What NAREP’s Chipimo said on Saturday

STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT OF NATIONAL RESTORATION PART (NAREP) AT A PRESS CONFERENCE TO ANNOUNCE NAREP’S PARTICIPATION IN UPCOMING BY-ELECTIONS IN MPULUNGU AND CHILANGA CONSTITUENCIES
LUSAKA, SATURDAY 25 SEPTEMBER 2010
A TURNING POINT
GOOD MORNING LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.
ON 2 OCTOBER 2010, NAREP WILL BE SEVEN MONTHS OLD AS A PARTY. DURING THE TIME SINCE OUR LAUNCH, WE HAVE UNDERTAKEN AN AGGRESSIVE GRASSROOTS CAMPAIGN TO CREATE AWARENESS OF OUR PLANS FOR ZAMBIA AND THE NEED TO INTRODUCE FRESH NEW LEADERSHIP WITH NEW IDEAS AND A NEW APPROACH TO POLITICS. WE HAVE REFRAINED FROM ISSUING INSULTING AND DEROGATORY STATEMENTS AGAINST OUR POLITICAL OPPONENTS, OPTING INSTEAD TO OFFER A VISION OF WHERE WE CAN BE AS A NATION IF WE HARNESS THE WILL TO WORK TOGETHER TO REBUILD WHAT HAS BEEN SYSTEMATICALLY DESTROYED OVER THE YEARS, WITH NO SIGN THAT THIS SITUATION WILL CHANGE ANY TIME SOON.
WE HAVE WELCOMED CRITICISM FROM ALL QUARTERS, REFLECTING OUR BELIEF AND ACCEPTANCE THAT NO-ONE HAS A MONOPOLY ON WISDOM AND GREAT IDEAS.
WE HAVE HELD TRUE TO THE THEME THAT INSPIRED OUR NAME: RESTORATION – RESTORING THE VALUE SYSTEM THAT HELD TOGETHER THE RESOLVE OF OUR NATIONALIST HEROES TO FIGHT FOR A BETTER ZAMBIA. AND THAT IS WHAT I REMAIN CONVINCED WE ALL ULTIMATELY WANT TO SEE:
– A ZAMBIA THAT CAN TAKE THE BEST OF WHAT WE ALL HAVE TO CONTRIBUTE, AND TO USE IT FOR THE COMMON GOOD
– A ZAMBIA IN WHICH THE DESIRE TO SERVE ONE ANOTHER WILL OVERRIDE OUR WILL TO BRING ONE ANOTHER DOWN
– A ZAMBIA IN WHICH THE ELECTORAL SYSTEM IS TRUSTED AND RESPECTED BY ALL AND CAN DELIVER A RESULT THAT TRULY REFLECTS THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE
MANY OF YOU WILL RECALL THAT IN THE SPEECH TO LAUNCH THE NATIONAL RESTORATION PARTY, WE HAD INDICATED THAT WE WOULD BE INTRODUCING A NEW TYPE OF POLITICAL LEADERSHIP – LEADERSHIP THAT WOULD CONTINUALLY RAISE ISSUES THAT AFFECT OUR DEVELOPMENT AS A NATION AND WOULD SEE THE INTRODUCTION OF A VALUES-BASED APPROACH TO POLITICS.
WE REMAIN FULLY COMMITTED TO THIS GOAL AND THOUGH THE ROAD WILL NO DOUBT BE HARD AND THE OBSTACLES HIGH, WE ARE UNDETERRED AND AS DETERMINED AS WE WERE WHEN WE FIRST BEGAN.
THERE ARE THOSE THAT WERE WITH US WHEN THIS JOURNEY BEGAN BUT LOST THE WILL TO SEE THROUGH THE TOUGH TIMES. WE HAVE RESPECTED THEIR DECISION TO MOVE ON. OUR DOORS REMAIN OPEN TO ALL THOSE WILLING TO BE A PART OF THIS GREAT REVOLUTION FOR TRUE CHANGE IN A NATION THAT CAN DO SO MUCH BETTER FOR ITSELF AND ITS PEOPLE.
IT IS WITH THESE THOUGHTS IN MIND THAT I MAKE THE ANNOUNCEMENT THAT NAREP WILL BE FIELDING CANDIDATES IN THE UPCOMING BY-ELECTIONS TO TAKE PLACE IN MPULUNGU AND CHILANGA ON 28 OCTOBER 2010. WE INVITE ALL THOSE INTERESTED IN OFFERING THEIR CANDIDACY FOR CONSIDERATION TO LODGE THEIR APPLICATIONS WITH THE NATIONAL SECRETARY. OUR MAIN CRITERIA WILL BE THE DEMONSTRATED COMMITMENT TO LIVE UP TO THE VALUES THAT WE FEEL ARE NECESSARY TO SUSTAIN THE SERVICE-ORIENTED AND SACRIFICIAL LEADERSHIP THAT OUR COUNTRY SO DESPERATELY NEEDS.
