PF and etiquette

Listening to the Vice President Guy Scott’s statement in Parliament on President Michael Sata’s secret trip to Israel and his responses to points of clarification yesterday, we are convinced that nothing will come out of the Patriotic Front (PF) government to clear mounting speculation.

It is also clear that the PF government is not interested in walking the path of straight forward and dignified handling of the Presidency.

It seems the PF have devised their own local and international protocols which they want to follow regardless of the embarrassment to the President, simply because Mr Sata is PF leader.

But what the PF and Dr Scott should know is that Zambia is not a special and stand-alone case in the world of diplomacy.

Zambia is part of the global village of countries observing common etiquette pertaining to how the Presidency is handled.

A Few weeks ago, Zambians were informed that Chinese Vice-President Li Yuanchao would visit Zambia and a courtesy call be paid on President Sata at State House.

We are made to believe that the people of China were aware of Mr Li’s visit to Zambia, hence the advance party which included journalists from that country who constantly  updated their citizens about the programmes  of the Chinese delegation in Zambia.

Just to demonstrate that international etiquette is common, Zambians will soon receive visitors and this information is already in public domain.

Only yesterday, the United States administration announced that Vice President Joe Biden’s wife Jill, will make a three-country trip to Africa to promote girls’ education and women’s participation in government, the economy and civil society.

The White House says Mrs Biden will visit Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone.

The White House also says the trip will highlight how increasing women’s involvement in government can accelerate economic development, strengthen democracies and foster peace and security.

In a similar fashion, last Sunday, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Japan in Zambia, Counselor Hideki Yamaji announced the expected visit of Prince Akishino, the second son of Japanese Emperor Akishino, and his wife Princess Kiko.

The couple will be in the country from June 28 to July 2, 2014 to strengthen the already existing diplomatic ties of Zambia and Japan.

If countries which are even more advanced than us can follow international etiquette, what about Zambia that mostly depends on international literature to advance her diplomatic skills.

Dr Scott should have sat with scholars in diplomacy before crafting the statement he made in Parliament about Mr Sata’s trip to Israel.

Why was it difficult for the Vice President to tabulate President Sata’s itinerary while in Israel if indeed Dr Scott was privy to the invitation extended to our Head of State by that country?

Is it not surprising that Dr Scott failed to inform the House about Mr Sata’s programme in Israel and when it is coming to an end?

The problem with half-truths and untruths is that they have short legs and this is what is happening in the PF administration.

Certainly, Zambians deserve better answers from Government as little is being done to end speculation.