District Communication Officers Feel sidelined

By.Damba Rogers

District information officers meeting in Kampala say, they are delinked from government business yet they are government workers which have caused disjointed communication, poor service delivery in the districts and other govt departments and agencies hence slow service delivery.

Led by the district information officers’ chairman, Okiro Ejuru Francis who also doubles as the Pallisa district information officer state that their offices across the country are poorly facilitated with no and sometimes poor internet connection, not empowered to fully execute their duties as they are given a skeleton budget of not more than UGX.5M a full financial year.

Answering the queries raised by the officers at the meeting , the information and national guidance minister, Frank Tumwebaze confirms that government is soon coming up with better communication budget spending strategies from district level that will be manned by the district information officers. This then will see the current information budget controllers like, the district health, education, environment officers among others not access communication monies at the district level.

According to Tumwebaze, the guidelines will streamline how communication funds are spent every year by the district as this is done to help get rid of mismanagement of communication funds in government especially at district level.

Tumwebaze further challenges the district information officer to make themselves relevant to the communities they serve as this will also help them have their posts recognized fully by government departments and agencies right from the districts to national level.

The Ugandan government has a communication strategy used by all government communication officers right from the lower to the top level of the state which establishes an effective, well coordinated proactive communication system across government and the public that will meet nation’s information needs and it will then see a robust creation of communication units in all government departments and agencies to give maximum publicist for government and its plans.
Uganda currently has slightly over 300 district information officers.

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