The spokesperson of the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) Brig-Gen Felix Kulayigye has revealed that despite the good work by the government, its communicators are still very shy to talk about them.
Gen Kulayigye made the revelation during the first-ever National Public Relations Symposium which was organized by the Public Relations Association of Uganda (PRAU) at Hotel Africana on Friday.
He asserted that a lot of things are done but the spokespeople of government are keeping silent.
“Even when you want to make them known some of your colleagues think you talking too much, you don’t have to go there. The other one will say you are doing publicity for yourself. But I can tell you that for you to qualify to be on the front page of any newspaper or any story, you must be with credible information however to do that one must know what to give out and not to give out,”Gen Kulayigye noted.
“Most people have undermined the power of information, an American expert in international relations Henry Kissinger said in 1969 that a transistor radio has a more disastrous effect than a B52 bomber. Is that same man who said crises inspire the strong but they frighten the weak, now when you are the spokesperson of the country taken to be weak and when some orders come from some capitals who think they run the country more than you do, you have issues. The question should always be what do you say, when and where.”
In support of his submission, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development and Secretary to the Treasury Ramathan Ggoobi also added that despite the good work done by the government, the government itself has built a wall that gag information flow into the public.
“Information overload is not bad as long as it’s a piece of coordinated information. I don’t know whether you have realized that in the Ministry, public relations officers are the Permanent Secretary but how many PSs have you seen speaking about government matters? When journalists ask them the info they just run away alluding that they don’t want controversy,” he said.
Director, Communication and Public Affairs Parliament Chris Obore also noted that most of the government’s spokespersons don’t know who the boss is.
“If we knew that our boss is the ordinary person in the village, communication would have been so easy. But we have always pretended that we are working for the common person yet in the actual sense we are always working for our immediate boss and we communicate in their favour despite the impact our communication is causing to the ordinary man. We must always recognize our bosses if we are communicating efficiently.”
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