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, December 22, 2014

The politics of Gen. Sejusa’s return

How the renegade general’s antics demonstrate the poverty of opposition politics in Uganda and elsewhere in Africa

The return of Gen. David Sejusa aka Tinyefuza from exile in the United Kingdom on Dec.14 was sudden and, for most people, unexpected. Tinyefuza has been a consistent disappointment to those who believe he is worth anything. He blows hot and cold. He has a habit of raising hopes and then disappointing them at the very last minute. I admit that each time I have talked to him; I have found him a very intelligent, articulate, and thoughtful intellectual. However, it seems that all too often, his emotions overpower his reason. Consequently, his most important actions, even when driven by legitimate grievances and reasons, are influenced by a reckless impulse, a factor that renders them unproductive or even counterproductive.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Inside Africa’s major contradiction

Why African elites sound angry and frustrated though continent’s economies grow faster than rest of the world

Over the last decade and a half, Sub Sahara African economies have been growing fast and creating prosperity for many. Today, our continent is exporting and importing more and our governments, investors, and consumers are spending in per capita terms. Yet many African elites, especially the chattering classes on social media, sound angrier and frustrated.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Behind America’s façade of democracy

Lessons for Africa from the daily killings of young black teenagers in America at the hands of racist police officers

The ink had not yet dried on the grand jury decision that exonerated police officer Darren Wilson for the cold-bloodied murder of 18-year old Micheal Brown in Ferguson, Missouri when another trigger-happy police officer, Timothy Loehmann, shot and killed 12-year old Tamir Rice in Cleveland Ohio. The little boy was playing with a toy gun in a children’s park. And it took the officer only two seconds upon arrival on the scene to shoot and kill him. In both cases, and in many such cases on a daily basis in America, black male teenagers are killed by white police officers for no reason except the colour of their skin. And in almost all the cases, these white police officers get away with it in this supposedly democratic country.

Monday, December 1, 2014

On the NRM delegates conference

As NRM climbs down from idealism to reality, the FDC may need to learn something about its own utopias

On Dec. 15, a special National Resistance Movement (NRM) Delegates Conference called by President Yoweri Museveni will be held at Namboole National Stadium. The main purpose is to amend the party constitution to ensure that the Secretary General is not elected by party members but appointed by Museveni; the chairman. It is a sad but illuminating reversal of a canonical principle of the founding philosophy of the NRM i.e. that a political party should be built on democratic principles and its leaders elected.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Mutebile’s revelations about 2011 elections

What the governor’s statement tells us about what will happen in 2016

Bank of Uganda (BoU) Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile recently revealed that during the 2011 presidential elections, the government approached the Central Bank for large sums of cash to finance a supplementary budget. BoU obliged.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Byarugaba’s return to NSSF

How the fight against corruption is actually the way this evil has grown and consolidated in our country

Two weeks ago, President Yoweri Museveni forced the minister of Finance to reappoint Richard Byarugaba as Managing Director of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF). The president argued that since Byarugaba achieved and in many cases exceeded his performance targets, his contract should have been renewed automatically. Museveni also warned that if successful managers are fired instead of being rewarded, it would send the wrong signal to the market that government does not reward good performance.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Zambia and Burkina Faso compared

What creates enduring political institutions that can ensure peaceful transfers of power from incumbents to new leaders?

Two important events happened in Africa last week that provide important insights into our continent’s political evolution. First, was the death of the president of Zambia, Michael Sata. This was followed by a constitutional and peaceful transfer of power to his vice president, Guy Scott. The second was a mass uprising in Burkina Faso. Angry mobs marched down the streets burning down cars and buildings including parliament. This led to the forced and ultra-constitutional removal of President Blaise Compaore, who had ruled that country for the last 27 years.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Kigali’s media freedom woes

How the discourse on press freedom in Rwanda has missed the promising developments in that country

