BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) senior staff and councillors are set to undergo training on diplomacy and protocol to ensure they do not embarrass council when ministers, ambassadors and other top officials visit.
By NQOBANI NDLOVU
Council recently engaged consultancy firms and other institutions inquiring on the etiquette, diplomacy and protocol training for city fathers and BCC staff after town clerk Christopher Dube noted a deficiency in the area in council.
This is revealed in the latest council minutes of the general purposes committee report where city fathers agreed council will foot the initial 3-day training of 30 councillors and council staff at a cost of $4 800 by the Zimbabwe Institute of Diplomacy (ZID).
“The town clerk reported (April 21, 2017) that he had observed that there was need for some councillors and some members of staff, especially senior staff to be trained on diplomacy and protocol.
“He then assigned the public relations department to make inquiries from reputable consultancy firms/institutions and the following communication was received from ZID…,” the minutes read in part.
Bulawayo mayor, Martin Moyo also supported the idea of the etiquette and diplomacy training, noting its relevance, and after debate it was agreed that the first batch of 30 to be trained will include “chairpersons of standing committees, public relations and other staff members who interacted with dignitaries would be included”.
In its invoice, ZID said it is “essential that a capacity building training programme in diplomacy, protocol, etiquette and professional branding is availed to them to endow them with effective presentation and speaking skills, the understanding for cultural diversity and communication across cultures; conference and meeting etiquettes; hosting and chairing techniques; strategic thinking and analysis and negotiation skills. These extra tools will enhance the effective functioning of mayors.
“It bequeaths staff with the skills necessary to network with public and corporate clients; develop confidence and communicative competences; build appropriate professional and specialised demeanours, codes of conduct and behaviours demanded by business etiquette and corporate protocol; contextualise and develop personal, inter-personal and personal presentation skills.”