Elias Chipimo Jnr

Elias Chipimo
Elias ChipimoSunday, August 13th, 2017 at 6:55pm



Mutembo was born in 1936 in Mbala . He and his twin brother, Arnold, got involved in the political struggle against the colonialists in Northern Province at the age of 18 in 1954.

They dropped out of school after their father's death and joined the political struggle led by Robert Makasa and
Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe .

In 1957, having already made his impact in Northern Province, suffering imprisonment and beatings in the process, Mutembo, along with seven others were sent to Kenya where Dedan Kimathi was leading a rebellion against the colonial rulers. Their mission was to learn how to carry out their own rebellion back home. When he returned, Mutembo worked closely with
Kaunda and Kapwepwe, following them on their campaign trail.

Before Kaunda and others would speak, Mutembo would go on stage first to tell the crowds how bad the colonial government was hence the importance to fight for independence.

On October 24, 1958 at Kaunda's house number 394 in Chilenje , the young freedom fighter got his pet name " Zanco "; and it was also here that the unborn nation was christened. The meeting named the anticipated ‘new’ nation. Kaunda and Kapwepwe proposed the name " Zambia" over "Zambezia" as they had been chanting, "Zambia, Zambia! ". It sounded very nice and they all started dancing like little children.

The motto ‘’ One Zambia, One Nation " was also coined at the same meeting which also marked the birth of the Zambia Africa National Congress (ZANC).

Early 1960s, Kaunda wrote a letter to the governor, Sir Arthur Benson, to protest against a clause in the constitution that gave Europeans an upper hand in the legislature. Mutembo took up the task to deliver the letter to Government House (now State House ).

"I have a message from president Kaunda," he announced when he met the governor. On his way out, however, he was arrested and tortured. At about 15:00 hours that day, he was taken to Kaunda's office in Chilenje where he was celebrated as a hero.

About 03:00 hours the following day, Mutembo was taken to Cairo Road where he climbed a tree with a megaphone to denounce the new constitution. At 06:00 hours, he started proclaiming his message, but was soon surrounded by police who threatened to shoot him if he did not get down. He was arrested.

Today, the tree still stands opposite the Main Post Office and later came to be known as "Zanco Tree ".

Mutembo appeared in court after having been involved in a political brawl in Matero . He had been badly beaten in the fight and lost two of his front teeth, a mark he still bears. When the judge asked him to demonstrate to the court how he had been beaten, the young freedom fighter walked across the courtroom from the witness box and, reaching where one of the prosecutors - a white man - was standing, and punched him in the face, giving him a bloody nose. His action was a blatant show of rebellion in the face of the colonial government. At the end of the trial, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison plus four lashes for punching the prosecutor. He was sent to Livingstone State Prison where he was held in chains.

While in prison, Mutembo was forced to witness executions of three black men accused of murdering a white man.

Kaunda visited Mutembo and negotiated his transfer to another cell. He was transferred to Mukobeko Maximum Prison in Kabwe.

On December 31, 1963 - with independence now imminent - Sir Evelyn Hone , the last governor for Northern Rhodesia , asked Kaunda for a symbol the new nation would be known by. Would it be the Victoria Falls or perhaps the Muchinga Escapement, or any other natural resource. Kaunda, however, had other ideas. Kaunda and the
United National Independence Party (UNIP) leadership had chosen Mutembo to be the symbol of the new nation.

Kaunda called Mutembo, a strongly built young freedom fighter from Mbala who had earned himself a place among the ranks of freedom fighters such as Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe , and told him that he had been chosen to die for the nation and told him to be strong. Later that day, Mutembo drove with Sir Evelyn Hone in his official vehicle with a mounted police escort down King George Avenue (now Independence Avenue ) to Police Force Headquarters.

At Force Headquarters, after being interviewed, he was taken to a room where 18 military officers stood with guns at ready. He was then handcuffed to a chain and ordered to break free or get shot. Shockingly, he pulled so hard and broke the chains in full view of soldiers and photographers who took photos of what seemed like magical power. It was from these photos that the Freedom Statue would be crafted by casting experts.

The governor, Sir Evelyn Hone, raised his hands and announced, "You are now the symbol of the nation."
Mutembo then made his demands for independence as rehearsed by Kaunda and Kapwepwe before the governor. He demanded that Zambia should be granted independence on 24 October 1964, remembering the day when ZANC was formed.

At the end of the ceremony, Mutembo was made to swear on the Bible and drove with the governor to his residence where he stayed for four days.

On 5 January 1964, Mutembo was taken to a house about two kilometers from Government House where he stayed for the next few months with white police officers guarding him and was given people to prepare his food. The house is at 6
Nalikwanda Road in Woodlands . It is now private property which has been converted into a pre-school.

Mutembo was also given an official vehicle - a Land Rover station wagon – bearing the initials of his status "SNNRG" (symbol of the nation Northern Rhodesia Government) and a Union Jack.

In March 1964, he was summoned to Government House by Sir Evelyn to go on a trip with him to Abercorn, now Mbala .

