Public relations officers urged to use digital media

19 Jul 2017 15:20pm
OTJIWARONGO, 19 JUL (NAMPA) - Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Tjekero Tweya wants to see websites of all local and regional councils developed and updated on daily or weekly basis.
He made the demand on Wednesday when he addressed nearly 40 public relations and information officers (PROs) from regional and local authority councils gathered in Otjiwarongo for a three-day workshop on their profession.
It surfaced that websites of the authorities are not updated regularly, partially because the PROs do not know how or the companies contracted are failing to do so.
Tweya told the civil servants to promote accountability and transparency through information dissemination to the general public, using website and social media platforms.
He said the public must have electronic access to public policies, statements, decisions and regulations passed by regional and local authority councillors.
“We must create an open society as public relations and information officers, so that we can then start to talk about poverty alleviation with empowered residents with the right information,” Tweya said.
The minister accused PROs of depriving residents of their right to access of information.
He said residents in towns, villages and settlements are often kept in the dark concerning positive decisions made by the authorities, while the relationship between the public and lawmakers should be maintained as they need each other for effective governance.
“You are doors between the public and institutions you work for, therefore, keep those doors wide open because if you do not, the public will become suspicious and break it for them to see why it is kept closed,” he said.
Tweya said PROs must use the digital media to inform the public of developmental projects for the public to see what their councillors have done or are planning to do.
The workshop started Wednesday and ends on Friday.