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, January 21, 2019

Uganda’s growing public debt

PUBLIC DEBT: Why is it growing? Is it prohibitive, unsustainable?

Kampala, Uganda | ANDREW M. MWENDA | On January 10, I watched with increasing depression a debate about Uganda’s national debt on the NBS Frontline show. Although the Minister of State for Finance, David Bahati, made many good arguments in defence of government, his delivery was not effective.

The value of loyalty

The value of loyalty: What the story of a simple attendant at a fuel station can help us learn about building successful organisations

THE LAST WORD | ANDREW M. MWENDA | On Tuesday January 8, 2019 I passed a Total service station in Luzira to load Mobile Money. Because there was no V-Power Petrol on all Shell stations in Kampala and I had a few minutes to spare, I decided to ask a fuel attendant at this Total station, a one Vincent Komakech, whether their fuel is fit for my car.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Museveni’s land politics

Why the president’s defence of squatters is humane but economically retrogressive

THE LAST WORD | ANDREW M. MWENDA | During his New Year speech, President Yoweri Museveni reiterated his commitment to defend squatters being evicted by “land grabbers”. Yet he also promised to protect the ownership rights of title holders. In trying to please both, Museveni may be doing good politics but it is bad economics. Here is why.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Museveni and African hairstyles

Why the President’s emphasis on hairstyles to assert the African identity addresses the form and ignores the substance
THE LAST WORD | Andrew M. Mwenda | On December 30, 2018, President Yoweri Museveni tweeted thanking Miss World Africa, Quiin Abenakyo, for heeding his “advice” to keep her hair “natural”. Museveni claimed that this asserts her “African identity”. “God beautifully created Africans and there is no need to add or subtract anything,” the President tweeted.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Museveni’s anti-graft crusade

Why the president’s efforts against corruption may be politically appealing but are strategically of little value

THE LAST WORD | ANDREW M. MWENDA | Last week, President Yoweri Museveni launched an “anti-corruption unit” in his office. This is one in many efforts the president has tried and failed in the last 32 years. The NRM’s Ten Point Program had “fighting corruption” as its number two priority. Yet Museveni has presided over the worst levels of corruption in our post-independence history. For our “analysts” this is because Museveni is a dishonest man. Nonsense!

Monday, December 17, 2018

Uganda’s painful truths

Why the always-blame-government-for-every problem mantra is popular but destructive

THE LAST WORD | ANDREW MWENDA | Many Ugandans are angry feeling the country is not going in the right direction. This is especially so among those who feel they can do better, which is understandable. However, they always attribute their frustrations to factors that are politically convenient and emotionally satisfying to them. I have learnt over the years that the pursuit of accurate knowledge and the pursuit of ideological or emotional satisfaction are inherently conflicting goals.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Uganda’s boat tragedy

The recovered vessel. PHOTO – UGANDA POLICE MEDIA
Why accidents like the one that killed tens of revellers will continue to happen
THE LAST WORD | ANDREW M. MWENDA | The sinking of a boat in Lake Victoria killing many revellers on November 24 was a classic tragedy. And typical of the Ugandan character, social and traditional media have been awash with finger pointing and apportioning blame. Pundits say the government failed in its obligation to save Ugandans from themselves. It is a claim I have increasingly grown sceptical of and hostile to.