There is no doubt that communication is very important. It is communication that removes doubts – indeed prevents doubts and speculations in the first place. A good and effective communication strategy is indispensible if there is to be any form of progress, especially when it comes to government. When a government has a good and effective communication strategy, its work is made that much easier.
In addition to a good and effective communication strategy, another important thing in governance and democracy is consultation – wide consultation for that matter. In a democratic country, there has to be divergent views, differing opinions, in almost everything. The truth is, that is exactly what democracy is all about. It is the right, the chance, and the opportunity to differ in opinion and have the ability, the courage, and the space to air that opinion or view.
For the above reason, consultation becomes the best tool to incorporate as many different opinions/views as possible. When government consults widely, it gives every section of society a chance to be heard. This is important for progress. Take for instance, the issue of the increment in transport fares. Initially, it was announced that government, in consultation with the National Transport Union had reduced the transport fares. A new tariff was released and circulated. This news was received with pleasure by almost everyone. But even then, some drivers claimed to have nothing to do with it. This suggested that the consultations had left out some people.
Recently, some drivers announced that due to the increment in pump prices for fuel, the transport fares had been revised to revert to the original cost. Many people then claimed that there hasn’t been any official announcement to that effect. Many squabbles have been reported between drivers and commuters. This is likely to continue because no clear and definite communication has emanated from government on this issue. Government has to learn to consult and communicate better.
The governors have to communicate with the governed!