In Mbala, Sir Evelyn gave Mutembo a piece of land as a token in recognition of his status. The five-hectare plot sits in an area which saw the last combat of the Second World War. Mutembo stayed in Mbala until October 17, 1964, when the colonial government sent a plane to bring him back to Lusaka. It was on the plane that Mutembo had his first glimpse of the
Zambian flag .

A week later, Zambia got its independence on 24 October 1964. On that day, Mutembo stood a few metres from Kaunda and Queen Elizabeth II.

After the ceremony, Sir Evelyn Hone handed Mutembo over to Kaunda as the symbol of the nation.

A statue was made depicting the scenario when Mutembo broke the chains in 1963. On October 23, 1974, during the celebrations of the 10th Anniversary of Zambia’s independence, the Freedom Statue was unveiled and became a symbol of Zambia's freedom from the British colonial regime, and has earned its place on some of the country's most important articles, including its currency. The statue is a reminder of Zambia's fight for freedom. It is displayed at the Government Complex along Independence Avenue in Lusaka.

It is at this statue where the laying of wreaths takes place every Independence Day in memory of the fore-fathers who died during the struggle.
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Elias Chipimo
Elias ChipimoMonday, July 31st, 2017 at 10:25am
You don't inspire others by being perfect. You inspire them in how you deal with your imperfections.
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Elias Chipimo
Elias ChipimoMonday, June 19th, 2017 at 10:50am
Last night on Muvi tv, I made the point that if elected, I will only serve one term of office and make it clear throughout my presidency that this is my ambition. I am firmly committed to this. One of the reason why we have so much corruption in Zambia and Africa as a whole is that the focus of politicians tends to be acquiring and holding onto power at any cost. Because of the very high levels of poverty-driven dependency, this is taken advantage of by the politicians who use their privileged positions to enrich themselves and use the money to feed this poverty-induced dependency in their people. I do not want to continue to perpetuate this approach and the only way I can see to successfully avoid this is to make the commitment to only serve one term. By doing so, I will be free to make the hard but right decisions that can bring real and meaningful change without fear that I will not be elected if the changes are not initially popular.

Serving only one term will free me from the psychophants that will urge me to do the wrong things for the sake of holding onto power. It will also require me to work flat out to build a good succession plan. Succession seems to be a dirty word in Zambia but we need to always be thinking of working ourselves out of a job and building others up to take over from us and creating an environment where they will not only build upon what we have achieved but will go in to do even greater things than us.
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Elias Chipimo
Elias ChipimoMonday, June 12th, 2017 at 2:08pm
Open Letter to Republican President Edgar Chagwa Lungu from Elias Chipimo, President of National Restoration Party (NAREP)

Re: The Implementation of a New Development Model for Zambia – The Twenty Percent Generation Plan (TPG)

Dear President Lungu,

I am compelled to write to you openly and transparently to convey a burden that has been on my heart relating to the acute suffering that is being experienced by the majority of Zambians, particularly those at the lowest end of society. Unfortunately, it has been impossible to gain direct access to your office to discuss important matters of national development such as this. At the recent Labour Day awards you indicated that you regularly communicate with various opposition political parties. This is not true of NAREP. In spite of our various efforts to engage with your office, we have not been able to present our recommendations to you directly on ways that we can take our country forward on a truly developmental path that leaves no one behind. So we write to you now, openly. We do this not to curry favour or seek kudos – that has never been the NAREP way – but out of a burning desire to see the suffering of our people come to an end.

I believe that while there is (and has to be) a time for politicking, there must also be a time for nation-building. NAREP strongly believes that this is a time to put partisan politics aside and focus on harnessing the collective capabilities of all our people to deliver the goals of development that every peace-loving Zambian seeks.

As a member of the Opposition in Zambia, my goal is to see the liberation of every Zambian from the sense of dependency that has plagued our existence and rendered many, victims of a hierarchy that has not helped them to progress beyond the now familiar expectations of handouts in exchange for political support. I believe this is old politics. It has worked for a time to sustain power for those that have relied on it. It cannot and must not be the path that guides the politics of Africa’s future. Our goal must be to compete with ideas for the hearts of our people – those we would seek to lead.

For once, Zambia has a golden chance to break free of the dependency syndrome that has plagued our politics and to foster abundance and economic growth within each community that will be sustainable and free from political manipulation. For once, we have a chance to fulfill the lofty aspirations of the global development agenda as articulated most recently in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Nearly all the SDG’s will be captured by the initiative we are writing to you about, today. This also fits into the African Development Bank’s High 5’s, particularly the component dealing with improving the quality of life for all the people of Africa.

I believe, Mr. President, that we can achieve all this through what we are calling the Twenty Percent Generation Plan, or TPG. Briefly, TPG intends that through a proposed law to be enacted as part of the TPG initiative's outputs, 20 per cent of all public procurement contracts will be reserved for women, youth and other vulnerable groups and administered through economic sector incubators that will ensure that the target supplier groups are formalised, trained, mentored and supported to raise their standards of competence to deliver to world class levels.