Last week I attended President Paul Kagame’s lecture at Chatham House in London. It was without the usual hecklers i.e. mindless anti-Kagame fanatics. It attracted the more refined minds of British intellectual society. So the discussion was calm and reflective. Later in the week, I spoke at the universities of Oxford in England and Bremen in Germany – again before audiences of the sophisticated, thoughtful type. In all events, some people raised the issue of press freedom in Rwanda, saying that is Kagame’s worst score.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Behind public sector incompetence

It is a product of poor incentives rather than lack of professional competence

The usual response of the international development community to public sector incompetence in poor countries is obvious – and makes sense. First they advise that we should put in place institutions of accountability like parliamentary oversight committees, a free press, an ombudsman etc. The second is to give financial aid to pay salaries of public officials, furnish government offices with modern technology gadgets – computers and cars etc. The third is technical assistance in form of skilled foreigners to perform tasks.

Monday, October 20, 2014

As Obama saves Liberia from Ebola

An inside look at why the US has deployed its military to fight Ebola and Western media coverage of this “rescue mission”

Over the last month, efforts to fight Ebola in West Africa, especially Liberia, have dominated the news on all international cable and satellite television. United States President Barack Obama has even deployed the American military to save Liberians from the scourge of this disease. The Atlanta based Centers for Disease Control (CDC) gives daily press briefings about its efforts to save the people of West Africa from this epidemic. Missing in the big Ebola story are efforts by West Africans (and other Africans) to save themselves.

Monday, October 13, 2014

BBC’s hatchet job on Rwanda

How Britain’s leading institution has lent its services to the deniers of the genocide against the Tutsi

And so it was that after a couple of text messages I decided to spare an hour to watch a documentary by the BBC titled “Rwanda: The Untold Story”. Everything the documentary claims to “reveal” in this “untold story” has been told before.  Critics of President Paul Kagame and the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) have made these allegations for years. What was intriguing was the audacity of the BBC to give a platform to these allegations.

Monday, October 6, 2014

What next for Mbabazi?

If Mbabazi plans to challenge Museveni for the presidency of Uganda, he has begun on a wrong footing

Since he was dropped from cabinet, speculation has been rife about what former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi is going to do. Will he challenge President Yoweri Museveni for the leadership of the NRM and/or the presidency of the country?

Monday, September 29, 2014

A week in Dubai

I spent the first week of this month in Dubai. Now I first visited Dubai in 1996. It was, I thought then, a big city. I have since visited this desert town almost every year since 2002. But compared to today, the Dubai of 1996 was a small well-knit city, cozy and personal. You could literally walk the streets window-shopping from one shop to another and feel connected to it. There was an occasional shopping mall or arcade, but one could count these on the fingers on one palm. There were also many hotels within walking distance of each other.

Monday, September 22, 2014

US media bias against Kagame

Why American media should listen to the views of Rwandans about freedom in their country 

A month before the Africa-America Summit in Washington DC, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda shuffled his prime minister (who was from the same Rwanda Patriotic Front political party as the president) and replaced him with another from a different political party. It was not big news in Rwanda because power-sharing in that country has been entrenched in the constitution.

Monday, September 15, 2014

AHA: A reply to “Christian” critics

Six reasons why Pastor Martin Sempa and his army of religious homophobes go against the teachings of Jesus

Since the Constitutional Court declared the Anti-Homosexuality Act (AHA) unconstitutional in a case where I was a petitioner, there has been a lot of hate mail against me on Facebook. Some people claiming to be Christians have even usurped God’s power and sentenced me to hell. Critics recite the Bible chapter and verse to justify the necessity for the AHA. I am keenly aware of how people instrumentalise the Bible, the Koran and other religious teachings to justify their personal prejudices and hatreds.   For example, a gentleman came to my office after the court ruling looking distraught. He told me in a sincere manner that: “Andrew, my Christian teachings do not allow me to accept homosexuality… That is why this law is absolutely necessary.” Now I know this gentleman to cheat on his wife almost daily (adultery) and lie about it without any feeling of remorse. He reminded me of a Muslim girlfriend when I was young on Kampala’s dating circuit. She would come stay a weekend with me making love (fornication). But she would refuse to eat pork saying her Islamic teachings forbade her to do so. But then she would drink alcohol. Many critics of homosexuality commit myriad sins daily – fornication, lies, envy, greed, drunkenness, etc. But they sound holier than thou when condemning homosexuals.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Missing the ball and kicking the leg (Part2)

