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, June 29, 2020

Uganda’s misguided COVID response

Why the utopian dream of a COVID-free Uganda may have become a springboard for private profiteering

THE LAST WORD | ANDREW M. MWENDA | On June 24 morning I walked into Kikuubo, the epicenter of Uganda’s trade, in Kampala city. I found tens of thousands of people congested on the streets selling merchandise. While Kikuubo is always crowded, this time it was overcrowded; with the street teaming with chaos of traders selling from the street and from their cars, plus hawkers and vendors.

Monday, June 22, 2020

One year later

Reflections on the passage of an icon who did so much to shape who I am today

THE LAST WORD | ANDREW M. MWENDA | It is exactly one year this week since our mother, Mrs Constance Kabakali Muhangazima, left us! While we were happy that she had retired from this world to join the one she worked so hard for, and while we are now even joyful that she is in the company of her best friend Jesus Christ in eternal happiness, her departure nonetheless left a huge hole in our lives. We miss her kindness, generosity and unconditional love.

Monday, June 15, 2020

The trouble with URA

Why Museveni’s focus on corruption as the biggest problem of tax administration misses the big picture

THE LAST WORD | ANDREW M. MWENDA | During his national address after the reading of the 2020/21 Budget, President Yoweri Museveni decried the low ratio of tax to GDP in Uganda, which stands at 14.3%. Since 1997, this ratio has stagnated only growing from 11% in 23 years. Museveni then said that this is largely because of corruption at the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), which, he said, he has now addressed through the changes in the leadership he has forced onto that organisation.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Mr President, open boda bodas NOW

Why we need to examine the contribution of boda bodas to public safety and livelihoods in this COVID fight

THE LAST WORD | ANDREW M. MWENDA | This week, in his regular COVID19 briefings, President Yoweri Museveni claimed boda bodas are not an effective means of public transport! Who decides whether a particular mode of transport is effective: the president, a committee of experts or commuters i.e. the market? Ugandan commuters (the market) have consistently voted with their wallets for boda bodas as the most convenient and effective means of public transport!

Monday, June 1, 2020

Free COVID facemasks? Give me a break

How democratic politics has placed Uganda on a perilous road of an irresponsible and lazy citizenry

THE LAST WORD | ANDREW M. MWENDA | A dangerous, pervasive and malignant sense of entitlement has grown, spread and consolidated in Uganda. Many Ugandans believe they are entitled to various welfare benefits from the state in complete disregard to the resources available. Yet, at the same time, they have no corresponding sense of responsibility, for instance to pay taxes regularly and adequately to fund these welfare expectations. To make matters worse, our democratic process actively promotes this dysfunctional mentality. Elected politicians from President Yoweri Museveni downwards promise a nanny state in a country with hardly the requisite resources to pay for it.