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

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Putting corruption in perspective

Stealing public funds. About 80,000 children die of preventable diseases each year in Uganda because public officials have stolen money for immunization


Two weeks ago, I said on the NTV News Night show that the existence of corruption in a country does not automatically impede its ability to develop, thereby letting loose the dogs of intellectual (actually mostly emotional) war on twitter, with some accusing me of endorsing corruption. Yet many successful countries had high levels of corruption during their transition from poverty to riches.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Divided they stand, united they fall

Why the opposition is courting danger in seeking to field one candidate and the risks of a three horse race

Last week, the opposition was involved in skirmishes regarding the selection of a joint presidential candidate under The Democratic Alliance (TDA). The alliance seemed biased on selecting Amama Mbabazi to lead the fight against President Yoweri Museveni. But the most fanatical supporters of the opposition prefer Kizza Besigye. It will be extremely difficult for TDA to convince all sides to field one candidate. Here are the underlying factors.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Nyakairima and UPDF’s soul

How Nyakairima took UPDF out of headlines and has left a professional respected military

Sometime in 2003, President Yoweri Museveni chaired a meeting of the army high command to discuss highly sensitive matters. The proceedings leaked to me. I was happy to publish a story about them in Daily Monitor, omitting the more sensitive aspects. The president invited me for breakfast at State House Nakasero over the story. He wanted to know my source. He said as a patriotic Ugandan I should know that officers who leak highly classified information are a risk to national security. “We will not harm this officer or officers, not even demote them,” Museveni assured me, “But we need to know so that we do not give them access to national security secrets.”

Monday, September 14, 2015

Give Rwandan politics a chance

Why opponents of removing term limits should listen more to Rwandan citizens than their own theories and the preaching of America

Last week, the United States issued a statement calling on Rwanda not to amend the constitution and remove term limits on the presidency. America carries a false sense of morality, believing its own myth that her political values are superior and should be the guide for other “lesser” nations. Yet it has one of the most corrupt and dysfunctional political systems in the world and has consistently failed to live up to its self-proclaimed values. But that is a subject for another day. For now, let us debate Rwanda.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

On the FDC presidential debate

Why our frustration should'nt lead us to behave like a drowning man who clings onto a crocodile

And so it was that on the night of August 30, NTV treated us to a debate between Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) contenders for party presidential flag bearer, Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu and Col. Dr. Kizza Besigye. The fact that there is contestation for the leadership of FDC is a breath of fresh air compared to the NRM’s sole candidature syndrome.
I wonder why NRM does not concoct some semblance of competition within the party just to pretend to be democratic.