Saturday, April 21, 2018
Would A Spin Doctor Have Saved Minister Kibuule?
The Spin Doctor. A Spin Doctor or Public Relations Officer is, “a person who tries to forestall negative publicity by publicising a favourable interpretation of the words or actions of a company, political party or a famous person.” That’s what Google says. What Google doesn’t add in the description, is that Spin Doctor’s greatest asset is the ability to lie – regardless that the truth is known to all.
Do you remember Mohammed Saeed al-Sahar, otherwise known as Comical Ali, the Iraqi Information Minister during the 2003 Gulf War? Whilst the coalition forces were shown on Sky TV, CNN, BBC News and Al Jazeera knocking on the gates into Baghdad, a defiant al-Sahar was spinning the news at a press conferences proclaiming: “They're not even within 100 miles of Baghdad. They are not in any place. They hold no place in Iraq.” He blatantly lied, and he lied right up until the end of the war.
Don Wanyama is a Spin Doctor at State House, just as Simon Kaheru is at Coca Cola and Sandor Walusimbi at Umeme and I guess, they tell ‘all the lies’ possible to protect the people they spin for.
Ronald Kibuule is a minister – Water State Minster to be precise. Apart from his ministerial obligations, Kibuule is also gaff prone. Let’s just recap on some of his gaffs. In 2016, he beat up Security Guard attached to Stanbic bank in Mukono. Last May, he flew in a police chopper to go and visit and wait for it, wait for it – Father-In-Law in Ntungamo while last October, he sneaked his pistol into the chambers of parliament – something that is strictly forbidden. And a few weeks ago, he took himself to Gomba – Kyabadaza, to commission a sh13.5b water and sanitation supply system, except when he turned on the taps, not a drop of water flowed out of them except a ‘steady progress’ of hot air so jibed Media Analyst.
If Kibuule had a Spin Doctor, that person would have been on site before he (Kibuule) arrived and checked over and over again to make sure that water actually does flow out of the taps. Spin Doctor also wouldn’t have allowed him to take to Twitter to defend himself when New Vision broke the story. But with every tweet that Kibuule posted in his defence, the cesspool he excavated for himself got bigger and bigger that by the time he grasped the crux of his self-inflicted damage, Hardcore Twitter Hawks had ridiculed him, the cesspit had sprung a leak that he was floating for survival in the gunk of Nakivubo Channel.
Back in the days of yore when breathalysers were introduced, Police called us in the media along with then State Minister of Transportation whose name I can’t recall, to show us how it works.
Done with showing us its working dynamics, State Minister was called to do the inauguration by blowing into it – something he enthusiastically flew at. What State Minster had disregarded and so had Spin Doctor assuming that he had one, was that the previous night he (State Minister) had had a late night – at a cocktail and had quaffed more than a good number of beers and Johnny Walkers.
Is there any need to tell you what happened next? He was well over the limit that to save State Minister, embarrassed Policeman declared the machine ‘faulty’. Spin Doctor should have been on hand to counsel State Minister not to blow - knowing that his boss would still be over the limit after the previous night’s binge.
Kibuule, Politicians or CEO who are faux pas prone, might just want to contact Cynthia Mpanga, head of Public Relations Association of Uganda who I am sure would be only too happy to endorse a good Spin Doctor or PR Manager for them.
Pictures: Matooke Republic, Observer
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