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, August 26, 2013

Shame of the 9th parliament

How the Legislature has joined the Executive in a spree of anarchical grabbing of public resources in Uganda

It is now coming to two years since parliament in Uganda set up a committee to investigate allegations that ministers Sam Kutesa (Foreign Affairs) and Hillary Onek (then at Energy) took nearly US$30 million in bribes from the Irish oil company, Tullow Oil.

The committee held official hearings, summoned many individuals and its members traveled to Malta, Dubai and London in their investigations. To date it has not tabled the report of its findings. What actually happened?

Monday, August 19, 2013

Reflecting on African leaders

Our intellectuals need to broaden the debate on our failures from individual presidents to our elite class generally
I think I have lost my faith in the wickedness of African leaders. A significant amount of debate on the failure of Africa to develop as rapidly as East Asia has focused on the personalities of individual presidents. Academic research has not been spared this fetish.

I write this article with a lot of humility because I have also been a principle proponent of this idea. Has Africa’s principle reason for poor performance been due to bad leadership at the level of its presidents and a few people around them?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Behind Mugabe’s landslide

Why Zimbabwe’s ageing president won an election he should have lost and lessons for the opposition in Uganda

So at 89 years, Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe won a seventh term of office to remain president of his troubled country. Having been in power for 33 years, Mugabe, if he does not die in office, has a chance to make it 38 years in power. At that time, he will be 94 years.

This will bring him closer to former Malawian President Kamuzu Banda who left office in 1994 at the official age of 96 although many people say he was 100 years. Mugabe defeated his main opponent, Morgan Tsvangirai of the MDC by 61 to 34 percent in an election that was largely peaceful.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Rwanda’s intriguing experience

You cannot choose whom you were born to but you can choose which person you want to be

Every time I read a book about Rwanda or experience its daily life as a regular visitor attending official and informal gatherings, or by travelling to the countryside and talking to ordinary citizens, I discover how little I know about its state and society.

It happened again in July when I traveled to Kigali to attend a youth dialogue event under the theme of “The promise of a post genocide generation.” It was organised by the First Lady, Jeannette Kagame’s organization, Imbutu.

The price of politics

Why Uganda’s large cabinet, numerous presidential advisors and new districts are politically lucrative

And so it was that inside the New Vision of Monday July 22 was a printed list of our ministers – a 78-strong cabinet – up from 71. The biggest “ministry” is the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM).

It has a prime minister, two deputies, five full cabinet ministers – for Karamoja, information and national guidance, general duties, disaster preparedness and refugees and government chief whip. Then it has five ministers of state – for Luwero, Teso, Bunyoro, Karamoja and northern Uganda. Huh!!!