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, January 9, 2017

ECOMOG’s Gambian gamble

The likely dangers of the Western African states’ attempts to impose a solution on The Gambia

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has resolved to send a military force (ECOMOG) into The Gambia apparently to achieve three interrelated objectives: first to “protect” the president-elect, Adama Barrow; second to uphold the presidential elections results that President Yahya Jammeh has cancelled; third to ensure that Barrow is sworn in as president. This is a big gamble that is likely to cause more problems than it seeks to solve.

Kizza Besigye’s biggest mistake

And how it is killing opposition to Museveni

On Feb.2, Kizza Besigye, the former Presidential flag bearer for the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), called the press to announce a new pressure group he is calling the People’s Government Network.
Besigye called on supporters to be representatives of the network in their communities and help build pressure against President Yoweri Museveni’s government.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Uganda’s war on corruption

Why do many people believe corruption is out of control despite many prosecutions?

In October, the Anticorruption Court convicted the main culprits in the theft of pension money. The three men were top officials of the ministry of public service; including the permanent secretary and the principle accountants. The story made headlines for two days and died away. Indeed, every day, there is news of public officials in Uganda being arrested, charged, and prosecuted or being convicted of corruption. But they don’t make big news. Yet the media – both traditional and social media – get obsessed with considerably minor stories and cover them for weeks on end.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Lessons for FDC from Gambia

Accusations based on Jammeh’s personality shouldn’t obscure the politics

On December 01 the President of Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, lost an election and went on television and conceded defeat. He also called the victor, Adama Barrow, and congratulated him saying he has no ill will and will be pleased to help him in any way. Having taken power by a military coup and ruled that tiny West African nation for 22 years, no one expected Jammeh to concede gracefully.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Makerere University in the age of emotion and blackmail

It is now more than a month since President Yoweri Museveni shut down Makerere University in Kampala. The closure was over academic staff abandoning teaching and giving the government an ultimatum: Pay us our unpaid arrears or we will not return to work.

The academic staff members are not striking over salaries – which they had been paid in full. Instead, their strike was over some strange thing called “incentives”; amalgamated allowances for extra work like teaching in the evening or on weekends or having a very large class with many student scripts to mark.

Monday, December 5, 2016

From Obote’s 1966 to Museveni’s 2016

How 50 years have not changed the nature of the confrontation between the central government, traditional authorities

Exactly 50 years since Prime Minister Milton Obote attacked the palace of Sir Edward Mutesa, the King of Buganda, President Yoweri Museveni has attacked the palace of the king of Rwenzururu, Wesley Mumbere. In typical political style, opposition leader Kizza Besigye tweeted his horror at both the attack on the palace and the people killed. I am sure Besigye and many of his supporters think if they were in power they would have handled the situation differently.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Healthcare in poor countries

Why nations that are different exhibit similar health service dysfunctions

I have been rereading Melle Leenstra’s 2012 book, `Beyond the Façade; the instrumentalisation of the Zambian health sector’. It offers an interesting insight into the challenges that central African nation faces in its attempts to provide quality healthcare to its citizens. It reads like a story of the healthcare system in Uganda or any other poor country. Let us cite the book at some length.