How adherence to public procurement is inflicting high costs and creating a disaster for the country

When David Jamwa was appointed Managing Director of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), he found the Fund in the final stages of procuring a contractor to build a 29-floor Pension Towers on Lumumba Avenue. Roko Construction won the tender of Shs $21m. The structure did not optimally utilize the land and its value as its rate of return was estimated at 18%.  Jamwa asked the architects to design a new structure to maximize returns from the plot.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Missing the ball and kicking the leg

How adherence to public procurement is inflicting high costs on the taxpayer and creating a disaster for the country

Public procurement procedures have become a noose around the neck of Uganda. Over the last 16 years, nearly every major government contract or tender has violated some procurement procedure. This often leads the Inspector General of Government (IGG), Police, State House, security services, PPDA, Parliament and the press to intervene and investigate. Once this happens, the contract gets bogged down in endless quarrels and recriminations. The State is paralyzed to act while citizens are denied the service. By the time it is resolved, it is five or six years later and the contract sum has tripled or quadrupled.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Behind China’s rapid growth

The opportunities and risks China faces as it begins its transition from middle income status to a rich nation

I spent the whole of last week in China literally flying from one city to another – sometimes covering two cities per day. The speed of change in China is mind boggling. I had not visited Beijing since 2008. In just six years, I could not recognise it. Even cities that I had visited in 2011 have expanded so rapidly I could not recognise them either. Skyscrapers grow like mushrooms even in rural areas where small towns are building high raised apartments to accommodate the mass of people leaving farms.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Behind the Africa-America Summit

Why Africa needs trade and investment from America, not lectures on democracy and human rights 

Last week, we were in Washington DC to attend the America-Africa Summit. China, the European Union, India – even Turkey – have all held summits on Africa and with African leaders to discuss how to engage our continent in trade and investment. Given that America is governed by a “black” president, and given the hope and expectations many Africa elites had in Barack Obama, it is interesting he has joined the new “scramble” for Africa this late in the game. Good that Obama thought of his “home” even belatedly.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

After court annulled AHA, what next?

Will the anti gay community try to write a new bill and mobilise quorum in parliament to pass a new law?

Last week, the Constitutional Court in Uganda declared the Anti Homosexuality Act null and void because it was passed illegally i.e. without quorum. Since then, a chorus of Western media has been arguing that the courts did this because of pressure from their governments via suspending and withholding aid. Equally baffling was the claim that the decision of the court was delivered at the time it happened in order to help President Yoweri Museveni arrive in Washington DC for the America-Africa summit in order to meet Barack Obama with a better face.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Can Uganda emulate Rwanda politics?

How power sharing in Rwanda has worked and the lessons Ugandan politicians can draw from it for our good

Just imagine that you wake up tomorrow morning and find the following in Uganda: Yoweri Museveni is still president of the country. His vice president is Mugisha Muntu. The speaker of parliament is Olara Otunnu. Museveni has just reshuffled cabinet and replaced Amama Mbabazi with Nobert Mao as prime minister. The deputy speaker of parliament is Nandala Mafabi. And Kahinda Otafiire is deputy prime minister. All these men are not yelling and shouting at each other. Well this is because of the above power-sharing arrangement. To make it work, there is something called a Political Parties Forum where differences between the different political parties over public policy are debated and final positions are adopted entirely through consensus.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Social media and its political pathologies

How the internet has led to the growth of radicalism and the erosion of restraints associated with democracy