While this may sound similar to ongoing government initiatives on empowerment, the TPG concept is very different. Under TPG, a manageable portion of the considerable public sector contractual supply opportunity will be used to proactively and deliberately build the target groups' skills in accordance with a curriculum and support framework that will be administered and monitored with the help of the private sector, civil society and public and private tertiary skills training institutes. To cite an example of how this would work, we can look at the case of Dzitandizeni, a skills centre that for years has trained ordinary Zambians in carpentry and sold furniture to the general public. TPG would work on developing a modified model of this but would anchor it on the regular supply to government not only of desks and furniture but also uniforms (police, army, air force, national service, ZRA, immigration etc.), foodstuffs, stationery, building materials and anything that the government departments and public institutions purchase throughout the year.

Contract allocation will be specifically tied to an economic cluster of suppliers from the target groups (i.e. welders, carpenters, bricklayers, plumbers, stationery suppliers, marketeers and other food suppliers, tailors and seamstresses; service providers in the tourism, transport, education and training sectors etc.). It will also involve training, developing and contracting individuals with higher skills sets such as electronics, mechanical and electrical engineering, architecture, quantity surveying and others. All these groups will be incubated in ‘training silos’ or ‘training clusters’ that will be fully serviced with support systems from professional services firms and training institutions that will help manage, amongst other things: sourcing and procurement of raw materials; skills training; financial management, reporting and accountability; and compliance with global delivery standards for products and services.

Rather than work against existing initiatives such as the Citizen’s Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) and Youth Skills Training Centres, TPG will not only complement them but will attain, in a sustainable manner, the very goals these initiatives have failed to achieve over several years. If the system that TPG is proposing was administered in the road sector, for example, by now there would be many quality Zambian-owned road contractors and construction companies that would not sell contracts to foreign firms but would see through the contracts and deliver to the highest standards.

If properly implemented, TPG will bring economically excluded and disadvantaged groups into the mainstream economy and result in major employment creation; formalisation of the informal sector; reduced poverty; far greater wealth generation amongst all communities across Zambia's social spectrum; reduction in the disparities between rural and urban dwellers; greater income equality opportunities; better service delivery in the nation (particularly but not only in the artisanal, construction, tourism and food supply sectors); reduced social delinquency; better and more inclusive national planning and development coordination; an expanded tax base; and significantly reduced corruption.

Mr. President, we believe that the following steps need to be taken to ensure the success of the TPG initiative:

(a) a review of the TPG plan in the light of the Seventh National Development Plan (SNDP) and the ongoing efforts towards empowerment already being undertaken;

(b) facilitation of direct engagement with existing governmental stakeholders that are primarily or exclusively engaged in empowerment initiatives such as CEEC; and

(c) co-ordination of Government Ministries and agencies that would have a role to play in such an initiative such as the Ministries of Youth Sports and Child Development, Gender, Commerce, Finance, Labour, Education, Higher Education, Chiefs and Traditional Affairs, Community Development, Tourism, the Zambia Public Procurement Authority and the SMART Zambia Institute.

We believe a national indaba should be convened to coordinate these efforts and ensure that we can deliver:

(a) a draft bill to put this initiative into law; and

(b) an implementation framework that would ensure that all stakeholders are engaged in the delivery of this programme and that there is no political interference in its implementation.

We believe that we are all stakeholders in the development of our nation and would urge you to actively and committedly consider this progressive initiative, which can be implemented immediately. If we as politicians choose to put Zambia first, above partisan affiliation, not only will we succeed in helping to break the poverty cycle but as a nation, we will thrive. With TPG, poverty will really be a choice and not an inevitability.

Mr. President, this needs your specific and public commitment. The Zambians facing severe hardships and those that know they deserve and can have a better life today need your specific endorsement of this cause. We know that there will be those who, out of a sense of fear and uncertainty about their own future or connected status, will oppose this plan. It will not be right for you to sit idly by while those within your support base who will no doubt feel threatened by such a plan insult and vilify our efforts to build a national consensus around an idea that will in the end benefit them too. You can exercise the leadership needed by guiding them instead to engage with us in a rational and non-threatening manner for the sake of our nation. After all, if this is a plan whose time has come, it will not be us they will be fighting – they may end up fighting God and we do not need to point out who the winner of that contest will be.

On a final note, Mr. President, notwithstanding our commitment to seeing a better Zambia, we are not above criticism. We want the transparency of a well-debated outcome – one that explores all the things that can go wrong with TPG. Where the plan needs improvement, we must all work towards ensuring that the intended goals are achieved in the spirit of cordial and humble dialogue that seeks to heal a nation that is in deep pain, whether those around you care to admit it or not.

Elias C. Chipimo
National Restoration Party (NAREP)
11 June 2017
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Elias Chipimo
Elias Chipimo shared Now I've Seen Everything's video.Saturday, May 20th, 2017 at 2:57pm
A simple act of caring creates an endless ripple
Elias Chipimo
Now I've Seen Everything
I'm not crying. There is something in my eyes! via www.comchest.sg
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