IT’S not the duty of any provincial party chairman to release and or confirm the visit of the President to any part of Zambia.
This is the responsibility of the provincial permanent secretary, who in turn informs all others, including the party leadership. The standard protocol imperatives entail that any visit the Head of State undertakes, whether it be a private visit, bereavement or church function, the mere presence of the number one citizen automatically upgrades the event to a “State visit” status, meaning the mainstream protocol functionaries take charge of the entire process.
This is where the permanent secretary comes into the picture as the presidential visit requires the participation of defence and security personnel at the province, parastatal heads, traditional and religious leaders, etc and inevitably involves logistical permutations, which are all part of the legitimate functions of the permanent secretary and NOT some party chairman, NO!
This is the standard practice that is clearly enunciated in the detailed study of, inter alia, order of precedence, types of presidential visits and functions of the civil servants in liaison with the protocol officer to the President who happens to be the Chief of Protocol, based at the Foreign Affairs ministry. The involvement of the provincial party chairman is very peripheral in the handling, drawing up and subsequent releasing of the official programme of the Head of State. Therefore, it’s very wrong for any provincial chairperson to usurp the bona fide responsibilities of the permanent secretary.
MAJ BEN PHIRI
BSc International Relations and Conflict Resolution & Conflict