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, July 26, 2015

Against the democracy priesthood

Why Rwanda should follow the judgment or misjudgment of its citizens rather than the dictates of theory

In mid-July, the World Economic Forum (WEF) published its Global Competitiveness Report where it listed Rwanda as having the 7th most efficiently ran government in the world. It was ahead of Switzerland and Luxembourg, the only two European countries on the list. In the same week the upper and lower houses of parliament in Rwanda voted by 100% and 99% respectively to amend the constitution to remove term limits on the presidency. In our “intellectual” debates, we would say the coincidence was because President Paul Kagame bribed the WEF for this rating.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Shattering utopias of African elites

How political debate is divorced from our revenue and skills reality on state delivery of public goods and services

When I was in boarding secondary school in the late 1980s and early 1990s, we used to eat maize porridge every morning for breakfast, posho and boiled beans every lunch and supper. The same experience characterised our meals at Makerere University in the mid-1990s. My dad and his contemporaries have amazing stories of their school experiences in the 1950s and 60s. In those golden years, students in boarding secondary schools, but most especially at Makerere University, would have eggs, sausages, bacon, bread with jam and butter, milk and sugar at breakfast, rice and chicken for lunch etc. Professors Holger Hansen, Nelson Kasfir and the late Joel Barkan have recounted these stories to me as well.

Friday, July 10, 2015

The likely dynamics of 2016

How Museveni and the opposition are likely to structure their campaigns and the risks and advantages of their likely strategies

The battle between President Yoweri Museveni and his erstwhile ally and Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi is likely going to be nasty. The president’s handlers are likely to brutalise and humiliate Mbabazi. Ironically, this is what Mbabazi needs to build his profile.

Monday, July 6, 2015

The age of human rights imperialism

On May 20, the American Congress held a hearing on the “deteriorating human rights situation in Rwanda”.

The timing was surprising because there have hardly been incidents of human rights abuse in Rwanda for a while. Instead the hearing took place against the backdrop of widespread demonstrations in the US against police brutality meted out against African American males.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Thinking others behave like you

How the arrest of Rwanda’s chief of intelligence in London shows the British government projecting its behavior on RPF

Let us imagine a situation where a Spanish judge indicts 40 top Israel generals. The judge alleges that in 1933, Jews formed a terrorist organisation in neighboring Poland aimed at exterminating the German people. He further alleges that in 1939, Jews exploited circumstances of World War 11 to execute genocide against Germans. If there were any killings of Jews by any Germans, the judge alleges, it was spontaneous self-defense.