LESSONS FROM LUANGWA
By Dr Fred M’membe, President of the Socialist Party
Firstly, we congratulate Mr Lawrence Shawa, the Patriotic Front candidate, for retaining his council chairpersonship of Luangwa. Secondly, we salute our candidate, Comrade Christopher Njobvu, and our campaign team, members and supporters for the efforts they exerted. You put up a good fight. Let’s keep our heads up and our morale high. We have lost a battle but not the war – our strategic objective is to win power in 2026. Remember the Vietnamese lost all the battles to the Americans but in the end won the war – without winning a single battle. Their strategic objective was to win the war and not all or any battle. We are very proud of you. Aluta continua!
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But there are some very important lessons we carry with us from Luangwa. We went into the Luangwa by-election with a clear and open mind. The Luangwa by-election has taught us how to dynamically respond to challenges and seize opportunities. Weeds have to be removed very quickly, weaknesses have to be rectified very quickly and mistakes have to be promptly corrected.
The Luangwa by-election brought to the fore the urgent requirement to strengthen our consciousness of the need to maintain political integrity, think in big picture terms, follow a disciplined line in terms of our thinking and actions. We learned of the importance of building a contingent of members and leaders who are loyal to the party, the country, and the people, and who are politically solid and strongly disciplined in their conduct. In Luangwa we learned of the need to quickly strengthen guidance on ideals and convictions and enhance the overall quality of members and leaders.
In today’s politics of increasing instabilities and uncertainties, our party faces both opportunities and challenges in its work and struggles. We need to accurately grasp the laws underlying changes to our country’s politics. We need to be clear about the political trends in our country, our continent and the world at large and identify the risks and challenges that lay ahead, so that we can take precautions, respond appropriately, and do our work well.