It is about time the Patriotic Front (PF) party functionaries understood that there is a clear line between the ruling party and the civil service.
Currently, there is only one appointing authority in the public service who is the President of the Republic of Zambia.
The President appoints ministers, permanent secretaries and other senior Government officials.
The President can however delegate the function of appointments to statutory bodies such as boards and the Public Service Commission.
Therefore, PF senior officials should be the first to know that they cannot all be appointing authorities.
As party functionaries, their duty is to propagate party programmes without publicly discrediting civil servants who cannot defend themselves.
They may have reservations about the choice of Presidential appointees but how they handle their frustration matters, especially with regard to civil service appointees.
It is therefore disturbing to note that PF cadres want to be the ones to decide the fate of district commissioners on the Copperbelt.
The PF political establishment on the Copperbelt is going round the districts spelling out the employment fate of district commissioners.
Although the district commissioners are seen as political appointees, they serve as civil servants at the President’s pleasure.
According to Government’s explanation over this position when it was created, the commissioners are not supposed to involve themselves in political matters.
The position was created purely as a civil service job.
In the past before the office of the district commissioner was created, there used to be confusion about who was the district head between the central government workers and local authority staff.
In saying this, we are not supporting what could be clandestine activities of some of the district commissioners on the Copperbelt.
If indeed the district commissioners have gone political with the Rainbow Party, then they should leave their civil service positions.
The same treatment should apply to district commissioners who are politically active in the PF or any other political party.
But the way to go about this is not for party cadres taking the law in their hands.
The party cadres can use their political channels to report erring district commissioners to the appointing authority.
We believe the appointing authorities have all the resources at their disposal to investigate such misconduct and to take appropriate action against erring district commissioners.
It would be an injustice for the PF cadres to crucify district commissioners merely on suspicion of being Rainbow Party members.