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, 2019

Museveni’s wealth creation tours

Why the president’s countrywide tours may win him peasant votes but not make them rich

THE LAST WORD | ANDREW M. MWENDA | President Yoweri Museveni concluded his countrywide tour, an early campaign effort creatively dabbed “wealth creation,” with a letter to “bazukulu”. The letter is a tour de raison of the economic history of Uganda from pre-colonial times to date served by an unstinting host. I wish such rich historic insights were available to students in Uganda from primary through secondary school to university.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Bobby Wine’s Ziggy Wyne

How an unknown young man’s death turned him into a political football for opportunistic politicians

THE LAST WORD | ANDREW M. MWENDA | Last week, it became apparent that the initial news that a one Michael [K]alinda aka Zigy Wyne had been kidnapped, eye yanked out, fingers chopped off and face burnt using a flat iron were exactly that – a hoax. Zigy had a nasty motorbike accident at 7.30pm on July 21. People around the accident scene picked him up and took him to the nearby Hope Clinic. The nurse at the clinic referred him to Mulago for urgent medical attention.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Inside the NRM struggle

William Pike’s account of the clash between Museveni’s utopia and Uganda’s hard reality

THE LAST WORD |  Andrew M. Mwenda |  A The capture of power by President Yoweri Museveni’s National Resistance Movement (NRM) in January 1986 was a moment of great hope. Blood had been shed, lives lost, careers abandoned, families left behind and educations sacrificed in a heroic effort to liberate the country from tyranny. It was called a new dawn, a fresh beginning, a rebirth. Museveni’s inaugural speech reflected this mood when he promised “a fundamental change in the politics of our country.” There would be democracy and freedom. And there would be rapid economic development to transform the lives of Ugandans.

Monday, August 5, 2019

The dangers to our liberty

Why we should be wary of the influence of new communication technologies in the hands of extremists 

THE LAST WORD | ANDREW M. MWENDA | In 1948 George Orwell published his novel, 1984. It is a classic statement of the danger to individual liberty posed by increasing technological sophistication, especially in the hands of the state. The novel is set in a country with an all-powerful state, otherwise called Big Brother, characterised by a state-controlled economy with few monopolistic producers and controlled labour. Yet this is not what made Big Brother all-powerful. Two factors did.