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, February 29, 2016

Why I prayed for Besigye to win

How Museveni’s victory saved Besigye from confronting the hard reality of Uganda’s politics

President Yoweri Museveni has again defeated his main rival, Dr. Kizza Besigye, in an election the opposition claim was stolen. Whatever the merits of this accusation, Besigye’s defeat is also his greatest triumph. It has saved him from confronting the reality of managing a poor country, a factor that would have humbled Besigye and quieted his unthinking and often, unruly supporters. Let us assume a Besigye victory where Museveni would have conceded defeat, called the retired colonel, and congratulated him upon his victory. In one stroke, Museveni would have delivered unto his main rival a devastating knockout blow. Besigye has always claimed that Museveni is a power-hungry maniac determined to cling to power as all costs. In conceding defeat, the president would have made Besigye’s accusation lose meaning.

Monday, February 22, 2016

The second presidential debate

Inside Museveni’s greatest moments and Besigye’s political maturity even at great cost to himself

So finally President Yoweri Museveni defied all predictions and attended the presidential debate. I can say without any fear of contradiction that Museveni did so in defiance of the advice of everyone in NRM and immediate family. It was an entirely personal decision. But it is Kizza Besigye, more than Museveni that made the debate presidential. I will return to explain this later on in the article.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Myths and realities about Africa

Why poor countries have poor services and rich nations have better services

Joseph Mukasa is a peasant in Uganda. He has been performing well in expanding the output of his three acres piece of land. From an income of about Shs5,000 per month in 1995, (which when adjusted to inflation comes to Shs18,000 in 2015 prices), he now makes Shs130,000 per month. This is because he begun employing modern agricultural techniques such as fertilisers, irrigation and improved seeds that are both fast maturing and high yielding. In real terms, Mukasa has actually grown his income by 700% in 20 years.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Is Obama a black man?

How he has accepted the categorisation imposed upon him by a racial system that subjugated black people
US President Barak Obama calls himself a black man. Indeed, America and the rest of the world refer to him as a black man. Yet we all know he is actually a person of mixed ancestry. His father was a black man from Kenya, his mother a white woman from Kansas. If Obama had been born in Uganda, he would be called a “mucotera”, in apartheid South Africa, a “colored”, in Brazil, a “mulatto” and in mainstream English, a “half caste”. This teaches us that racial categories are not biological but social constructions.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Beyond campaign rhetoric

How journalists have allowed campaign rhetoric to obscure issues that are fundamental to the election

President Yoweri Museveni’s campaign strapline; `Steady Progress’ sounds like a slogan from a communist pamphlet, not a marketing sound-bite in a competitive election. With it, the President is not promising anything new or spectacular but merely more of the same. This reflects a severe lack of imagination in the President’s campaign strategy.