A Vibrant party with no representation: The case of NAREP

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Elias Chipimo

By David Kapoma

Two and half years since I left active politics I have avoided talking about my former party NAREP which in my view I diligently served. I simply did not want to be misunderstood in case some people misunderstood my language. But a time comes in life when some things must be said and done.

Let me start by saying something people may not know about President Chipimo as an individual.

The NAREP president is a Doctor who prefers not to use the title. The few times I behaved stubborn and called him Doctor, he looked at me and always said “DK that is nothing to me, it is just a title which I never want to use”. This is the level of humility and humbleness he carries. In fact I have never known a person as simple and humble like him. Mr. Chipimo is such a warm hearted person who means no harm.

Those who have worked closely with him can agree with me that he is a man of invention. He is always thinking about something new. In fact many times I told him that was his greatest weaknesses. He is always sacrificing for his party even though many people within the party failed to see the level of his sacrifice. No one needed an appointment to meet President Chipimo. He welcomed everyone regardless of where the person came from.

President Chipimo is an excellent father and also a good role model of a husband. For the three years I worked closely with him I leant a lot. His level of integrity is above African politics. I remember when he had to travel to Kenya to monitor the 2014 elections, we all forgot that he needed the certificate for yellow fever. Until 2 days before his trip did we remember. I took him to the ministry of health for his injection, after the nurse administered the drug she asked when his trip was due and we told her it was in 2 days’ time.

The nurse then advised that she back dates the certificate so that he is allowed to travel adding that yellow fever vaccination takes about 10 days to be effective. But typical of him he refused and asked the nurse why he should lie when the injection was taken. “Mpeleni ifyofine ili certificate, nga bambwesha ba immigration ninshi Lesa tasuminishe ubulendo”. This is what he told the nurse. She looked at him several times before handing me the certificate.

This is the level of his honesty. It is the reason why he can easily apologise when he realises he has made a mistake. He is a politician who believes that all must be done in truth and just. Yes he has his own weaknesses like any one of us.

I remember one day he walked into my office with his cup of moringa tea and asked to see me in his office. I stepped into the office, he remained quiet. I looked at him and said nothing. He took a sip in his moringa and asked me “DK are you ready to take over NAREP, I am tired of the politics in this country, I want to take some rest”. I got upset with him, looked at him and said “if you dare do that Mr. President I will go to Chibolya and hire those thugs and ask them to give you some good beatings, do you understand how much trust the young people have in you? Why do you want to let us down like that?”. He kept quiet and said “DK get out of my office”. I said Mr. President let me know when you are ready for us to talk am not done with you yet. He later on that same day rescinded his decision and asked me what I thought could be done for the party to be strong. Among other things I told him consistency was very key.

At the time I made a decision to take a break from active politics, he wished me well and told me the areas he thought I needed to change and improve on as an individual. He also asked me to continue doing some few things he thought I was very good at. He would send me press statements and asked for my opinion before releasing them to the media. In short president Chipimo is one selfless man who wants to maintain friendships.

NAREP as a party

This is one party which many Zambians especially the educated class believed was forming government in 2016. NAREP is potentially the party with the best well explained manifesto. I know many Zambians have not taken time to read it and understand. This is the only party that had the largest membership getting attracted to the party without being approached.

Why NAREP has failed to tick

It is common sense that NAREP does the kind of politics which are very difficult to be accepted in Zambia. This is why the party has failed to get even a single councillor. NAREP has pride, the party does not care who leaves the party. You will leave and all the party will do is wish you the best. Politics is about numbers. Any party that does not get worried when the members are leaving digs its own grave. The party does not understand the importance of membership retention.

If one leaves NAREP it means the problem is you who has left and not the party. Too many good politicians joined and left the party and are now doing well in other parties.

NAREP has failed to digest the party manifesto and make it simple for people of Senama in Mansa to understand and own it.

Many people feel the party has a Civil Society or NGO approach to politics. For example NAREP has been giving scholarships to students who want to study in China. Good idea! But people who vote may not want NAREP to be the one doing that.

In conclusion

In my view, NAREP is the most vibrant political party whose mark shall only remain as a record. If NAREP is to make any impact in the Zambian politics I think President Chipimo should step aside and allow those who are ready to fight with pigs take over. We will still respect him a lot for not having given up his values for the sake of making a mark in politics. Otherwise people want him to insult the way other politicians do but the way I know him he won’t insult, he really won’t.

So in short no space for him in Zambian politics. He is too smart for the common man to give him a vote.

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3 Responses to A Vibrant party with no representation: The case of NAREP

  1. Good evening, l agree with most of the things you have said,especially the fact that ELias would be a good president of Zambia if he was given a chance. The biggest weakness that I see in him is his failure to mobilise or mix with low level people(ordinary people).l do not agree that he should step down,we need people like him in our politics. Thanks. The writer is a senior citizen.

    Sylvester chileshe
    November 2, 2017 at 7:50 pm
    Reply

    • Indeed Chipimo wd be a good leader fr this country only problm is tht he is more for the elite and educated than for the poor at th grass roots.

      dc 10.
      November 3, 2017 at 4:52 am
      Reply

  2. You are both right. Elias is the best person for president but like you have said,he should involve the common man.

    CHAOS
    November 3, 2017 at 6:09 am
    Reply

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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31