There are some ministers who, since they were appointed three years ago, have never set foot in any radio studio to talk about NRM and its achievements
By Amlan Tumusiime
Uganda has about 80 ministers. These hail from different regions of the country all with FM radio stations and some have TV stations and local newspapers. Some of their districts have more than four radio stations on average.
However, out of about 80 ministers, less than 10 are actively involved in political mobilisation through the use of the media. I will not mention the names of these ministers who use the media to defend Government programmes and also clarify the lies peddled against the Government by the Opposition.
The rest of the ministers are in hibernation and only use the media when releasing information about their ministries at the Uganda Media Centre. This is not right because all Government policies and decisions start with Cabinet before they are brought to Parliament meaning that the ministers have access to every information that concerns Ugandans.
If all ministers become active and use the media to disseminate the information to the public, Opposition activists will have little opportunity to mislead Ugandans with false information about the Government because they would be already having correct and accurate information about Government programmes. The ministers don’t need to only wait to communicate to the people at the press conferences at the Uganda Media Centre, but should also come out regularly and use the exciting FM radio station in their districts to explain to the voters about government achievements and successes. The Government ministers are highly respected people in the community and their messages mean a lot to the public. By keeping quiet, they are doing a disservice to the President.
For example, there are some ministers who, since they were appointed three years ago, have never set foot in any radio studio to talk about NRM and its achievements. Some only go to the radio stations accompanying President Yoweri Museveni, when he visits their constituencies and decides to address the people through the radio. Why should they wait for the President to do that?
In fact, some ministers own radio stations, but even when they are in their constituencies and hear local Opposition politicians telling lies about the Government, they don’t go to correct those lies and put the record straight.
If all ministers are to use the vibrant media industry to challenge the Opposition by disseminating correct and accurate information, Opposition activists will hit a dead end in their propaganda.
I have on several occasions stated that 2021 elections are more about political mobilisation. The voters and those opposing Museveni know that President Museveni and NRM government have performed well. No, any honest Ugandan can fail to vote for Museveni on the basis of service delivery.
Today over 80% of the buildings beautifying Kampala Capital City have been built during the Museveni administration. Similarly, all big buildings in other towns across the country have also been built during the Museveni-led government.
Even all those Opposition politicians planning to contest against President Museveni in 2021 elections alleging that he (Museveni) has caused poverty in Uganda have acquired their wealth during the Museveni led government. Some are not yet even 40 years old, but own bungalows and drive posh cars.
I was told that over two million passengers pass through Entebbe Airport every year and out these, 60% are Ugandans. Even rural transformation is a reality. People have built permanent houses and connected either to electricity or solar power.
A rural-based Ugandan football lover watching European football either in Kyangwali Kikuube District, Ibuuje in Apac or Lagile in Pader districts will order for cold drinks just like their fellow citizens watching football from Sheraton Hotel in Kampala. This means that the services urban dwellers receive are equally enjoyed by the rural people.
I know the NRM party had a manifesto in 2016 elections and made pledges to Ugandans and am sure some of the pledges have been fulfilled and will have another manifesto for 2021 but the fact remains whoever will politically mobilize the people better will take the day.
Mobilisation means explaining government achievements to the population, getting closer to the people and establishing a one on one relationship with the people. The problem with some government ministers is failing to learn from President Museveni.
It is one record that President Museveni interacts freely with the people including ordinary people that he even calls them on their mobile phones. It is this kind of relationship that President Museveni has with the people that they vote for him overwhelmingly and even fight to be his agents at the polling stations to guard his votes.
Some of the ministers keep a distance from the people and this gives the opposition opportunists an opportunity to penetrate them. During any public function attended by the president, some of these ministers will show how close they are to the people and even give their telephone contacts to the people in the presence of the president but that relationship ends when the president leaves.
As NRM mobilisers there is no doubt if we join hands together with senior leaders and do enough mobilisation with both the youth, women, people with disabilities and indeed keep that relationship with the people in addition to service delivery the NRM will still win the presidency with over 60%, the majority of the members of parliament on NRM tickets and the local district governments.
The writer is an NRM mobiliser for Bunyoro region