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 26, 2021

Ethiopia’s failed reform

How Africa’s most successful economy has produced a political crisis that may tear it apart

THE LAST WORD | ANDREW M. MWENDA | It is eight months now since the armed conflict between the Ethiopian government and the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), began. Initially, government troops, supported by Eritrean troops, seemed successful; capturing the Tigrayan capital of Makelle in late November. The government issued a statement declaring that what was remaining were mop-up operations. Four weeks ago, TPLF retook Makelle. Ethiopia may be settling into what may become an intractable civil war.

Monday, July 19, 2021

South Africa’s slippery slope

Why the arrest and detention of Jacob Zuma is dangerous for the unity and stability of the “rainbow nation”

THE LAST WORD | ANDREW M. MWENDA | The arrest and detention of former South African president, Jacob Zuma, for contempt of court is a sad event. No wonder, many South Africans have taken to the streets in violent protests at it. It is very possible the arrest of Zuma can lead to the disintegration of the post-apartheid state in South Africa, at least as we currently know it. This is largely because post-independence African elites use theories drawn from textbooks, written at Harvard and Cambridge, Stanford and Oxford, explaining experiences of Europe and North America, as the solution to our problems.

Monday, July 12, 2021

Lessons from imperial hubris

How the US and her NATO allies lost trillions in a vain effort to turn Afghanistan into Denmark

THE LAST WORD | ANDREW M. MWENDA | After twenty years of occupation and trillions of dollars spent fighting the Taliban, the United States and her NATO allies are beating a hasty retreat from Afghanistan. As they withdraw, the Taliban are rolling across the country against little resistance from the Afghan national army. According to media reports, soldiers from the national army are abandoning their military posts without a fight. The situation in Afghanistan is the best evidence of the follies of foreign aid in all its forms – financial, technical, humanitarian, military, state-building, and democratisation.

Monday, July 5, 2021

Celebrating one’s misfortune

How public anger against Uganda government’s response to COVID is driven more by prejudice than facts

THE LAST WORD | ANDREW M. MWENDA | Last Saturday, I lost my auntie, Princess Damali Komukyeeya of Toro. I tweeted that although she had COVID, she was fairly fine Friday evening. She developed breathing difficulties on Saturday morning. When rushed to hospital, “there was no oxygen” but that was a poor framing imposed on me by Twitter’s limits on characters. She found all the beds at Mulago occupied, so there was no place for her to be put on oxygen. My tweet went viral; viewed by 540,000 people with 54,000 engagements.