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, March 11, 2019

The Rwanda-Uganda conflict

How Kampala has mismanaged her relations with Kigali and why Rwanda closed her border

Let me do what politicians always do – claim they run for office due to popular demand. Many people have been asking me to comment on the heightened tensions between Uganda and Rwanda. By writing this article, I am yielding to popular pressure. I think Uganda and Rwanda will most likely degenerate into war; something I have shared with friends since October last year and this is the reason it is critical that I share my views.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Fortune favours the bold


Why government of Uganda should heavily invest in Kiira Motors even in the face of many impediments
Uganda wants to manufacture cars. It doesn’t have any comparative advantage in this field. It does not produce iron ore from which to make steel, an important input into the car manufacturing industry. It is landlocked. It has no prior experience in manufacturing anything significant. And it is trying to do it using a state owned enterprise, Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC), in a government riddled with corruption and incompetence.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Wrong thinking on health services

Why expecting a Ugandan peasant to have the same quality of healthcare as an American is madness


THE LAST WORD | ANDREW M. MWENDA | Last week, I attended the Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE)’s monthly State of the Nation seminar on public spending and governance on the health sector in Uganda. Like all such conferences on African issues, context is always missing. So we discuss the state’s ability to deliver public goods and services as if poor countries have the same resources – both human and financial – as rich nations.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Museveni’s AU speech

Why there is a big disconnect between Museveni the intellectual and Museveni the politician

THE LAST WORD | ANDREW M. MWENDA | Last week, President Yoweri Museveni delivered an impressive speech to fellow African Union (AU) heads of state in Addis Ababa about the need for regional and continental integration. According to social media, the president even got a standing ovation. The speech was Musevenisque in its historical sweep, breadth of perspective, depth of analysis and strategic foresight. It showed how Museveni the politician contradicts Museveni the intellectual. It also proves that leaders are human – they have egos and other emotions that stand in the way of their strategic ambitions.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Impunity at Bank of Uganda


How institutional independence allowed the central bank to indulge in gross mismanagement and incompetence

THE LAST WORD | ANDREW M. MWENDA | Last week was the most shameful for Bank of Uganda. During hearings before the parliamentary committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) it was exposed that BoU sold the assets and liabilities of the now defunct Crane Bank Limited (CBL) irregularly in blatant violation of the law.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Michela Wrong’s war on Kagame

How racial prejudice led The Guardian to publish an article that is basically a hit job on Rwanda

THE LAST WORD | ANDREW M. MWENDA | On January 14, The Guardian newspaper in England published a 5,800 word long article by Michela Wrong titled “Rwanda’s Kashogi.” It accused President Paul Kagame of Rwanda of complicity in the murder of former Rwandan spy chief, Patrick Karegyeya. Wrong makes no effort to substantiate her claims with even the most rudimentary evidence. She relied on a litany of rumours.

Monday, January 28, 2019

URA’s unnecessary headquarters


Why government of Uganda’s approach of owning buildings to save on rent is economically unproductive

THE LAST WORD | ANDREW M. MWENDA | Last week President Yoweri Museveni officially opened the new Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) head office building in Nakawa. As a work of art, the building is majestic. As a source of national pride, it is inspiring. At 22 floors high it is the tallest building in Kampala, a beautiful piece of architecture that improves our city’s skyline. But as an economic investment, the building is a disaster.