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



Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The tragedy of self-indulgence

Diane Rwigara has been lionised by sections of the Western media and its cheerleaders in our region. She is the lady who announced her intention to run against President Paul Kagame in the August presidential election. Unfortunately for Rwanda but certainly fortunately for Rwigara, she failed to raise the necessary signatures to become a presidential candidate and instead decided to forge them.
In spite of that, sections of the Western press begun to claim that she was the strongest candidate against Kagame. They even suggested that the electoral outcome would have been different if she had been allowed to run.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Africa’s real intellectual crisis

Why Museveni is not the cause of the problems of Uganda but rather their product and reflection

Last week, I accepted to join a whatsapp chat group of Ugandan “intellectuals”. The administrator told me that it discusses “serious issues.” I therefore thought here was an opportunity to engage Ugandan intellectuals on the challenges facing our country and continent. Uganda’s ills are closely interconnected with Africa’s. Indeed the whole of sub Sahara Africa suffers a similar development predicament – a common condition of poverty and poor public goods and services. So discussing any one country’s problems in isolation does not provide a clear picture.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Are Ugandans docile?

Why last month’s scuffles in parliament excited the public but did not lead to popular protests
The failure of effective protests to support the actions of MPs on the floor of parliament is evidence of its ideological nature and the uncertainty over its consequences.
Last week, poorly trained security operatives entered the parliament’s main chamber and removed opposition members who were protesting plans by the ruling party to amend the constitution to allow President Yoweri Museveni run in 2021. The issue in this debate is not really about allowing 75 year-olds to run for president. Rather people are concerned that this amendment will give Museveni a chance to extend his rule from 35 to 40 years. For many Ugandans this is a path to a life presidency.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Inside Museveni’s life presidency

Why the removal of age limits may be the best way to get a peaceful succession in Uganda

There is consensus among Ugandan, African, and even global elites that presidents who rule for long make peaceful succession impossible. This informs the current debate on the attempt by the NRM to amend the constitution and remove the age limit so that President Yoweri Museveni can run for the presidency in 2021. After 31 years in power, allowing Museveni to run in 2021 gives him a chance to extend his rule to 40 years. This turns Uganda from a republic to a monarchy.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Uganda’s misguided debate

Why many Ugandans are addressing the wrong issue in the debate on lifting age limits
Last week the NRM caucus did the expected and recommended the removal of age limits on the presidency so that President Yoweri Museveni can rule for life. With NRM controlling 82% of parliament, the amendment will sail through easily. There was a hue and cry among Ugandans elites with some people even threatening violence. Yet those fighting this constitutional amendment are fighting a wrong war.

Monday, September 18, 2017

The false gospel of governance

How Africa’s obsession with ‘governance’ issues is too much ado over little or nothing
Let me articulate a heresy: the argument that Africa’s failure to prosper economically is fundamentally due to “governance” i.e. that our leaders are greedy, selfish, corrupt, dictatorial and power hungry is baloney. These ills may be morally repugnant but they do not automatically impede economic development.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Opening the Pandora’s Box

How the nullification of the presidential elections in Kenya has put that country on a slippery slope
The Kenya Supreme Court annulled the election of President Uhuru Kenyatta and ordered a re-run because the balloting and transmission of results did not conform to the laws and constitution. There are many legitimate and convincing reasons to support the court decision – the moral repugnance of the irregularities, the need to hold leaders accountable, and the valuing of constitutionalism and democracy. Yet I want to argue that the justices took a very risky decision for Kenya.