The growth of social media has created an important avenue for people to express themselves to audiences freely without the restraining hand of the governance structures of traditional media – newspapers, television and radio. These governance structures involve a hierarchy of power through which information is collected, processed (verified and assessed) and finally published and broadcast.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Why evidence is vital to journalism

Although bar gossip and street rumours can be true, here is why journalists should always look for proof

Yusuf Serunkuma is a PhD candidate at Makerere University’s Institute of Social Research. In that capacity he also teaches students. He regularly writes commentaries in newspapers and features on radio and television discussions on major national issues. He is loved, admired and respected by his family, friends, colleagues and the wider Ugandan newspaper-reading public. Quite often international organisations seek his advice on public policy by hiring him as a consultant.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Rwanda@20, a performance audit

How Rwanda’s growth since 1994 measures against other economies and what explains the figures

Rwanda seems to be a country of extremes. Its turnaround since the genocide has been as astounding as the tragedy itself. The scale and speed of the Rwanda genocide was unprecedented. Rwanda’s rapid state and economic reconstruction has been equally unprecedented. One measure for success of a country is the growth of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Because this is based on statistical evidence rather than on opinion, it is a more preferred way to assess the performance of any government.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Who will succeed China?

East Africa has been billed as the next manufacturing hub for global markets. Will our politics allow it?

The South Korean ambassador to Uganda, Park Jong Dae, recently referred me to an article by George Friedman in the online journal, Geopolitical Weekly titled The PC16: Identifying China’s Successors. I became an admirer of Friedman’s work after reading his intellectually stimulating book, TheNext 100 Years; A Forecast for the 21st Century. He has an interesting way of looking at future global trends.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

UPDF shines in South Sudan

The changing face of the Ugandan army and what it says about Museveni’s plans for the future

Imade my career in the late 1990s and early 2000s in large part by investigating and reporting on corruption and incompetence in the Uganda Peoples’ Defense Forces (UPDF). The National Resistance Movement (NRM) came to power criticising previous governments for presiding over what it called “parasitic” armies i.e. the army depending on the taxpayer for its budget and on many occasions (under Idi Amin and Milton Obote II) looting from citizens.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Bossa’s one-sided view of Lincoln

How Lincoln made history on slavery and Museveni succumbed to the pressures for social conservatism 

I have been forced by friends and fans to reply to Joseph Bossa’s otherwise good defence of former U.S. president Abraham Lincoln (The Independent May 02-08 and Daily Monitor May 11). In that article, Bossa makes two core points about the former US president: first that Lincoln was not a racist; and second that he was outraged by slavery and was always opposed to it. Let me allow Lincoln to speak for himself.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

What produces success or failure of nations?

How the arguments advanced to explain nations that have rapidly transformed are the same for the nations that failed

What made South Korea (and Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia) develop so rapidly that was absent in sub-Sahara Africa and South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Burma and Nepal)?
I argued last week that while we have an idea about the factors that produce rapid social and economic transformation, we do not know how these factors interact with one another to bring this about. This is because even the worst development disasters have similar factors as the success stories.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Who developed South Korea?

The problem is that economists, journalists, politicians, analysts, and everyone else think they know

I am writing this article from Seoul, the capital of South Korea. Sitting on the reading table in my suite in my hotel, I can see through the window a forest of skyscrapers stretching beyond what my eyes can see. When I walk to the glass elevator, on the opposite side of the hotel, and roll down from the 23rd floor to the lobby, I can see another forest of skyscrapers stretching for miles on end. East, west, north and south of where I am you see this endless stretch of high-rise buildings in the thousands. Down on the eight-lane streets, you see thousands of cars speeding by, a vast number of which are Kia, Daewoo and Hyundai i.e. made in South Korea.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Recapturing professional journalism

What the new executive editor at Daily Monitor is doing and what it means for our profession

