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 29, 2021

Dealing with multiple moralities

How to grapple with complex dilemmas especially when some actions really offend one’s moral sensibilities

THE LAST WORD | ANDREW M. MWENDA | Recently, a friend told me an intriguing story. His friend, a doctor, was once working at a hospital in northern Uganda. A male patient was brought to him in critical condition. His family did not think he could survive. This doctor handled the patient with dedication and skill. The man recovered. Some days after he was discharged, the man returned with a very pretty lady aged about 16 or 17. He told the doctor that no amount of money would be enough to reward him for the miracle of saving his life. “I have brought you this, my daughter, as the reward. You can marry her.”

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

The strategy of fighting ADF

How to handle the new wave of terrorism without helping terrorist achieve their political objectives

THE LAST WORD | ANDREW M. MWENDA | On Tuesday, terrorists struck again exploding bombs that killed three innocent bystanders (may their souls RIP) and three people carrying the bombs. The initial suspicion was that these were suicide bombers. But a close study of the videos suggests the contrary. Those carrying bombs did not seek to maximise their impact by killing as many people (or as many police officers) as possible – as is custom among such terrorists. They made no effort to move closer to their points. Instead, both exploded their bombs in the middle of the road and while they were in motion – one walking, the other riding a motorbike. This suggests that those carrying the bombs may not have been the ones who detonated them.

Monday, November 15, 2021

The moral power of whataboutism

Lessons from ordinary people on Kampala streets regarding the effect of good example on effective leadership

THE LAST WORD | ANDREW M. MWENDA | A couple of years back, advocate David Mpanga wrote a powerful article on “whataboutism.” He was criticising people in Africa that respond to Western intrusions into alleged misrule by our leaders by pointing out similar acts of misrule in Western countries. He gave a background of the former Soviet leaders. That whenever America and other nations of the West pointed out its human rights abuses, Moscow would respond by pointing out excesses of the U.S. government and its Western allies.

Monday, November 8, 2021

Uganda’s self-inflicted wounds

How our country has imposes draconian COVID-19 restrictions in spite of glaring evidence that they are not necessary

THE LAST WORD | ANDREW M. MWENDA | Very smart people can make humongous mistakes and stick to them for very long with little effort to change course in spite of glaring evidence of their folly. This is often driven by two things. First is the bandwagon effect i.e., uncritically following what has been prescribed without questioning its logic even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Second is when powerful interests see an opportunity to profit from such wrong-headed policies. This toxic combination is manifest in the global response to COVID-19 but it attains tragicomic-proportions under the Uganda government.

Monday, November 1, 2021

On Museveni and his critics

What we always miss about the governance strategies employed by leaders of poor countries

THE LAST WORD | Andrew M Mwenda | Last Sunday, a high school alumni found me at a cafe in town and with a sardonic smile gave me an unwelcome compliment. “Andrew,” he said as he bit his lip, “you are a very clever man. You know how to use your vast knowledge and intelligence to defend the indefensible. I must give you credit because you do it well. The problem, however, is that you use your knowledge and intelligence in service of African dictators for money. And that is the problem of Africa. Its brightest do not think about the country but themselves; so, you are the typical dishonest African intellectual – making yourself rich at the expense of your country.”