About me.

Andrew M. Mwenda is the founding Managing Editor of The Independent, Uganda’s premier current affairs newsmagazine. One of Foreign Policy magazine 's top 100 Global Thinkers, TED Speaker and Foreign aid Critic



Sunday, July 8, 2018

In defence of social media tax



Why taxing mobile money and social media is a politically revolutionary act that may help improve our democracy
 
 Since government introduced a tax on mobile money and social media, there has been deafening opposition to it from every quarter of Ugandan public opinion. Yet for economic and political reasons this is the most revolutionary tax decision this government has ever made. What is even more intriguing is that those making the loudest noise against it are equally that section of our society which actually pays the least taxes.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Museveni leadership of economy

How the president’s successful economic stewardship is now in the past with little direction on the future 


President Yoweri Museveni has been named 12th among 24 leaders globally whose individual contribution has had a significant positive impact on their countries’ economic growth. This was in a study by Professor William Easterly of New York University and Steven Pennings, a researcher at the World Bank. The rankings placed Museveni above Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore and Park Chung Hee of South Korea, the most successful leaders to preside over the economic transformation of their nations from poverty to riches within a generation.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Kayihura’s road to jail


How the former IGP became a victim of his own success, internal power struggles and changing geopolitics

 Former Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kale Kayihura, was the longest servicing officer in a top and sensitive security position under President Yoweri Museveni. He must have done a great job. Why then has he fallen out of favour so ignominiously and ended in jail being accused of murder?
Museveni has lasted in power for 32 years by strategy not luck. He always selects the “right people” for sensitive security positions and puts in place the right monitoring measures to ensure first, they hold his enemies/opponents at bay and second, that they themselves cannot overthrow him.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Uganda’s crime outrage

How to renew our nation’s security architecture to cope with the new challenges of murder and kidnapping 

The cold bloodied murder of Arua Municipality Member of Parliament, Ibrahim Abiriga, has reignited the debate on security in Uganda. Throughout last year, it was alleged that the security situation in the country had deteriorated because then Inspector General of Police, Kale Kayihura, had privileged clamping down on opposition activism over criminal policing. He was also accused of working with criminals. His removal, it was argued and later celebrated, would end kidnappings and murders.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

In defence of land grabbing


Why the greedy Ugandans we love to hate could be the key to our future prosperity

Our country has a new villain: the land grabber! In the popular imagination, this is a rich and powerful individual grabbing land from poor helpless victims. There are strong incentives for journalists, academics, politicians, activists, pundits, etc. to position themselves as champions of the poor masses against the rich and powerful. Their views are cheered by the hordes, making them feel that somehow they are the moral conscience of our society.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Inside NRM’s Rukungiri debacle


How the bye-election shows us that Besigye is the best ally in Museveni’s pursuit of power 

 Last week, NRM lost a bye-election in Rukungiri in spite of (and I think also because of) deploying all its resources in the area. The army and police made a strong presence. Many NRM’s big guns from the district and the secretariat camped in Rukungiri.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Inside the Rwanda-Arsenal deal


How ignorance and stupidity combined to make the UK press hostile to a highly profitable sponsorship 

Last week Rwanda and Arsenal, an English Premier League football club, signed a $40m sponsorship deal for three years. According to the deal, a “Visit Rwanda” logo will be emblazoned on the left sleeve of all first team, Under-23 and Arsenal Women’s shirts beginning with the new season this summer. Many people were impressed because the country is selling itself as product and branding itself like a private enterprise.