The new Executive Editor at Daily Monitor, Malcolm Gibson, has begun a very important conversation about journalism at that newspaper which may be important for our industry generally. He wrote accusing journalists at Daily Monitor of relying on street rumors and idle gossip to shape their opinions about what is happening in the country. This has generated a lot of debate at Monitor and on social media. Rather than reflect on the issues he has raised, some journalists launched stinging criticisms of his assertions.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Lessons from Umeme’s SPO

Why Uganda should move to privatise NSSF and other remaining publically owned or supervised enterprises

Last week, Umeme issued a Secondary Public Offering (SPO) on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) to institutional investors (individual investors have their turn this week). The response by the market has been unprecedented. Thirty international companies with a good reputation offered to buy the company’s shares. Only 20 were given a piece of the Umeme cake. And even with these, the shares were oversubscribed by over 250%. Consequently, on average each of these companies got about 38% of what they asked for. This means that if any company wanted to buy shares worth $10m it was allocated only $3.8m.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Holding the IGG to account

How the ombudsman has been misusing her office and thereby undermining its stature and prestige; and what can be done about it

Last week the Inspector General of Government (IGG) issued a report on the dossier submitted to the office by a “whistle blower” regarding “corruption” in the National Social Security Fund (NSSF). The allegations were a collection of personal frustrations from an employee who had been fired from the Fund and wanted to vent his spleen on management. Although to its credit the IGG found nearly all the allegations empty, the implications of its report undermine the ability of the Fund to attract competent managers in the future. Indeed, granting audience to every Tom, Dick and Harry has promoted a culture of impunity by whistle-blowers.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The India-China paradox

How democracy in India has promoted the privileges of the powerful while China’s authoritarian state serves its poor citizens

By any measure, India is a country that inspires as it disappoints. In spite of its poverty, it has sustained a stable democratic system of government since independence, almost 70 years ago. Yet in spite of (and perhaps because of) its democratic system: with its free press, powerful political parties, vibrant civic associations, regular elections and regular changes of government, the ability of the state in India to serve the ordinary citizen is atrociously poor.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Uganda’s political dilemma

How the degeneration of NRM has infected the opposition thus undermining potential for real change

The on-going battle inside the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) between President Yoweri Museveni and Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has reopened the debate on succession. What chances actually exist for a peaceful transition from Museveni? What do those interested in a peaceful change of power and, equally, in a qualitative change in governance need to think about?

Saturday, April 19, 2014

David Moyes at Old Trafford

Why Manchester United should fire its new manager to avert a disaster of epic proportions

Last week, Manchester United was knocked out of the UEFA Champions League. The club is also trailing on the English Premier League (EPL) table at seventh position. This means the most successful football club in England will not qualify for next season’s UEFA Champions League, the most competitive football league in the world. These failures have powerful implications on the club’s future financial position but equally on its ability to retain some of its best players.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The paradox of Uganda’s politics

How Museveni has centralised and personalised while at the same time decentralised and institutionalised it with the help of his opponents

Last week, a very successful Ugandan businessman invited me visit a big project he is doing in collaboration with the government on one of its prime assets. He told me he is under constant pressure to pay bribes to an endless number of government officials. Yet he is so heavily invested in the project that abandoning it at this late hour would ruin him financially.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Rwanda’s self-emancipation

Why it has been important that Rwandans and not the international community ended the genocide

On Monday, Rwanda commemorated 20 years since the genocide against the Tutsi. It was an inspiring event because Rwanda has astounded admirers and critics alike. In little less than two decades, it has moved from a failed state with a collapsed economy and a broken society to one of the most successful countries in economic growth-rates, state reconstruction endeavors and social and political reconciliation.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Ending electoral corruption

Why Uganda should move away from a winner-take-all electoral system in favour of proportional representation

I argued in last week’s column that in Uganda’s specific context of mass poverty, electoral competition tends to eliminate public-spirited candidates (or patriots) in favour of crooks. Therefore as our democracy deepens, the share of crooks in parliament will consistently increase at the expense of patriots. Indeed, many patriots will turn to crooked methods to remain in politics. Rather than democracy producing accountability, it is actually producing government by theft. 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

