Who is Andrew Mwenda? Flash Uganda Media looks at his biography, early life, education, family and experience of a Ugandan top journalist.
Andrew Mwenda, is a Ugandan journalist, born 1972 to the late Philip Muhanga and Constance Kabakaali, is the founder of a current affairs newsmagazine commonly known as The Independent.
Previously Mwenda became the political editor of the Daily Monitor, a Ugandan daily newspaper, the great presenter had earlier managed one of the amazing shows on KFM Radio in Kampala know as “Andrew Mwenda Live.
Andrew Mwenda is a brother to Margaret Muhanga, Kayanja Muhanga and the Burahya Member of Parliament.
Mwenda attended Mbarara High school and Nyakasura School in the western region of Uganda and so Busoga College Mwiri in the Eastern part of Uganda.
While at Mwiri secondary school, 1994 Mwenda was elected the editor of his school newsletters, a few days later a hard-hitting article about the school headmaster written by Mwenda was published around the school just days after his elections.
Well, the school management did not wait to keep him in school and so his suspension.
Earlier at Nyakasura School, the headteacher was chased away from the school due to a strike lead by Andrew Mwenda.
He then joined Mbarara High school where another strike under the command of Mwenda spark out and so Mwenda and other students gave a final blow to Mbarara High school headteacher which lead to his suspension.
“Andrew Mwenda was very bright in the mass communication class; however he heated us with arguments sometimes over small issues”, said his lecturers at MUK and students.
Mwenda was a very hot cake to students, while at school he was known as newsman despite his position as the newsletter editor; he also read the news to the students.
Andrew Mwenda holds a Master of Science degree in development studies from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African studies of course not forgetting his bachelor’s degree in journalism attained from Makerere University in Uganda.
In 2010, Mwenda was a visiting fellow at Yale University; he became a part of the University of Oxford’s Said School of business in 2009, then john Knight fellow at Stanford University 2006 to 2007.
With his greatness, he was a visiting lecturer at the University of Florida at Gainesville, 2005 and then a visiting fellow at the University of Leiden’s Africa study centre, 2003.
In 2005, a discussion with Prime Minister Tony Blair was held by the British government to discuss on the forthcoming report of the Commission for Africa. Andrew Mwenda was among the sixteen selected senior journalist invited.
Andrew Mwenda also won the International Press Freedom Award (2008) by the Committee to Protect Journalists “in tribute to his commitment to a free press in Uganda and the whole world” and the Outstanding Alumni Award from the British Council (2006).
Mwenda is an admirer of Karl Popper, Frederick Von Hayek and Socrates, he is a communist, a journalist, a businessman, a part-time poet, a social entrepreneur and A TED speaker which made him a regular speaker across the globe.
Mwenda is a publisher of the independent; he is the managing director of the independent Publications Limited which is a current affairs newsmagazine.
His greatness made him be recognized as an African voice in the global debate on the failures of foreign aid to Africa and trade and investment as a drive to grow.
Mwenda was employed as a political editor of the Daily Monitor, a daily newspaper publisher. This was a call for his position of being a general manager of its affiliate on FM radio, KFM, before he thought of establishing The Independent in 2007.
His position as a consultant for the World Resources Institute, the World Bank and Transparency International contributed greatly to his famousness.
Mwenda is a great writer, as seen from his background, he wrote several news articles for the international Media like the International Herald Tribune, The New York Times, Foreign Policy and Des Spigel never the less he had produced documentaries for BBC radio and World television.
He has also co-authored and authored articles for international academic journals like the Review of African Political Economy, the journal for contemporary African studies, the journal of Democracy on top of publishing chapters in several books, more of his authorship includes Africa Affairs and the journal of Commonwealth studies.
Around 1995 Mwenda joined the media and became a great journalist, ever since he joined journalism he has been summoned by the Ugandan police to answer several charges.
In 1997, September, Mwenda with is ambitious writing skills, was able to write a story on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) president Desire Kabila, alleging him of paying Uganda lots of Dollars worth of Gold for its role in the DRC war.
This made him be charged with sedition and publishing false news and in 1999 he was later acquitted.
During Mwandas radio talk show programme, he accused the Ugandan government of “incompetence” where he blamed the government of putting Sudan President Garang on “a Junk helicopter at night in poor weather over an insecure area”.
Lately the brave man “Journalist,” undermined President Yoweri Museveni, calling him a coward, a villager and a failure,”. Courageously he continued and said the president’s days were numbered if he “goes on a collision course with me”.
This lead to his arrest in August 2005, where he was charged with sedition for broadcasting a discussion of the cause of death of Sudanese Vic president John Garang.
Mwenda appeared before the British House of Commons committee on Global poverty to testify against aid to Africa, in July 2006.
The brave journalist has also been globally quoted in international media to mention BBC, The New York Times, The Times, The Economist, CNN and many other newspapers, television and Radio networks in Europe and North America.
Mwenda greatly criticized aid agencies and charities, saying are their infectiveness and collusion with corruption. This made him believe that western aid was never helpful for African development since it sustains wars, fuel corrupt states and encourages dependency.
While at the TED conference in Arusha, Tanzania in July 2007, he argues that “aid goes to those that have failed their people, rather than those that have reformed.
It’s, therefore, to be noted that, Mwendas controversial have earned him approximately seven arrests in the media.