By Edwin Muzahura
The beginning of this week witnessed a horror kind of movie although poorly acted that has left innocent children totally orphaned.
Unlike many folks i believe that Hon. Nantaba truly had cause to be worried and concerned about the strange character exhibited by the late Ronald Ssebulime and his colleague on their motorcycle especially given the nature of previous cases of murder.
Indeed she did what would be expected of her which is to go to the near by Police and report the matter for further investigation or chase as was done.
The unprofessional carelessness there after that led to loss of an innocent soul is now a matter of our Judicial system and will leave it at that although we condemn it and demand full justice. This is not the time for extra judicial murders.
I want however to concentrate on what i deem as an acute blunder in communication and PR by both the Hon. Minister and Police in managing this matter which has further complicated the matter.
Normally in an organised setting a Minister would have handlers, PA, Publicists or a spokes person or even a lawyer to handle such issues.
They would have sat down and issued a press release about the matter in an organised way.
This would have been done in close consultations with police to ensure uniformity and being factual without confusing the public with ping pong accusations and counter accusations. They both serve one Government!
The Minister had no business rushing to the Media ill prepared total off script further blundering and steering public rage against her already flattering image.
Even if she was to or felt she should have made a statement; it could have been done with a proper script and presented in a more professional display of body language and diction.
This is especially so because the Minister falls under the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance where communication is a key component. But also what National Guidance is this???
Poor communication and PR management has unfortunately cast her in bad light yet she actually has a case to some extent.
Then comes the Police Spokes man who causes even bigger mess of rushing to make conclusions and castigating the deceased as having been dangerous and sadly justifying the killing and defending his men in this heinous act.
Its not a must that a spokesperson must always speak whenever a micro phone is set before him/her.
Its prudent to first gather facts, consult or sometimes investigate before going to the press . Just by saying “we are still gathering facts and shall get back to you as soon as possible” would save you a lot of headache.
To issue statements in error and later apologise with different facts is yes a noble thing to do but its a communication blunder of huge magnitude.
But to make conclusions some of judicial nature involving such a loss of life and high profile figure is a classical case fatal PR and communication skills.
Unfortunately we had seen the same confusion a few weeks ago with the fatal Ethiopian Airlines crash where we lost ACP Alalo Christine.
In conclusion we see a continued string of terrible communication and PR management within Government machinery which unfortunately will continue to hurt public trust in Government institutions and process.
This in the long run hurts the popularity of the entire Government establishment and gives ground to dissenting views and actors.
Overall i see a lot of Cabinet and Institutional fatigue that needs to be arrested by the CIC immediately!!