National Restoration Party (NAREP) leader Elias Chipimo says Zambians should stop admiring those who have illicitly acquired wealth.

And Chipimo says his party will write a letter to President Edgar Lungu requesting that investigations into the death of Vespers Shimuzhila be handled by an independent committee and not police officers are implicated in the case.

At a press conference at the party secretariat yesterday, Chipimo urged citizens to stop admiring those who had acquired illicit wealth.

“Fellow Zambians, we have to stop admiring those who have acquired wealth illicitly. We must begin to demand the standard of accountability from ourselves and from our leaders. Let us begin this proves by committing time to sending a clear message to the republican president and those that stand with him in a complicity of silence and neglect. Let us inform them that we are calling time on this presidency in 2021. In 2021, tuleya ku Chipimo (in 2021, we are voting for Chipimo),” Chipimo said.

And Chipimo said NAREP would write to President Lungu requesting him to constitute an independent inquiry into Vespers’ death.

“What has been the reaction of our leaders? A. withholding of a report into the cause of Vespers’ death; a decision not to appoint an independent and impartial committee to investigate fully what really transpired and to get to the source of culpability – who gave the order, how actions by a handful of students in a road nearly half a kilometer away resulted in the death of a student asleep in her bed. We ask again: why would a leader who loved his people not institute a commission of inquiry into the death of Vespers Shimunzhila? The family will not let this matter rest – and rightfully so. If we care about our own children and any of our own brothers and sisters, we too should not let this matter rest. NAREP will be writing a letter to the republican president requesting that this matter be handled by an independent committee and not the very police whose officers have been implicated in this serious matter,” Chipimo said.

Meanwhile, Chipimo observed that there were too many scandals in the PF.

“You know with this government, there are so many scandals that need to be addressed [and] you can end up spending your whole life in court just dealing with the scandals that were produced this year alone. Forget about the previous years that President Lungu and his administration have been in power. In fact the size of the scandals just depends on how much you are ready to look because they don’t stop and we haven’t even scratched the surface. So court action is one course that can be pursued but I think we have to be ready to plan how we are going to move forward on these court matters,” Chipimo said.

“And look at the time and the resources that go in trying to determine these issues. So it could take three, four to five years before we conclude the issue around whether or not the police have acted within the law when it comes to the Public Order Act. We should definitely work together as opposition. We are working behind the scenes on various matter that are before the courts in this country. and we will be working with other opposition political parties to ensure that the matters that would make sense for us to take to court are actually taken to court and that we can push for them to be heard and determined in the shortest possible time.”

He observed that there was too much division in the country.

“Let’s wake up and realize that our country is being stolen under our very own feet. Our land is being taken, our assets are being mortgaged in front of our very eyes, theft is taking place before our very eyes and it is all treated as if it’s normal. It’s not normal. We have a slim opportunity between now and a build up to 2021 to ensure that the leaders that we put into power, come 2021 are those who will protect our heritage and build this country. There is too much division in our country, there is too much of the ‘me’ syndrome and that is seen so clearly of the lavish life style of the people that we put into power. Leaders should eat last,” he said.

“And I understand [that[ many Zambians out there are scared, they are fearful. Maybe it’s about their jobs, maybe it’s about an opportunity to supply a government agency or government departments, maybe it’s a concern about an advantage they can acquire by being connected to those who happen to be in power. These are real issues and I don’t want to minimize them, but there is something much bigger at stake and it requires brave men and women to stand up and say ‘enough is enough.’ The fears of many citizens are justifiable and by the way, I wouldn’t be saying what I am saying if I was fearful. Very few Zambians seem to be ready to stand up and call it incompetence and corruption than what it really is, ready to put their neck on the line. Coming to the question, is it justifiable? For sure, there is too much dependence in this country. The economy is not helping individuals. So we need ordinary Zambians to stand up and say ‘I will take a stand against what is wrong in this country.”

Chipimo also said that his party supported a ZCID led dialogue.

“We as NAREP are supporting the Zambia centre for Inter-party Dialogue process. That is a process that we have been a part of helping to…. sadly, we are not seeing the commitment that would be required by all stakeholders. [But] that does not mean that it’s a perfect process, it has its own problems and challenges but just like any situation that seems to have challenges, you don’t throw it away. You do what you can to fix it,” said Chipimo.