The Public Enterprise Evaluation and Privatisation Agency (PEEPA) is stepping up its communications strategy in a damage control exercise after it was hits by a number of controversies. PEEPA has not had positive publicity for some time. The agency at the centre of the government's privatisation exercise has been embroiled in a number of controversies since its inception, muddling the almost insurmountable agenda of selling the privatisation policy to a skeptical public.
Reliable information reaching Mmegi reveals that PEEPA has hired a United Kingdom communication consultant, Adams Smith International, to devise a communication strategy to, not only help improve its battered public image but, most importantly, to engage stakeholders in the privatisation exercise.
The communication agency boasts vast experience in the communication sector in the Third World where matters of economic reform require enhanced communication strategies.
On their website, Adam Smith list countries such as India and South Africa where they assisted public bodies in devising communication strategies.
They state their role as including the establishment of stakeholder and wider public understanding and support for reform; communicating complex policy simply and honestly; using a range of media to get the message across and engaging multiple audiences.
It is reported that one of the consultants arrived in gaborone this week to do preparatory work before the rest of the team jets in. The team is expected to meet with various stakeholders in the privatisation process such as union leaders, the media and politicians so as to work out a strategy best suited to the current hostile public atmosphere. PEEPA CEO Joshua Galeforolwe was not available for comment.
Meanwhile, the debate around the government's defiance of Parliament in the privatisation of Air Botswana rages on. Palapye MP Boyce Sebetela has joined the onslaught against Attorney General Athaliah Molomme's defence of government action. The MP termed her attitude to Parliament as condescending. Parliament recently passed a motion halting talks for the privatisation of Air Botswana.