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Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Who deserves a state funeral?

Government has set out new policy on state funerals:
Evans Chibiliti [Cabinet Secretary] says the personalities entitled to state funerals are the President, Vice-President, Chief Justice, Speaker of the National Assembly and Cabinet ministers.... all former holders of these offices will be accorded the status of a state funeral and the period of mourning for a serving President is seven days while that of a former President is five days....five days of national mourning will be accorded to a serving Vice-President and three days to a former Vice- President.....Speaker of the National Assembly and Cabinet ministers will all be accorded three days of national mourning while former holders of these offices will be accorded one day.
That is a lot of state funerals and at considerable cost, when one considers that “the logistics for a state funeral shall include the provision of caskets, tents and firewood, gun salute and escort..". Unfortunately that's the not the end of it because we are also told : "the President shall reserve the right to decide which other persons shall be accorded a state or official funeral other than those listed in the guidelines and in such circumstances". So nothing new then. The policy does not give the criteria that the President will use. Even his aunt can be given a state funeral. At least we now know how much it will cost!

1 comment:

  1. I agree that the President should have the "last man" privilege of deciding who is to be accorded a state/official funeral, he is after-all custodian of the national interest, with many constituencies to serve.

    irregardless, of general opinions about expense, allocation of scare or meager resources, funerals fall within the ambit of the functions of the state.


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