NAREP President Elias Chipimo Jnr has announced that he will temporarily withdraw from the presidential campaigns after his father was diagnosed with cancer of the stomach.
Mr Chipimo said his father is currently admitted in a cancer hospital in South Africa who lives there and his brothers and sisters who have travelled to be by his side.He told a media briefing that he has instructed other NAREP officials to proceed with ongoing campaigns for the January 20 presidential election.
‘My dedication to the journey we started nearly five years ago is as firm as ever and will never waive. We shall continue to campaign and spread our message of hope and economic freedom for every Zambian, firmly believing that our approach and commitment have touched and will continue to touch the hearts of many,’ he said.
Mr Chipimo added, ‘In the nine days of the campaign remaining, I have chosen to make an important decision to temporarily suspend my campaign in order to spend time with the man who gave me life, my father. Just over three weeks ago, Dad was diagnosis with stomach cancer. Given his age and the extent to which the cancer appears to have spread, the prognosis does not look promising.’
‘I have had to come to terms with the prospect of sooner or later saying good bye to an inspirational giant of a man whose lone voice spoke out bravely against the tyranny of one party state in Zambia, at great personal cost.’
The NAREP leader stated that, ‘My father has never looked back on his life with regret. He remains the fighter he has always been but he needs his family around him now. He needs to experience the blessings of having his three daughters and four sons by his side as he prepares to celebrate his 84th birthday. I do not know how many more days, weeks, months or years God will grant him. All I know is that there is a time for everything and I want to spend whatever time he has left on this earth assuring him, along with my brothers and sisters of my love, support and admiration.’
Mr Chipimo has since asked Zambians to pray for his father as he battles through his cancer and that they respect his time away from the campaigns to be with him.
‘My time away does not amount to the end of our participation in the forthcoming election and should not be read as a sign of endorsement of any candidate. I urge all our supporters across the country to continue with the campaign in my absence and ensure that peace prevails wherever they go.’