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, July 17, 2017

Too much ado over nothing

Why Museveni is most likely going to succeed in amending the constitution to remove the age limit
Uganda is entering a major political battle that will show us the balance of political forces between President Yoweri Museveni and his opponents. A section of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) will push for the amendment of the constitution to remove the presidential age limit so that Museveni can run in 2021. Most of the leadership of the NRM are hostile to this proposed amendment but will acquiesce to it because the party has evolved in such a way that only those who do so survive politically.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Rethinking healthcare in Africa



Why attempts to provide too much too fast are the cause of corruption and institutionalised incompetence
Last week I moderated a World Health Organisation panel on providing universal healthcare in Africa. These ambitions assume that poor countries have the ability to deliver the set goals and what is missing is honest government and political will. The debate took place in Rwanda where a poor country has achieved universal medical insurance. I have come to believe that using Rwanda as a reference point is misleading because the conditions that have made it successful are rare to find and difficult to recreate. This article’s central message is that we need to unlearn assumptions that inform our policy prescriptions for poor countries.

Monday, July 3, 2017

The incongruence of the incongruence



A summary of the 2017-18 budget                                  
How Ugandans get angrier as government does the right thing when it comes to spending money
Two contradictory things are happening in Uganda. First, large sections of the public, especially the elite public, are angry, very angry with government. They accuse it of ruling without leading and stealing without serving.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Inside Rwanda’s politics of unity


Why other political parties in Rwanda have endorsed the candidacy of Paul Kagame

The government of Rwanda has been working with a concept called “Ndi’omunyarwanda” i.e. I am a Munyarwanda. It seeks to facilitate people to see themselves as Rwandans, not as Hutus or Tutsis. Some Rwandans grew up in circumstances where their entire family was killed and often the killers now live with them in the same village. Others are from families that killed. The children from these families grew up taking food to their parents in jail. This becomes a stigma. People tell them: “so you are the son of this man who killed my family.” For many the shame and guilty are heavy to bear.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Behind the 2017/18 budget




Museveni delivers the SOTN address ahead of the budget
How money is an important a political resource that allows Museveni to manage power

Last week, the government presented the national 2017/18 budget totalling Shs24 trillion in spending. For many commentators on the Ugandan traditional and social media scene, the budget is as an economic issue.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The future of liberty in Africa



Why we need to recognise the breadth of emerging liberties even as we doubt their depth

I want to argue that liberty is taking root in Africa.  Not as fast as we would like. But this should not discourage us. Liberalism grows slowly, at an evolutionary pace. It is tyranny that grows faster, at a revolutionary pace. It is quick and easy to build a dictatorship because this requires the single-minded actions of an individual or small group commanding an all-powerful state. But it is hard and slow to build a liberal democracy because this requires the development of a set of traditions of fairness and justice within society over time.

Monday, June 5, 2017

The Jacob Zuma tragedy



How one man has brought South Africa’s democracy and Mandela’s “miracle” from honour to shame!

Last week I was in South Africa and listened to the disaster that blind faith in democracy can deliver to a country in form of bad leadership. President Jacob Zuma and his confederates have indulged in forms of theft and brigandage that expose the myth of the miracle Nelson Mandela is acclaimed to have delivered to that country. Friends in that nation’s intellectual and business community told me horror tales of mismanagement and corruption that make even Mobutu Sese Seko’s former Zaire face competition as the archetype of a predatory state.