of Zambia today is more comfortable in the company of the Oppenheimers and their agents in the Brenthurst Foundation whom he has honoured.

We know that the Brenthurst Foundation and their agents were not happy with the excellent pan-African message that Mbeki, who enjoys considerable respect among most Zambians, delivered in Lusaka and were keen to hoist their own African collaborators on us, as our heroes. We should take time to explain how those awards are linked to that lecture. It is worth reminding anyone who may have forgotten that despite being present at State House in Lusaka, the President of Zambia stayed away from Mbeki’s lecture on Dr Kaunda, a man he claims to love, respect and adore very much!

The President went to launch a book of his private white friend, Mr Greg Mills of the Brenthurst Foundation, in South Africa, using taxpayers’ resources. In attendance at that meeting were some of the people the President is now honouring as “continental democrats”. The President then went to the European capital, Brussels, to address white people using taxpayers’ resources.

Yet the same globe-trotting President could not attend a lecture in honour of Dr Kaunda delivered in his own capital city by the most prominent and highly respected Pan-African statesman alive today. Mulungushi International Conference Centre is literally minutes away from State House, where he was earlier meeting, with much fanfare, white people led by Samantha Power, the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development!

If the KK lecture was delivered by Mr Greg Mills or another white person, or if the event was held in London or Washington, we are quite certain that the President would have gone to attend it. But he chose to consciously snub Mbeki’s KK memorial lecture because everything Mbeki said during the occasion, including the point that it is a betrayal of national sovereignty to turn to the IMF for solutions to an independent African country’s economic problems, indicts this President. This is a man who seems to worship whites, who appears subservient to white people. Anyone who doubts this should next notice how he humbles himself, like a kid who has seen candies, in front of whites compared to his demeanour when he is meeting black people.

The snubbing of Mbeki’s lecture was not accidental; it was part of this offensive by the Brenthurst Foundation against anything and anyone who stands in the path of their mining business interests. It was a victory for the President’s white friends in South Africa and Europe, who control him and who may in fact have advised him to stay away from Mbeki’s lecture. Such white people and their agents in the Brenthurst Foundation hate the discourse of slavery, racism, colonialism, neo colonialism and imperialism that Mbeki is known for. They are more comfortable with the discourse of “investors” because they are the “investors”!

Many white people and Europeans hate Mbeki because they see him as an intelligent, articulate African in their language against them – the worst kind of African to them! They prefer dealing with puppets, muppets, lackeys who have no independent mind of their own. They can tell the puppets, muppets, lackeys to confer awards on their co-puppets, muppets, lackeys if only to show that they oversee key decision-making in Zambia today and to counter the progressive message of Mbeki and supplant it with their own right-wing, imperialist narratives, to hoist their own “African heroes” – represented by the three Brenthurst board members who were given the disgraceful honours – separate from everything Mbeki represents.

In retrospect, we think that it was a good thing that the President snubbed Mbeki because this makes it easier to unpack continuously the differences between this President and all Pan Africanist leaders. If he had been present at Mulungushi, his meeting, shaking hands and photo sessions with Mbeki would have been the most reported things from the lecture, burying the important matter of the wide distance between them.

Many Zambians may be poor, but they are a proud and dignified people who hate imperialism and its puppets, muppets, lackeys and tremble with indignation, anger at the subordination of their interests to the white commercial interests of mining lobbies and multinational corporations.

Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe warned us a long time ago, as did another patriot late legendary musician Keith Mlevu, to jealously guard our independence. Mlevu, in addition to singing about imperialism and state capture in his timeless “Ubuntungwa” song, also warned us about the dangers of borrowing in a song entitled “Inkongole tashawama”. Yet today, our leaders are going to the IMF with begging bowls and are foolishly ceding our sovereignty to the same forces that looted our mineral wealth for decades.

We, the heirs to Kaunda, Mlevu and Kapwepwe, must REJECT not just those scandalous awards to the heroes of the Brenthurst Foundation but also the new form of colonisation by stealth and the mortgaging of our homeland to the puppets’ imperial masters. We consider it a betrayal of the vision of our Founding Fathers and Mothers to subcontract the economic development of our homeland to mining lobby groups, Western financial institutions and the same forces who pillaged our mineral resources and from which our independence was won.

Aluta continua!
Victoria acerta!

Fred M’membe,
President of the Socialist Party

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