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

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The politics of the anti-gay bill

Why the anti homosexuality law is most likely going to be used for political rather than moral reasons
Finally President Yoweri Museveni has “yielded” to the advice of “our scientists” to sign the anti homosexual bill. Most Ugandan elites who were cheering him on social media missed the entire purpose of the circus in Kyankwazi. The NRM MPs, in exchange for Museveni’s acceptance to sign the bill, “urged” him to stand for yet another term – unopposed. This is the kind of bargaining that democratic politics is made of. However, the supporters of this law, who are the vast majority of Ugandans, do not appreciate the danger they are courting giving the state such powers.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

How Obama played Museveni’s hand

The US President’s letter to his Ugandan counterpart was the trigger that could have forced Museveni into singing the anti gay bill
On February 24, 2014, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda signed into law a bill mandating gays to be sentenced to life in prison for being who they are. It was a tragic but equally illuminating moment for Uganda and its relations with its Western “allies”. Museveni had been reluctant to sign the bill until US President Barak Obama sent him a toughly worded letter literally ordering him not to and even threatening consequences if he did. Watching Museveni speak to the press before a publically televised signing of the Anti Homosexuality Bill (AHB), I felt sympathetic to him even though I disagreed with his action. I have since joined other Ugandans in petitioning against this law in the Constitutional Court. However, I also felt that if I was in his shoes, I would also have probably acted as he did.

Friday, February 21, 2014

NRM’s chicken coming home to roost

What the humiliation of Mbabazi at Kyankwanzi portends for the succession of Museveni in NRM and Uganda

Last week, the Prime Minister and Secretary General of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) was forced to sign a resolution saying that President Yoweri Museveni will be the “sole” presidential candidate of the party.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Divided we stand, united we fall

Wrong regional integration and why small should be the new big thing for East Africa 

Africa is obsessed with regional, political, and economic integration. Over the last 30 years, our governments have created many regional trade blocks; some of which overlap. For example, Uganda is a member of the EAC, PTA, COMESA and KBO while Tanzania belongs to all these and SADC.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Why Museveni’s system will endure

The current political system based on patronage has developed a vast array of vested interests with a stake in its perpetuation 

Acommon narrative holds that President Yoweri Museveni enjoys unlimited power in Uganda and that this is a major source of our nation’s problems. This view seems self-evident. He has ruled for 28 years. On the face of it, he seems to have effective control over the ruling party, the army and the security services, and has appointed every government official of high rank and presides over our nation like the proverbial colossus. I have increasingly grown to realise that this view is a myth that ignores how actual political power in Uganda is organised, distributed, exercised, and reproduced.