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



Monday, December 5, 2016

From Obote’s 1966 to Museveni’s 2016



How 50 years have not changed the nature of the confrontation between the central government, traditional authorities

Exactly 50 years since Prime Minister Milton Obote attacked the palace of Sir Edward Mutesa, the King of Buganda, President Yoweri Museveni has attacked the palace of the king of Rwenzururu, Wesley Mumbere. In typical political style, opposition leader Kizza Besigye tweeted his horror at both the attack on the palace and the people killed. I am sure Besigye and many of his supporters think if they were in power they would have handled the situation differently.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Healthcare in poor countries



Why nations that are different exhibit similar health service dysfunctions

I have been rereading Melle Leenstra’s 2012 book, `Beyond the Façade; the instrumentalisation of the Zambian health sector’. It offers an interesting insight into the challenges that central African nation faces in its attempts to provide quality healthcare to its citizens. It reads like a story of the healthcare system in Uganda or any other poor country. Let us cite the book at some length.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Museveni’s work in Luwero



Why efforts to make peasant farmers go commercial are unlikely to yield success

President Yoweri Museveni spent a week in Luwero District on Operation Wealth Creation. The president was teaching farmers to adopt modern farming techniques in order to increase their output and become commercial farmers. The actions of the president may have excited the affection of local people there but it was heavily derided on social media, today the most powerful medium of communication that has overtaken traditional media such as newspapers, radio and television. It seems everything Museveni does these days only attracts criticism from our elite.

US chicken come home to roost



How Trump won not because he violated American values but because he upheld American vices

This week, Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton to win the US presidency. This is especially intriguing because Trump had been vilified by America’s powerful weapons of mass propaganda; the gigantic corporate owned and controlled media. Every pundit, journalist, academic and politician of any heft came out to denounce him including fellow Republican Party heavyweights. Trump just didn’t care: he belittled his Republican critics, insulted the journalists, denigrated women and threatened ethnic minorities. The elite accused him of “violating” every code of “American values.”

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Rethinking the banking industry



Lesson for Central Bank from the experience of the takeover of Crane Bank

This week, the government injected Shs 200 billion into Crane Bank to bolster its liquidity position. This is only 40% of the Shs 500 billion needed to bring the bank into a healthy liquidity position. Yet, even if an extra Shs 300 billion is pumped into the bank, it is unlikely to be enough to ensure its turnaround. This situation could have been avoided had Bank of Uganda (BoU) exercised its powers with foresight.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Bringing the state back in

Lessons for Uganda from the failure of Crane Bank and what should be done going forward

Last week’s central bank takeover of Uganda’s third largest bank, Crane Bank, was another step in our nation’s march to the absolute mastery of our economy by international capital. Crane follows a long list of locally owned banks that have gone under or been swallowed by others over the last 20 years, beginning with the International Credit Bank, then Greenland Bank, the Cooperative Bank, Uganda Commercial Bank and recently National Bank of Commerce.

Monday, October 24, 2016

France’s war against Rwanda



What the war between Paris and Kigali over Habyarimana’s death tells us about the two nations

Once again France and Rwanda are locking horns over who killed that nation’s former genocidal president, Juvenal Habyarimana. I have followed this debate for 15 years and every time it rears its ugly head I am intrigued by French arrogance in expressing power over a small, poor country. I am also comforted by Rwanda’s sense of its honour and dignity in the face of extreme provocation by a superpower. This shows that France has so much power but very little leadership.