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, November 25, 2019

The politics of Uganda’s healthcare

Why our hospitals lack ambulances as public officials indulge themselves in fancy four-wheel drive vehicles


THE LAST WORD | ANDREW M. MWENDA | Last week someone close to me had a medical emergency in Mubende referral hospital. A child died inside the womb of his fiancé. The only ambulance the hospital has had a mechanical fault that has not been fixed yet. So he could not evacuate his fiancé to Kampala.

Monday, November 18, 2019

A frank memo to the youths

Why young people in East Africa should stop agonising and begin organising

THE LAST WORD | ANDREW M. MWENDA | This week I was in Arusha Tanzania to speak at a conference of youths from East Africa organised by YouLead. They came bustling with the energy and zest. I was impressed by their passion but concerned that energy without proper guidance can be destructive.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Uganda’s democratic delusions

How Museveni, Besigye and Bobi Wine are birds of a feather that only fly apart

THE LAST WORD | ANDREW M. MWENDA | This week, the state brought out the full power of riot police to bear on opposition activist, Dr. Kizza Besigye. Using water cannons, they took direct aim at him during a procession, nearly yanking him off the roof of his car. It provided considerable grist to the anti-President Yoweri Museveni mill. I wonder whether Museveni sees these videos and what he thinks of them. For instance, do they make him feel comfortable in the presidency, seeing that he has power to subdue his opponents? Or do they make him feel embarrassed that he is acting brutally like Idi Amin?

Monday, November 4, 2019

Against privileges for a few

Why Makerere University students (and lecturers) do not need or deserve special treatment

THE LAST WORD | ANDREW M. MWENDA | The strike by Makerere University students over a 15% increase in fees, actually based on a recommendation by the Students Guild, has dominated media for a week. The government of President Yoweri Museveni, in its characteristic militarist fashion, sent in the army. A video of soldiers frog-matching students, kicking them with their boots and rifle butts went viral. This is the stuff that gives Uganda’s noisy elites an opportunity to exhibit their pretentious middle class human rights sensibilities.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Understanding Kajura’s woes

Why many of our politicians go broke after leaving cabinet even though we think they are rich

THE LAST WORD | ANDREW M. MWENDA | Last week, media reported that former Deputy Prime Minister, Henry Kajura, is in financial trouble. Three years after leaving cabinet, he is losing his house to a moneylender for failure to pay a loan. For a man who served in cabinet for 27 consecutive years, this is shocking. Yet Kajura is not alone. Our nation has a long list of politicians who move from cabinet/parliament to economic destitution. In a country where people see politicians as corrupt and therefore rich, this is viewed as a paradox of monumental proportions. But it is not.