By Staff Reporter
The office of Registrar of Societies has asked Socialist Party General Secretary Dr Cosmas Musumali to explain the authenticity of Monday’s Daily Nation newspaper lead story where the party has been accused of, among other things, teaching members how to make and detonate petrol bombs.
According to a letter dated January 29, 2018 signed by Chief Registrar of Societies Thandiwe Mhende, instead of asking the newspaper editor Richard Sakala, Dr Musumali has been asked to respond quickly.
“…In this regard I wish to bring to your attention and article headed ‘Socialist Party Recruits’ Published in the Daily Nation Newspaper Volume 4. Issue number 1881, dated 29th January, 2018 concerning the alleged recruitment which is going on in your political party. On page 4 where the article continues from the front page, it is stated that according to an insider who spoke to a reporter from Daily Nation Newspaper, your party, among other things, is teaching members how to make and detonate petrol bombs as a protective weapon against the police during a protest,” stated Mhende.
“Further on, the article states that you will be sending members for training in different fields including militancy. These acts appear to be contrary to the provisions of the Societies Act Cap 119 of the Laws of Zambia. In view of the foregoing and as matter of urgency, I request that you state your position in terms of the authenticity of these serious allegations that have been leveled against your Party. Kindly respond to the undersigned and give your position on the matter as soon as possible.”
The Daily Nation newspaper published a one-sided story that the Socialist Party had launched a massive, aggressive, and spirited recruitment campaign targeted at teachers, defence and security forces with some generals and Zambia Air Force officers having attended recruitment training sessions.
The newspaper further stated that police were also being recruited to ensure that party members were alerted and protected against government directives to deal with the party.
“We were also taught how to make and detonate petrol bombs as a protective weapon against the police during a protest and were also urged to join those protesting against injustice and inequality perpetuated by the PF Government, as a strategy to draw sympathy from citizens who cannot appreciate the socialist ideology,” stated the Daily Nation, quoting ‘an inside’ source.
But Dr Musumali earlier in the day trashed the story, describing it as a total fabrication that should be dismissed with the contempt it deserved.
“The party takes strong exception at the Daily Nation article in its vol. no 4 issue 1881 Monday edition of 29th January on the insinuations which are laced with malice and non factual comments. As a political party, we have the right, like any other political formation in Zambia, to reach out to the Zambian people irrespective where they are found and what they are in society through our mobilisation teams,” said Dr Musumali in a statement.
“Our operating principles are strongly influenced by socialist values of Equity, Humility, Honest and International Solidarity and we interact with the Zambian people through Justice, Equity and Peace (JEP) as our programme. It is erroneous therefore from the article to suggest that the party is mobilising people on how to make and demobilise bombs!. Socialist Party of Zambia is a legally registered party under the Zambian laws. The Party went through over a year of rigorous security check or scrutiny before been handed down the certificate of registration. As a party, we hide nothing that we are a socialist political party formation rooted in the working class ideology of Marxism-Leninism as enriched by Mao Zedong, Kwameh Nkrumah, Almicar Cabral, Patrice Lumumba, Frantz Fanon, Ernesto Che Guevara, Ho Chimingh, Samora Machel, Thomas Sankara, Chris Hani, Joe Slovo, Fidel Castro and many other revolutionaries. SP believes in the masses of our people being their own liberators. And this calls for education to raise their level of consciousness.”