FORMER National Restoration Party (NAREP) Lusaka district chairman Fred Mutolilo says he has information that Mr Elias Chipimo wants to join the Patriotic Front (PF) party but his members who are interested in the Danish funding which his party receives have been discouraging him.
But when contacted for a comment Mr Chipimo, who is NAREP president, declined to comment and referred all queries to his secretary general.
Mr Chipimo said he would only make a comment at a later date, adding that it was only ideal for other members of the party to comment on the matter at the moment.
“I prefer that other members of the party comment on the matter but I will at the right time. For now let the Secretary General comment or any other members of our party,” he said.
On Saturday Mr Mutolilo, who defected to PF, said he was aware that Mr Chipimo wanted to join PF, but other NAREP members who were interested in the Danish funding which the party receives had been discouraging him. Mr Mutolilo, who led over 200 defectors to join PF, said NAREP was a finished party and urged Mr Chipimo to join PF.
But NAREP secretary general Vincent Mwanza rubbished reports suggesting that Mr Chipimo had intentions of joining the PF. Mr Mwanza said Mr Chipimo could never join PF because NAREP was still a strong party with values. He said NAREP was not shaken or disturbed by the defection of Mr Mutolilo.
He said the funds from Denmark were meant for capacity building, adding that NAREP had no control over the money.
Mr Mwanza said NAREP had its own internal and external auditors from Denmark. “We are not shaken or disturbed by these small defections where individuals go round using NAREP name gathering people that are not NAREP members and claim that they have defected from our party,” he said.
Mr Mwanza said it was a lie that over 200 members had defected to the ruling party and that NAREP structures were still solid. He said NAREP would continue building the party and would not pay attention to desperate individuals whose occupation was conducting fake defections.
“It is sad to note that politics are now based on the stomach, no principled politician can behave in this manner and we advise the PF to be careful with these men because they will one day do the same to PF,” he said.
Mr Mwanza said former national secretary Mr Kamanga was fired and Mr Mutolilo for gross indiscipline. He urged the PF to test their capacity to mobilize and organize sothat they could realise that they had welcomed liabilities.
And former secretary general Javan Kamanga has charged that people are running away from Mr Chipimo because he has failed to connect with his members.
Mr Kamanga said it was not because people did not like Mr Chipimo but they were running away because he had failed to connect with them.
“People are leaving him because he has failed to connect with them and he has also failed to cast the vision and values which he has been preaching. Mr Kamanga said it was unfair that Mr Chipimo and other NAREP members could now start calling him a fake bishop who was hungry and broke.
“… Now he calls me a fake bishop, he calls me that I am hungry, I am broke. It is uncalled for. Leadership must inspire people and the moment it fails to inspire people, people will run away,” Mr Kamanga said.