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, April 29, 2013

Western impressions, African perceptions

How our admiration of Western systems has more do with how it perceives itself than the reality of its being

I still cannot explain what got into my head recently to re-read William Shirer’s, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, a 1,200 pages tour de force. I had first read the book in 1999. It left a lasting impression on me for the details on the Third Reich and the elegance of its prose.

Monday, April 22, 2013

NRM and its rebel MPs

How party’s tolerance of rebel MPs was typical of its tolerance of other ills and a danger to democracy
Finally, the NRM decided to expel it’s so called “rebel MPs”. Many critics of President Yoweri Museveni and the NRM have denounced this decision. The MPs themselves are challenging it in a constitutional court. Yet most of this criticism is out of ignorance or opportunism. 

These MPs were violating the Loi fondamentale of party politics. In most multi-party democracies, they would have suffered a similar fate.

Monday, April 15, 2013

What keeps Museveni in power

How the President’s success in retaining power rotates around his obsessive focus on all threats to it.
A friend recently sent me a text message saying: “Man, what’s up with the Mbuya and Bombo attacks and an attempt on Kale. Ankunda’s answers in the Observer and Tinye’s incoherence don’t inspire confidence. I hope I am very, very wrong.” 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Freedom by foreign diktat

Why Western attempts, genuine though they may be, to promote democracy in poor countries is anti-democratic
As I write this article, a debate is raging in America on gun ownership – indeed it has been raging for generations. Every other day, there is carnage in America. Some crazy person grabs a gun and goes on a shooting and killing rampage – in a school, kindergarten, train station, shopping mall or church. 

Tens die, many more are injured. Americans have been debating how to stop this incessant carnage in view of the second constitutional amendment that gives that nation’s citizens a right to bear arms. Opinion polls show that most Americans prefer some restrictions on the purchase of automatic weapons. Yet the country has been unable to martial a politically weighted majority for gun-reform.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Tullow's alleged bribe to Museveni

It is very unlikely that Museveni would trade US$ 404m to the treasury for a private bribe of $50m. Here is why.

Press reports that Tullow Oil discussed to bribe President Yoweri Museveni with a private cash payment of US$50 million for his 2011 re-election campaign in order to circumvent paying capital gains tax worth US$ 404 million have generated heated debate in the country. Although the emails refer to an inside suggestion among company executives, Museveni’s critics, hungry for any mud to smear on him, now claim that the President actually took the bribe.

The tyranny of human rights organisations

This is an expanded version of the original article "Power without responsibility" that was uploaded on Friday 8th Feb. 2013.

How the West is seeking to usurp Africa’s struggle for freedom and democracy using a humanitarian language

Since the end of the Cold War, a movement to save Africa from Africans has grown and gained momentum across the Western world. This movement is reflected in campaigns to end poverty by giving aid and canceling debt, to try African leaders at the International Criminal Court and to promote human rights. On the face of it, this movement seems humane and well intentioned.