May 25

Nkurunziza’s slippery slope

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How the current crisis in Burundi is likely to ignite a regional conflagration Pierre Nkurunziza wants to remain president of Burundi. His opponents don’t want him to. Nkurinziza says the constitution allows him another term in office. His opponents say the Arusha Accords, which formed the basis of the constitution, do not. The Constitutional Court [...]

May 18

Re-examining the impact of elections

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Why elections in India select criminals for politicians but produce dedicated public servants in Norway and Sweden I have argued before that the very specific way democracy has evolved in Uganda is injurious to the common good. I use the word “very specific” because I am aware that other countries have had a different experience. [...]

May 12

The dynamics of Uganda’s elections

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How electoral competition eliminates public spirited candidates and increases the numbers of self-interested ones Around election-time,many candidates for office from across the political divide come to me for advice or assistance. We discuss practical political issues: How do I raise money for my campaign? Who are the individuals (there are hardly any organisations) I can [...]

May 4

When should Kagame retire?

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The benchmarks that Rwandans should discuss as forming the basis for sustainable peaceful transfer of power President Paul Kagame believes in presidential term limits and desires to retire in 2017. I say this with a lot of confidence because I have had many discussions with him on this matter and his views have been consistent. [...]

April 26

Xenophobia in South Africa

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How the flaws in the post-apartheid political settlement have shaped the current anti-immigrant sentiments Last week, “popular” anger in South Africa exploded into a new wave of violence. Youths wielding machetes and looking like Rwanda’s interahamwe in 1994 roamed the streets burning and/or slashing their victims without pity. The violence was both saddening and illuminating. [...]

April 22

The war against NSSF and Umeme

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How improved performance of the two companies tends to attract increasing hostility from parliament and the public The Members of Parliament in Uganda, supported by a loud section of our chattering elite class, seem determined to hold to wrong things dearly even in the face of overwhelming evidence. Last year, a select committee of parliament [...]

April 12

To stay or not to stay

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How the debate on amending the Constitution to remove term limits is evolving in Rwanda and the issues to consider President Paul Kagame recently said he does not want Rwanda to amend the constitution to remove term limits. But I do not think this will stop calls by ordinary citizens who want him to stay. [...]

April 5

Reforming education in Uganda Part II

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How Uganda’s politics cannot create a government that delivers public goods and services efficiently Last week, I proposed the need to rethink the role of the state to fix our education system. I argued that we should separate the financing of education from its provision. The state should retain a role in financing and wherever [...]

March 29

Looking at Museveni-Kagame frustrations

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Unhappy with their officials, what the two presidents are asking for is a return to the past, not a leap to the future Three weeks ago, President Paul Kagame; during a government leadership retreat, expressed disaffection with top officials for delaying government projects unnecessarily. Then last week, President Yoweri Museveni, during Uganda’s leadership retreat, expressed [...]

March 22

Reforming education in Uganda

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Why government should separate financing of education in order to allow poor families access quality education On Sunday, I attended a global education forum in Dubai. Sheik Mohammed Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, and President Paul Kagame of Rwanda were there as well as former presidents, Bill Clinton (USA), Olusegun Obasanjo (Nigeria), former British Prime [...]