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

Saturday, October 7, 2023

Rwanda’s biggest brand problem

FILE PHOTO: President Paul Kagame delivers his inaugural speech August 18, 2017. PHOTO FLickr.com/paulkagame

How and why Kagame’s enemies have been successful at branding him a tyrant

THE LAST WORD | Andrew M. Mwenda | I asked a young friend to visit Rwanda and assess the state of the country. He returned last week completely mesmerised at how a poor country can have such excellent infrastructure, a well-organised and clean environment beyond his imagination. However, and like so many people who visit that country, he came with that hackneyed claim that Rwandans are not free. I asked him how he established this. He said he could feel it in the air. I asked him if he had asked any Rwandan how he/she felt. He said he had not because he didn’t have to. “They seemed too afraid for me to even ask”. It was clear to me that this is something he has always heard in some circles in Uganda and the international press.