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, June 24, 2013

The missing intellectual voice

How the selection process in our politics tends to produce low caliber leaders

I am inclined to believe countries get leaders they deserve. I am also inclined to believe that countries don’t get leaders they deserve. How does one reconcile this apparent paradox?

Well, each statement is a different side of the same coin. For example, leaders spring from the societies they serve. Therefore, their behavior and actions reflect its peculiar habits, norms and traditions.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Between NRM and the opposition

Museveni's opponents have employed the same tactics as their adversary – and Ugandans no longer see a difference
In the 1990s, the enemy of the government of Uganda was the government of Sudan in Khartoum. The Monitor newspaper I worked for was moderately critical of the NRM even though its editors, especially Wafula Oguttu and Charles Onyango-Obbo, were at the time sympathetic to its cause.

Each time I debated Monitor with government functionaries, especially top officials in the security establishment, they would tell me that the newspaper is financed by Sudan.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The triumph of press freedom

The closure and reopening of Daily Monitor and Red Pepper exposed the weaknesses, not the strength, of the state
Finally, the government re-opened Daily Monitor and its affiliate radio stations KFM and Dembe on the one hand and the Red Pepper and her sister newspapers Kamunye and Hello Uganda on the other. For many observers, the closure of these newspapers was a blow to press freedom.

This is perhaps true for those concerned with short-term tactical maneuvers. Strategically, the closure of the two daily newspapers and government’s eventual withdraw was a triumph for the cause of a free press.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Inside a Muhoozi presidency

With Museveni seeming invincible for now, the only hope of succession is ironically a Muhoozi project

Since Gen. David Sejusa aka Tinyefuza kicked off a storm by claiming President Yoweri Museveni wants to make his son, Brig. Muhoozi Kainerugaba his successor, Uganda has not stopped talking. In 2002, Muhoozi authored a concept paper on the reform of the army.

Museveni invited him to present it to the army high command where Tinyefuza was. Apparently, it took precedence over another concept paper written by the generals. Someone leaked this to me. I wrote an article in Sunday Monitor suggesting the president was positioning Muhoozi to take over the army.