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

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Who will save us from NSSF?

The only way a managing director can protect their job at the fund is by sitting on their arms and doing nothing

Early this year, the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) bought shares worth Shs 52 billion in an Initial Public Offering by Umeme, the electricity distributor in Uganda. In response, the Central Organisation of Free Trade Unions – Uganda (COFTU) and the National Organisation of Trade Unions (NOTU) have launched a complaint to the Minister of Finance, Maria Kiwanuka. The complaint is veiled blackmail that threatens “a series of actions beginning March 1, 2013” if she does not accept to meet with them. In short, COFTU and NOTU are saying that for NSSF to invest, they must have a say.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The aristocracisation of Kenya politics

How the electoral process in Kenya produces powerful political families that use identity to wield power

Many factors may have influenced the 2013 election in Kenya. But three of these stand out.
The first is the influence of political families who have held sway over Kenya’s politics since independence. The second is the role of money derived from wealth that has been accumulated through politics. The third is the ability of this political aristocracy to leverage identity to secure a following.

These factors are interconnected and self-reinforcing. They also have powerful implications on the nature of the state in Kenya and its ability to foster political institutions and public policies that can serve the ordinary citizen.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Kategaya: His views and politics

In his willingness to change his mind in the face of new facts, he embodied the finest traits of intellectual self-confidence

I spent most of Saturday March 2 night staring at my computer at home trying to write an obituary of the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of East African affairs, Eriya Kategaya, who had just died. I did not exceed a paragraph. I then spent a good part of Sunday morning and evening on a similar exercise, still without success. I cannot claim that this was just because I was overcome with grief. My relationship with Kategaya was more political than personal. His loss to me was more intellectual than emotional. I was, therefore, puzzling on how to frame his role in Uganda’s politics.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Inside Rwanda’s 2017 transition

The decision on whether Kagame stays or retires may be in the hands of international organisations

The fortunes of a nation, especially a poor one, are determined not only by its leaders and people but also by the interests and whims of powerful nations. This fact hung over the meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of Rwanda’s ruling party, the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) on February 8, 2012 (see cover story). As President Paul Kagame began his speech on his desire to relinquish the presidency, many RPF cadres were having second thoughts about the whole idea.