National Restoration Party (NAREP) president Elias Chipimo says he turned down an offer to stand as a member of parliament on the PF ticket because he is not in politics to make money.

Chipimo said this when he featured on Hot FM’s Hot Seat programme yesterday when he promoted his party’s empowerment programme dubbed “Twenty Percent Generation Platform (TPG)” which is aimed at addressing the social crisis being faced by Zambians.

He revealed that he turned down an offer to be Mporokoso PF member of parliament because he believes that he can make a difference with a different kind of politics.

“The easy thing for me would have been to sell my party to the PF and say ‘let me just make my dollars, let me just endorse everything these guys have done, let me stand as an MP on the PF ticket’, yes, I would have passed if I said let me go in there and challenge the selection instead of Mr [Brian] Mundubile in Mporokoso it could have been Elias Chipimo, that offer was there,” Chipimo revealed.

“But I didn’t get into politics so that I could become rich or I could make money, no, I got into politics because I believe that we can make a difference with a different type of politics, one that is not based on insults, one that is not based on pride, one that’s not based on generating additional tension which this country doesn’t need but one that’s based on what can every Zambian contribute in terms of development?”

Asked if he was confident that government would support NAREP’S empowerment scheme given that its success was heavily dependent on that, Chipimo said he placed his confidence in the Zambian people.

“My confidence does not lie in the politicians. My confidence lies in the Zambian people…this is going to require a lot of sacrifice and determination and that is what I am willing to put in because my intention is that I want to see that man who is sitting in a bar all day hustling to find the next place where he will get a K50, just for that day, I am thinking about that girl needing just a K100 for food, I am thinking about that person in a small village in Mporokoso where they have an NGO called ‘Bwacha no ku Chula’, who is pregnant at 14 years old because there is no other form of recreation in her community…these are the people I believe in. they are the ones I am thinking about. They are not thinking ‘we are going to steal today’ but they are working hard and trying their best. And if every Zambian says let us embrace this thing, no government will stand in their way. And the government will not see it until they see that the people want it,” said Chipimo.

Chipimo said his party would call by a national indaba by the end of September to discuss the TPG and other issues of national relevance.

He also noted that government had failed to create employment despite various promises to do so.

When he launched TPG last month, Chipimo explained; “all public institutions and agencies will be required by law to set aside 20 per cent of public procurement contracts for the exclusive benefit of youth, women and vulnerable groups. This will include every type of purchase: fuel and chemicals; agricultural commodities (fruits vegetables, beans and mealie-meal); stationery supplies; uniform and clothing; vehicles; equipment; use of official accommodation; cleaning services; car hire will be procured for public institutions by ordinary Zambians.”

“There will be careful monitoring and supervision of the TPG scheme and to prevent political interference, selection and training of participants will be undertaken by established independent NGOs and civil society organisations. Participants will not be selected because they are eligible Zambian citizens and not on the basis of which political party they belong to.”