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, April 28, 2009

Can Museveni’s promises be trusted?

1.       Address to the students at Makerere University, June 8th 1991
‘Coming to your problems, I would like to touch on your problem of electricity load shading ‘ a situation in which you have electricity for some hours after which it is taken to another place. These are the cumulative effects of what we have been going through. Our small power station at Jinja was capable of generating 150 megawatts when it was built in 1954 and when the population of Uganda was four and a half million people. By the time we came to government in 1986, its capacity had declined to 120 megawatts and the population of Uganda is now 17 million.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Lesson for Uganda from the international financial crisis

The current financial crisis in the West has exposed many myths that have informed Uganda’s banking policies over the last decade. One such myth was that international banks are well managed; that they cannot suffer a meltdown. This myth has made the governor of Bank of Uganda, Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile, resist increasing local ownership of banks arguing that it would put the financial sector in jeopardy.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Why Faith Mwondha should go

In 2002, Kampala City Council (KCC) condemned the houses comprising what is known as the Nakawa and Naguru Housing Estate. The estate ‘ largely made up of poorly constructed small houses ‘ is a relic of racial discrimination under British colonial rule. Like Soweto in South Africa, it was developed as a ghetto for indigenous Ugandans to supply cheap labour to the European quarters in Kololo and Nakasero. Old and dilapidated today, it is an eye-sour to Kampala but equally a bitter reminder of our ugly past.

Friday, April 3, 2009

To check graft, focus on results

Many people believe the existence of multiple institutions for accountability in public procurement provide checks and balances on the process. This belief is born of the efficacy of such checks and balances in Western democracies rather than an objective study of how they work in a poor and polarised society like Uganda. Many Ugandans think Western systems of accountability can be introduced here and they perform as they do in rich nations. This copy and paste approach makes a bad situation worse.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Why red tape increases graft

President Yoweri Museveni claims he appointed his wife as state minister for Karamoja because ‘elites’ were rejecting the job (never mind only one person, Tom Butiime, turned it down). He also justified the appointment of his family members, e.g. his brother, Salim Saleh, to government positions as a sign of sacrifice, not privilege.