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, July 30, 2018

Our nation’s next disaster

How the re-launch of Uganda Airlines is most likely going to bring our country to tears – unless

The decision by Uganda government to re-establish a state-run airline is a strategic mistake. In the early 1990s Uganda took a strategic decision to get government out of business. It disbanded state monopolies, privatized state run enterprises, liquidated others (like Uganda Airlines) and largely restricted itself to the role of overseer/regulator of private enterprise. This move was backed by a reorientation of the ideology of state bureaucrats, especially in the economic agencies, towards free market economics.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Our biggest political question

Why NRM won local council elections amidst the `hated’ tax on mobile money and social media

  Last week, Uganda held elections for local councils. The ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) of President Yoweri Museveni fielded a candidate in almost every contested position. I obtained provisional results from the Electoral Commission. They cover 53,340 out of 60,797 contested positions (i.e. 88%) in 122 districts. NRM won 69%, independents (most of them allied to NRM) 22% and the combined opposition a miserable 9%.

Monday, July 16, 2018

The poverty of Ugandan elites

Bursting the bubble of our `intellectuals’ by exposing their most cherished ideals as a bunch of delusions 

Many Ugandan elites have been shouting themselves hoarse denouncing the tax on social media. They also claim they are already burdened paying “too many taxes”. With a tax to GDP ratio of 14%, Ugandans are among the least taxed people on this planet. And after the abolition of Graduated Tax (or tax per head), only 621,366 people are registered to pay the direct personal income tax, Pay As You Earn, in an adult population of close to 18 million people.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

In defence of social media tax

Why taxing mobile money and social media is a politically revolutionary act that may help improve our democracy
 Since government introduced a tax on mobile money and social media, there has been deafening opposition to it from every quarter of Ugandan public opinion. Yet for economic and political reasons this is the most revolutionary tax decision this government has ever made. What is even more intriguing is that those making the loudest noise against it are equally that section of our society which actually pays the least taxes.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Museveni leadership of economy

How the president’s successful economic stewardship is now in the past with little direction on the future 

President Yoweri Museveni has been named 12th among 24 leaders globally whose individual contribution has had a significant positive impact on their countries’ economic growth. This was in a study by Professor William Easterly of New York University and Steven Pennings, a researcher at the World Bank. The rankings placed Museveni above Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore and Park Chung Hee of South Korea, the most successful leaders to preside over the economic transformation of their nations from poverty to riches within a generation.