Although much of the world is using the internet to disseminate and access information, visitors to Uganda must be warned to treat information on many government websites with due skepticism.
A mini-survey by The Observer has found that many government sites have outdated information, an indication that while the world has gone online, our government is yet to warm up to this modern platform.
And the problem starts right at the head: according to the website of State House of Uganda, Prof Khiddu Makubuya is a minister in charge of General duties in the Office of the Prime Minister. And for avoidance of doubt, his moustached portrait still graces the Cabinet page. But in the real world, Makubuya resigned from Cabinet a year and two months ago – in February 2012. The docket is currently held by Prof Tarsis Kabwegyere.
There is little effort to update the sites, and as such they carry wrong and misleading information and careless typos. Many of the web pages of some government departments hide under phrases like “Information on … will be updated soon”, “Information to come shortly”, or “Please check this page again.” But even when you check after six months, you find the same words.
For months, this writer has been frustrated after finding a lot of missing or incorrect information on the ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website until it got revamped this year. It, for example, didn’t show the diplomatic missions of Somalia and South Sudan in Kampala. In its ‘Welcome’ message by Minister Sam Kutesa, he emphasizes that the website “has been revamped… updated and redesigned.”
But even after the revamp, one can still identify outdated information there. For example, the Libyan mission is referred to as
“The Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya People’s Bureau,Kampala”, yet this kind of terminology ended with the Gaddafi regime in 2011. But there are more issues:
The State House website lists 27 cabinet ministers, but some of them just have names only and a graphic cartoon stands where the minister’s portrait should be. Missing are the photos of ministers Moses Ali, Wilson Muruli Mukasa, Mary Karooro Okurut, Tress Bucyanayandi, Crispus Kiyonga, Jessica Alupo, Irene Muloni, Maria Kiwanuka, Abraham Byandala, Peter Nyombi, Amelia Kyambadde, Ephraim Kamuntu, Christine Ondoa, Ruhakana Rugunda and Janet Museveni.