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, November 30, 2015

Inside Besigye’s promises

Why the belief that his campaign promises are workable is an admission that Museveni presidency is a success
Dr. Kizza Besigye and his supporters say President Yoweri Museveni has destroyed Uganda. So their campaign is to save it. As part of this, Besigye is making campaign promises that will require trillions of shillings to fund.

Obama’s contempt for Africa

Why the U.S. president always feels compelled to lecture to Africans and my obsession with his meddling

It has become custom for U.S. President Barak Obama to constantly volunteer unsolicited advice to African people whenever a given country is going through some major event. So when Nigeria was going into elections, Obama recorded a video: “For elections to be credible they must be free, fair and peaceful,” he lectured Nigerians, “All Nigerians must be able to cast their ballots without intimidation or fear. So I call on all leaders and candidates to make it clear to their supporters that violence has no place in democratic elections and that they will not excite, support or engage in any kind of violence before, during and after the votes are counted…”

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The politics of campaign promises

Why Besigye’s promise to cut down the number of political appointments in government is a pipedream

Opposition presidential candidate, Kizza Besigye has promised a 50% increase in public sector wages. According to his handlers, he will save money by cutting wasteful spending on political appointments like RDCs, on the second largest cabinet in the world, and on the 114 presidential advisors and assistants President Yoweri Museveni has. He also plans to reduce the number of districts and the size of parliament.

Monday, November 16, 2015

The politics of campaign crowds

Why this is likely to be a two horse race between Museveni and Besigye leaving Mbabazi a distant third

Last week the three frontrunners for the presidency kicked off campaigns showing their political muscles with crowds. If this was a measure of potential performance in the election, Kizza Besigye would knockout President Yoweri Museveni and Amama Mbabazi in the first round. While Museveni and Mbabazi had spent a lot of money to bus in people from all corners to attend their rallies, Besigye’s supporters needed little or no mobilisation. They just came by themselves and literally gave him money in expression of support.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Lessons from NRM primaries

Why the chaos and violence in the ruling party are a signal of its strength and weakness of the opposition

The just concluded parliamentary and district primaries of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) were characterised by unprecedented violence, vote rigging and organisational chaos. For many analysts, this is evidence of NRM’s organisational incompetence and therefore a sign of its imminent collapse. These analysts predict that those who lost in the party primaries feel aggrieved and are now easy prey for the opposition. Sadly, this is a false hope. On the contrary, the opposite conclusion holds more water – that NRM’s chaotic election is a sign of its strength, not weakness. It is evidence that the opposition has little chance in this election. Here is why.

Monday, November 2, 2015

The dynamics of election violence

Does beating, jailing and killing of opposition supporters improve Museveni’s electoral fortunes?
There is one thing on which President Yoweri Museveni and his opponents agree: that employing violence against them gives the president an advantage. Museveni and his handlers use violence perhaps in the sincere belief that it weakens his opponents. The president’s opponents always complain that violence meted out against them is the reason they lose elections. Both sides are wrong and here is the statistical proof.