SOME OF YOU WILL NO DOUBT RECALL THAT WE HAD DECLINED TO PARTICIPATE IN PREVIOUS BY-ELECTIONS. WE WERE THEN TOO NEW AND NEEDED THE TIME TO SPREAD OUR MESSAGE OF VALUE-BASED CHANGE. OUR FOCUS WAS ON 2011 – AN ELECTION THAT WE BELIEVE WILL SIGNAL A TURNING POINT IN ZAMBIA’S ABILITY TO INFLUENCE THE COURSE OF EVENTS IN AFRICA AND IN THE WORLD.
BUT THERE COMES A TIME WHEN A PARTY’S METTLE MUST BE TESTED; WHEN NOTHING WILL SPEAK LOUDER THAN THE DEMONSTRATED COMMITMENT OF ONE’S WILL TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO THE LIVES OF THE MANY WHO ARE LOOKING FOR LEADERSHIP THAT CARES, LEADERSHIP THAT REALLY HAS A HEART FOR THE PEOPLE. THERE COMES A TIME WHEN POLITICAL RESOLVE MUST BE REFINED ON THE ULTIMATE POLITICAL PLATFORM. WE ARE NOW AT THAT POINT.
INDEED, WE ARE AT A TURNING POINT IN OUR LIFE AS A PARTY.
WE CAN NO LONGER IGNORE THE ABNORMALITY THAT CONFRONTS US WITH THE PROLIFERATION OF BY-ELECTIONS. SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR, THERE HAVE BEEN 4 BY-ELECTIONS. WITH THE 2 UPCOMING ELECTIONS NEXT MONTH, THAT AMOUNTS TO NEARLY ONE ELECTION EVERY MONTH SO FAR. TRULY, THE ABNORMAL IN ZAMBIA HAS BECOME NORMAL. IT IS EVEN POSSIBLE THAT BEFORE THE GENERAL ELECTIONS NEXT YEAR, THERE MAY BE SEVERAL MORE BY-ELECTIONS. THE SOURCE OF MANY (THOUGH NOT ALL) OF THESE BY-ELECTIONS HAS BEEN A CLEAR LACK OF TOLERANCE ON THE PART OF THOSE THAT HAPPEN TO HOLD THE PRIVILEGED POSITION OF LEADERSHIP. IT WAS WELL WITHIN THE POWER OF THE INCUMBENT POLITICAL PARTY TO AVOID EXPELLING MEMBERS WHOSE LEVELS OF FRUSTRATION HAVE CAUSED THEM TO VOICE CLEAR AND OBVIOUS CONCERNS ABOUT PERSONAL AGENDAS WITHIN THE LEADING POLITICAL ESTABLISHMENT.
POLITICAL LEADERSHIP WOULD DO WELL TO REFER TO THE WORDS OF SCRIPTURE: A GENTLE ANSWER TURNS AWAY WRATH BUT HARSH A WORD STIRS UP ANGER (PROVERBS 15:1).
WE CALL UPON LEADERSHIP STRUCTURES IN ALL PARTIES TO TRY ON A DIFFERENT HAT – A HAT OF TOLERANCE; A HAT OF FORGIVENESS; A HAT OF GRATITUDE. NONE OF US IS WISE, NONE OF US HAS THE MONOPOLY OF WISDOM. WE WILL ALL HAVE TO WORK TOGETHER TO ATTAIN THE SOLUTIONS THAT THE ELECTORATE SEEKS FROM LEADERSHIP. WE WOULD DO WELL TO HEED THE WORD OF THE WISE IN PROVERBS 16:32
“BETTER A PATIENT MAN THAN A WARRIOR, ONE WHO CONTROLS HIS TEMPER THAN ONE WHO TAKES OVER A CITY”
WE HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO SEEK A WAY TO WORK TOGETHER – OPPOSITION AND INCUMBENTS – TO FIND ANSWERS TO THE PROBLEMS WE ALL FACE AS A NATION. WE WILL NOT FIND THESE SOLUTIONS WITH ENDLESS TRIPS ABROAD, MARVELLING AT THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF OTHER NATIONS AND PRETENDING THAT THIS IS AN EFFECTIVE WAY TO ATTRACT INVESTMENT. THERE ARE LESS COSTLY AND MORE EFFICIENT WAYS TO DO THIS. AND WE WILL NOT FIND THESE SOLUTIONS BY DOING EVERYTHING WE CAN TO HOLD ONTO POWER AT ANY PRICE. WE WILL NOT FIND THESE SOLUTIONS BY VICTIMISING POLITICAL OPPONENTS AND THEIR SUPPORTERS. INDEED, WE WILL NOT FIND THESE SOLUTIONS IF WE SEEK ONLY TO CRITICISE BUT OFFER NO FRESH AND INSPIRING SOLUTIONS TO THE CHALLENGES WE MUST ALL COLLECTIVELY PLAY A ROLE IN OVERCOMING.
