National Restoration Party (NAREP) president Elias Chipimo Junior has charged that the United Party for National Development (UPND) is being petty by barring its members of Parliament (MPs) from attending State functions.
Mr Chipimo said there was too much fuss on pettiness and partisan politics in the country at the expense of people uniting for the sake of national development.
Mr Chipimo was making reference to the UPND leadership’s directive to its MPs to refrain from attending national events until the courts of law disposed of the cases bordering on this year’s general elections, whose outcome the opposition party disputed.
“My appeal to the leadership of this nation, my appeal to every MP, my appeal to those that would aspire to lead this country is let’s work together to build a bridge of unity around how we can fix Zambia
“Let’s not be concerned with petty issues like ‘Did my MP sit next to the President at a function?’ Where is our focus if that now becomes your reason for censuring a member of your own party? Where are we
going when everything becomes about confrontation rather than how we can build this country together?” Mr Chipimo wondered.
He said during a media briefing yesterday in Lusaka that he did not want to continue being part of the pettiness in the country, but wanted to contribute to making changes for the benefit of the nation.
Mr Chipimo said there was need to put politics aside and the country to get back to basics as the nation’s foundation was damaged.
He said he was willing to act as a mediator in reconciling President Lungu and UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema as he intended to meet both leaders.
“Just look at America, look at other countries that move forward. No matter how bitter their campaigns, they are still able for the sake of the nation to sit together and discuss issues, it doesn’t mean theirdifferences go away. No.
“It doesn’t mean that if you are in opposition and you are seen sitting and talking to a particular president of a party that’s in power that somehow that diminishes your chances. I think the way that the new Zambia must now be built, we must depend on the young minds that will see beyond these partisan issues,” Mr Chipimo said.
Meanwhile, Mr Chipimo said NAREP rallied behind the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) and its president Linda Kasonde as LAZ was interpreting issues as they were.
He also said the Constitution protected the Judiciary and thus anyone who uttered negative remarks against that arm of the Government was violating the supreme law of the land, and urged aggrieved persons to follow proper channels in airing their grievances.
Mr Chipimo, who is a lawyer, said that people should not blame judges or the Judiciary over the nullification of parliamentary elections, but that they should blame the Constitution as it was ambiguous and contradictory in Articles 72 and 73.
In another development, Mr Chipimo said NAREP’s second national convention starting yesterday evening and ending on Sunday was aimed at electing new office-bearers, unveiling a new party constitution as well as bringing to the fore a robust mobilisation strategy.