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 16, 2012

Where MPs can do some good

The biggest problem with our budget is the growth of political patronage in form of districts, parliament, cabinet, presidential advisors etc
In 2006, I joined the Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE) to do research on the budget for Public Administration and Public Sector Management (PA/PSM). In 2002 this included state house, the office of the president, vice president, prime minister and parliament, the ministries of finance, local government, foreign affairs, public service, and cabinet secretariat; the Public Service Commission, Human Rights Commission, Electoral Commission and Local Government Finance Commission; then missions abroad, the Uganda Revenue Authority, Mass Mobilization and unconditional grants to districts and urban authorities.

Museveni’s frying pan and parliament’s fire

Why putting more money into the health sector is like putting more meat in a butchery controlled by hyenas

The recent “stand-off” between parliament and President Yoweri Museveni on whether to allocate Shs 39 billion to health or defense is one of the many false debates about the budget process in Uganda. An uninformed observer may easily think that there is a serious policy difference between the legislature and the executive. For those who have followed the budget making process in Uganda over the last 15 years, parliament is posturing, not trying to correct executive excesses.

Friday, October 5, 2012

The story of Rwanda Dignity Fund

Donors who cut aid to Kigali inadvertently made it discover a new aspect of its potential – citizen solidarity
When the governments of United States, United Kingdom, Netherlands and Germany cut aid to Rwanda three months ago, I was among those who did not shed a tear. I have always argued that aid is a dysfunctional tool of development policy. In many instances, it forces recipient governments to adopt institutions, policies, and practices that donors fancy rather than what citizens need. All too often, they are good for the donor country (because they evolved organically out of its experience) but are often inappropriate for the recipient nation given its unique history and social structure.

The corruption of anti-corruption bodies

How commission agents have used the media and turned the procurement process in Uganda into a circus
It is now highly probable that the US$ 2 billion tendering process for the 600MW hydro electricity dam at Karuma will be declared a `mis-procurement’. If this happens, I can bet that it will take the next seven years of wrangling before another contractor is named to build Karuma.