AS NAREP, WE COULD NOT HAVE ANTICIPATED SUCH A STATE OF AFFAIRS. WE HAVE THEREFORE HAD TO MAKE THE DIFFICULT CHOICE OF DIVERTING RESOURCES FOR OUR 2011 CAMPAIGN TO FIELD CANDIDATES IN ELECTIONS NEXT MONTH.
WITH EACH ELECTION DIRECTLY COSTING OUR COUNTRY WELL IN EXCESS OF K3 BILLION, WE BELIEVE THAT TRUE LEADERSHIP WOULD HAVE FOUND A WAY TO AVOID THE UNNECESSARY COST OF PREMATURELY DRAGGING THE COUNTRY THROUGH YET MORE BY-ELECTIONS.
AND WHAT IS THE PRICE WE ARE PAYING FOR THIS LACK OF PRIORITIES?
OUR MEN HAVE LOST ALL DIGNITY AND RESPECT AND ARE FORCED TO RELY ON ANY MEANS TO MAKE A LIVING FOR THEIR FAMILIES.
OUR YOUTH ARE DESPERATE AND VULNERABLE. THEY HAVE NO JOBS, NO HOPE, NO INSPIRATION – PARTICULARLY FROM LEADERSHIP THAT SEEKS TO USE THEM TO ADVANCE PERSONAL AGENDAS.
OUR WOMEN ARE ABUSED AND ABANDONED. TAKING CARE OF OUR CHILDREN; FEEDING OUR HOUSEHOLDS; TENDING TO OUR SICK; WORKING HARD AT EVERY FUNERAL. AND WHAT DO THEY GET IN RETURN? INSULTS FROM THE EXPLOITED YOUTH THAT ARE FED ON ALCOHOL WITH THE SOLE PURPOSE OF RAISING ENOUGH OF A RABBLE TO INTIMIDATE POLITICAL OPPONENTS. THIS HAS TO COME TO AN END!
DEEP DOWN INSIDE, OUR NATIONAL LEADERSHIP KNOWS THAT THEY HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO FOSTER A CLIMATE OF DIGNITY AND CONDEMN ALL VIOLENCE IN THE COUNTRY. THIS INCLUDES ACTUAL VIOLENCE AND THREATS OF VIOLENCE. WE CONSISTENTLY HEAR THE THREATS. WE NEVER HEAR THE CONDEMNATION.
OUR NATIONAL LEADERSHIP KNOWS THAT THEY HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO OVERSEE AN ELECTORAL SYSTEM THAT CAN GUARANTEE A RESULT THAT TRULY REFLECTS THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE. BUT ASKING OUR LEADERSHIP TO REFRAIN FROM DOING WRONG AND TO START DOING RIGHT IS LIKE ASKING A PERSON ADDICTED TO A BAD HABIT TO TRY LIVING WITHOUT THE ADDICTION FOR A WHILE. THIS WILL NOT HAPPEN WITHOUT DEEP AND COMMITTED THERAPY. IT IS TIME TO PUT THE LEADERSHIP THAT HAS FAILED THIS COUNTRY INTO DEEP THERAPY TO CURE IT OF ITS ADDICTION TO POWER.
THIS WILL NOT BE EASY. BUT, BY GOD’S GRACE, IT IS POSSIBLE. WHILE TIMES HAVE INDEED BEEN TOUGH FOR US, I SAY TO ALL THOSE THAT WANT TO SUPPORT NAREP’S CAUSE THAT THIS IS ONLY THE BEGINNING. TOUGHER TIMES LIE AHEAD. BUT I CAN ASSURE YOU OF THIS: NO MATTER HOW LONG THE ROAD, IT IS NOT TOO LONG FOR US TO KEEP WALKING WITH OUR HEADS HELD HIGH; NO MATTER HOW HIGH THE OBSTACLES THEY WILL NEVER BE TOO HIGH FOR THE RESOLVE WITHIN OUR HEARTS TO OVERCOME. AND NO MATTER HOW DIFFICULT THE TASK, WE WILL BE EQUAL TO IT. WE ARE RESOLVED AND CLEAR IN OUR HEARTS THAT ZAMBIA’S PEOPLE CAN STAND TOGETHER AS ONE TO MAKE THE NATION OF THEIR DREAMS A REALITY.
I THANK YOU ALL.

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