Uganda: President’s party gets SMS platform to reach out to the entire country

Digital Content

President Yoweri Museveni has launched the NRM communication bureau. The bureau will manage the website where the party news updates, articles, photos, speeches, documents such as the constitution and manifesto, party merchandise and information regarding registration for new members can be accessed, party spokesperson Mary Karooro Okurut said.

Housed on Plot 87 Kira Road Kamwokya, Kampala, the bureau will also run pages on interactive social networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Hi5 and blogs to engage the youth and those in the diaspora.

"We are launching an SMS platform to reach 14 million mobile phone subscribers in Uganda. This platform will also ease communication between NRM members," Karooro said on Friday.

Museveni made a symbolic launch of the bureau by clicking send on a computer, which instantly had thousands of mobile phone subscribers' in-boxes sounding alerts for a message from Y.K. Museveni.

To join the SMS platform for news updates and interactions, one has to type "JOIN" and then send to 6760. Museveni, who is also NRM chairman, said the Movement had spearheaded the social, economic and technological transformation of the country. He said it was imperative that the party uses modern communication tools to reach out to the entire country.

"We must take advantage of the mushrooming media which have hitherto become vehicles of negative propaganda with our own cadres not being available to respond," he said.

Uganda's population, the President stated, had doubled in the last 24 years with young people now more attuned to the use of technology. "I am told that a telephone handset is now a young person's TV, radio, Internet and e-mail. The Movement now seeks to employ this facility, using the power of this converged media, to reach our population, particularly the youth, to explain the Movement programme," he said.

The bureau, Museveni said, will serve to document the country's history and compress it into usable formats. "I have heard complaints about how our Movement head office and other structures are not able to regularly interact with the population. This bureau will quicken the flow of information. With the modern technology installed and the ability to reach many people in a timely manner with key messages, we should be able to end the problem of lack of communication," he added.

New Vision