Information is power, or so the adage goes. One of the cardinal benefits of democracy and good governance is the ability for any citizen to freely participate in the affairs and activities of his/her country and this should obtain in a situation where there is freedom of speech, association and the freedom to think or imagine, otherwise called creativity. These are all tools of human endeavor and that is why they should be respected by all and sundry because they lead to an ‘informed society’.
Indeed, in a situation where you have an informed society, the people make tangible and sustained decisions regarding their political, social and economic lives, in essence reflecting on their destiny and that of generations to come.
This is the very reason why countries like the USA boast of being Independent for over 200 years; the citizens there share the verve of dignified continuity of their country. However, in most third World countries, much as we have the verve, we seem to lack sound thoughtfulness on how to achieve that desired goal. Normally, there should be consistent platforms for explaining the methods that can lead to the realization of national objectives and individual aspirations. This inevitably raises the critical issue of the citizens’ need to know and official communication.
It should be noted that in the wake of the death of General Aronda Nyakairima, the state officials charged with making communication to the satisfaction of the populace seeming displayed lack of coordination. This is not good as all sorts of speculation are flying around.
Indeed, Government hires communications experts for all its ministries, statutory bodies and agencies and these should endeavor to ensure that they plug any information vacuums with true, accurate and timely information, and in the process help the citizens to make informed decisions and utterances.
However, if the task becomes onerous, at times it is imperative for the experts from the different line institutions to meet first and only talk after harmonizing a position.