More years for our MPs

Why parliament will either increase its term of office from five to seven years or raise its wages threefold

Some Members of Parliament have proposed that their term be extended from five to seven years. This proposal is going to gain momentum. If it is not adopted by the current parliament, the next one will. It is almost inevitable that MPs increase the number of years of an elected term, or double or even triple their wages. This is because the consolidation of electoral competition has gone hand in glove with the commercialisation of politics.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Museveni and the fate of revolutionaries

History shows it was inevitable Mbabazi would fall on the sword of `sole’ candidate-culture 

In 1965, then opposition MPs introduced a motion on the floor of the National Assembly to repeal the Deportation Ordinance. This was a draconian colonial law that allowed the state to deport, to a remote party of the country, anyone who gave government a headache through political agitation. Many Ugandans fighting for independence would be deported from Kampala to then-remote areas like Kisoro, Karamoja or Arua.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

As NRM fights, which doors does it open?

Although NRM seems to be in disarray, there appears to be nowhere to turn for an alternative

Last week, the wrangles inside the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM), hit an all-time high. Mrs. Jacqueline Mbabazi, the chairperson of the party’s Women’s League said NRM had been taken over by fascists who are now witch-hunting her husband, the party’s Secretary General and our nation’s Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi. This is the second time a top serving NRM leader gives us their view of the quality of persons in charge of our country. The first time was in 2005 when then Vice President Gilbert Bukenya said the party was controlled by a mafia. Incidentally, Mbabazi was among people Bukenya accused of being part of the mafia. Is the current factional infighting within NRM between the mafia and the fascists?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Museveni and Abraham Lincoln

How the two leaders faced a dilemma of transcending their prejudices to make history and how each reacted

On Sunday while browsing television channels at home, I chanced upon the movie, Lincoln. It is an amazing film about how US President Abraham Lincoln pushed through Congress the 13th Amendment that ended slavery. During the debate, white supremacists defend slavery by arguing that black people are not equal to whites. They challenge supporters of the amendment to defend racial equality knowing that doing so before a white electorate, convinced of its racial superiority, was political suicide.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The politics of the anti-gay bill

Why the anti homosexuality law is most likely going to be used for political rather than moral reasons
Finally President Yoweri Museveni has “yielded” to the advice of “our scientists” to sign the anti homosexual bill. Most Ugandan elites who were cheering him on social media missed the entire purpose of the circus in Kyankwazi. The NRM MPs, in exchange for Museveni’s acceptance to sign the bill, “urged” him to stand for yet another term – unopposed. This is the kind of bargaining that democratic politics is made of. However, the supporters of this law, who are the vast majority of Ugandans, do not appreciate the danger they are courting giving the state such powers.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

How Obama played Museveni’s hand

The US President’s letter to his Ugandan counterpart was the trigger that could have forced Museveni into singing the anti gay bill
On February 24, 2014, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda signed into law a bill mandating gays to be sentenced to life in prison for being who they are. It was a tragic but equally illuminating moment for Uganda and its relations with its Western “allies”. Museveni had been reluctant to sign the bill until US President Barak Obama sent him a toughly worded letter literally ordering him not to and even threatening consequences if he did. Watching Museveni speak to the press before a publically televised signing of the Anti Homosexuality Bill (AHB), I felt sympathetic to him even though I disagreed with his action. I have since joined other Ugandans in petitioning against this law in the Constitutional Court. However, I also felt that if I was in his shoes, I would also have probably acted as he did.

