UPND secretary general Stephen Katuka says the party is saddened by Elias Chipimo’s decision to quit politics.
And People’s Alliance for Change (PAC) president Andyford Banda says Chipimo has left politics with a good record.
On Monday, Chipimo announced his decision resign from his position as NAREP president and to retire from active politics, saying he wanted to serve the country in other ways.
But in an interview, Tuesday, Katuka said Chipimo had been a crucial apposition alliance member.
“It is a sad move for us. He has been a very critical member of our alliance but we believe he made a lot of contributions to the growth of the democracy to the country because he remained in opposition giving checks and balances to the government of the day. He has decided to go…he has been around long enough and he has his own reason to go that route. But for us, we wish him well and urge to continue being a vibrant citizen and fight for the restoration of the rule of law. He is a lawyer by profession so we want him to continue fighting for the Zambian people. So we wish him well in endeavors be it in politics or business,” said Katuka.
And in a separate interview, Banda said Chipimo had left politics with a good record.
“To learn that Elias Chipimo is leaving politics, personally I am saddened because he’s one person who was doing politics different. It’s quite sad. On the other hand, the people of Zambia should not be discouraged about what has happened thinking people who can practice clean politics can’t make it. I think on our side as PAC, we want to promise the people of Zambia that we are going to work very hard to ensure that we contribute to change this country. And I would just like to encourage other opposition party leaders to hang in there and try do the right things,” said Banda
“I know it’s not easy, politics involves a lot of issues. A lot of money has to be spent, a lot of sacrifices. You have to be insulted for things you have not done. But I agree with Elias that probably, it’s time he gave a chance to young people. And this should be emulated by most of the people that have been on the stage for quite some time. They should not think that without them, politics can’t go on. They have to find time to retire. We just want to say thank you for his contribution to politics and the democracy of this country. In as much as he may not have fulfilled his vision of becoming the president, but I think he did a lot in terms of providing checks and balances to the government. His pulled out of politics with a very clean record and he was consistent with his politics and we wish him well.”