We know that the NRM does not have it in them to be accountable, if so they would have disclosed more information and dealing then they already do. As the land-agreements, oil-contracts, road-development and so on is kept on the low-key instead of in the public spotlight.
So when one of the general leaders in the Public Consumption told the fellow civil servants to not share their information with the world. Take a look!
What Ms. Nakayenga told new Public Officials in Bushenyi:
” Ms Pauline Nakayenga, told the leaders that information for public consumption is released only by mandated offices. She said revealing the information by anyone else can cause confusion” (…) “Commit yourselves to public service and be faithful to the offices you are taking. Keep government secrets, don’t become news reporters. Government and public information is released by the district spokesperson who is, in this case, the CAO [chief administrative officer] or district chairperson,” said Ms Nakayenga” (Amanyisa, 2016).
This law from the first Obote I Government is still in action and therefore, when it is valid it is useful in the discussion.
This is what the law says about Public Service on this matter:
Section 8: “Any member or officer of the commission and any other person who, without the written permission of the Minister, knowingly publishes or discloses to any person otherwise than in the exercise of his or her official functions the contents of any document, communication or information” (…) ”which has come to his or her notice in the course of his or her duties in relation to the commission commits an offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding two thousand shillings or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding twelve months or to both” (…) “Any person who knows of any information which to his or her knowledge has been disclosed in contravention of subsection (1) who publishes or communicates it to any other person otherwise than for the purpose of any prosecution under this Act or in the course of his or her official duty commits an offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding two thousand shillings or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding twelve months or to both”.
So the laws are already strict as a Public Servant the disclosed material and documents are supposed to be secret and talked about, there even possibility of being fined or being imprisoned up to a year. So Ms. Nakayenga is actually speaking as the law is confined to, even if she knows it or not.
Still it is a worrying sign that the Public Information does not the information out or prove their accountable and transparent towards the citizens they claim to serve. In any instance that is worrying. It is also worrying how quickly I could find a law fitting the NRM-regimes wish for secrecy of Public Office and the Public Service, and their Public Servants!
In my opinion it is not healthy when the Government does not express its will or its works; as then they have to hide what they’re doing and cannot been seen as accountable. If all work happen in secret then the Public Service is not for the people, but for the elite and the Government itself. And the Government is supposed to serve its citizens with the necessary services and security. Certain secrets are supposed only to be governments ones. But not all and the Civil Servants or the Local-Council and Local-Government should sometimes disclose information so that the public would actually know what is happening with the donor-funds, the taxpayers money and the planned operations and the budget use of the county. Without being seen by central and other Government Officials as “News Reporters”, that is just vindictive.
She did not define secrets, is everything the government do a secret? Is it filing the documents on land-owners in a county a secret? Is the next official contract for which Telephone Company Bundibugyo district is using for their employees? Should that be kept low-key or be told if the locals want to know and also know how much the local-council get funded for their usage of their smart-phone, or is that a secret?
Because if all business of the government and the local-council is disclosed and kept a secret, then the government is shadowing the public; and can do whatever they want without question unless it is visible killings. Still the certainly a culture amongst the NRM and the NRM-Regime to not tell or not wanting to tell their planned actions in public as the public does not need to know in their opinion; that is why under the Election Day the VPN was used and the Electoral Commission wanted to ban cameras and mobile-phones at the Polling Stations. Peace.
Amanyisa, Zadock – ‘Don’t reveal government secrets, youth leaders warned’ (02.04.2016) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Don-t-reveal-government-secrets-youth-leaders-warned/-/688334/3142626/-/kwjdw4z/-/index.html
Public Service Act of 1969 – link: http://www.ulii.org/ug/legislation/consolidated-act/288