Friday, February 21, 2014

NRM’s chicken coming home to roost

What the humiliation of Mbabazi at Kyankwanzi portends for the succession of Museveni in NRM and Uganda

Last week, the Prime Minister and Secretary General of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) was forced to sign a resolution saying that President Yoweri Museveni will be the “sole” presidential candidate of the party.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Divided we stand, united we fall

Wrong regional integration and why small should be the new big thing for East Africa 

Africa is obsessed with regional, political, and economic integration. Over the last 30 years, our governments have created many regional trade blocks; some of which overlap. For example, Uganda is a member of the EAC, PTA, COMESA and KBO while Tanzania belongs to all these and SADC.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Why Museveni’s system will endure

The current political system based on patronage has developed a vast array of vested interests with a stake in its perpetuation 

Acommon narrative holds that President Yoweri Museveni enjoys unlimited power in Uganda and that this is a major source of our nation’s problems. This view seems self-evident. He has ruled for 28 years. On the face of it, he seems to have effective control over the ruling party, the army and the security services, and has appointed every government official of high rank and presides over our nation like the proverbial colossus. I have increasingly grown to realise that this view is a myth that ignores how actual political power in Uganda is organised, distributed, exercised, and reproduced.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Uganda’s South Sudan adventure

Why supporting Salva Kiir may turn out to be Museveni’s most ill-advised military intervention 

The Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) recent military adventure into South Sudan follows a pattern that has made our country a regional military hegemon and our president, one of Africa’s most influential presidents. Our armies (or their offshoots) now stand guard from the Gulf of Eden (Somalia) on the Indian Ocean to Kinshasa on the Atlantic Ocean. Museveni can now project power from Bor in South Sudan to Eastern DRC. With Rwandan troops (an off-shoot of UPDF) in Central Africa Republic and Joseph Kabila’s army (an off-shoot of Rwanda) in charge of all the Congo, President Yoweri Museveni has overtaken Julius Nyerere as Africa’s most militarily interventionist president.

Friday, January 24, 2014

NRM at 28, a balanced scorecard

Museveni’s biggest problem has been to overpromise and under-deliver hence the recurrent frustrations of his utopian supporters

This week, President Yoweri Museveni and his National Resistance Movement (NRM) will be celebrating 28 years in government. In a moving inaugural speech in January 1986, he promised that “This is not a mere change of guard but a fundamental change in the politics of our country.”

Everything Museveni said on that day had been said by very many African leaders when coming to power – whether it was a nationalist politician receiving instruments of government from a departing colonial power, a politician who had defeated an incumbent government or a military officer who had staged a successful coup. Yet there was a tendency to present Museveni’s statements as new and original. A myth was created that he was exceptional.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The link between sex and politics

Understanding the popularity of Museveni and Besigye through evolutionary science 
To understand the incentives that drive citizens who vote and the politicians who seek their votes, we may need to appreciate the lessons of evolutionary psychology especially in regard to male-female sexual relations. (I am sorry for gay couples as this theory may not apply to them). Men want sex from women so as to pass on their genes. Women want love from men in form of physical protection and material provision over a long period of time to ensure the growth and survival of their off springs.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Making Mandela human again

Attempts to make Mandela a secular saint and set his actions apart from the general experience in Africa distort history

Two weeks ago, I committed “sacrilege” on my television show on NTV when I said that many of the things former South African president, Nelson Mandela, did and is being praised for have been done by other African leaders.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Kamya fighting the wrong battle

Uganda needs social reform built around collectivities and not another constitution per se

The year 2014 is going to be the year that sets the tone for the 2016 elections. The politician with an argument for the future of Uganda is Beti Kamya. She has been arguing that the opposition in Uganda has been fighting the right battles the wrong way; that instead of the opposition focusing on removing President Yoweri Museveni from power; it should be pushing to remove power from him - and any other future president of Uganda.

Can Besigye do a Mandela?

Why the opposition leader cannot dare seek a compromise with Museveni because he would be accused of selling out

Now that we have finished mourning and burying Nelson Mandela, we can celebrate his life by asking ourselves: can opposition leader Kizza Besigye act like him? If he tried, what would happen?
I use Besigye because he claims, like Mandela, to be fighting a corrupt and repressive government.