Uganda’s King of Radio… Unplugged, Uncensored & Unleashed

FBUP Episode 007: The Politics of Patronage [Guest: Andrew Mwenda]

It’s election season in Uganda, and everybody’s excited. People are excited about going to vote – they want their voices to be heard. Voting is essential for democracy… we are told.

On the face of it, a country such as Uganda might meet all the traditional indicators of democracy such as relative press freedom, multiple political parties, regular elections, etc. On election day international observers will say the election seemed free and fair, and that there was no violence – and the world will get the impression that everything went well, and the election will be heralded as democracy in practice.

But then even after such an election, a lot of people, at the back of their minds, will still feel that something isn’t quite right. Yes, they keep voting, but things don’t get that much better than there were before, and again and again ‘free and fair elections’ will be held, their preferred candidate might even win, but all the problems that were there before persist with seemingly no long term solution to them. Of course, the politicians who win these elections will pay obligatory lip service to the concerns about corruption, but life just goes on, with corruption unabated.

What is going on?

In this episode of Fatboy Unplugged, I want to explore a concept which, in my opinion, best describes what is wrong with African politics, and why I don’t think democracy, practiced in its present form, can ever be the agent for social change that people want it to be. I feel that unless this little concept is given enough attention, and thoroughly addressed, Africans will vote, and vote, and vote, and vote till they get tired – but nothing will change.

And this concept is…  Patronage.

Andrew_Mwenda Andrew Mwenda

In this episode of Fatboy Unplugged I’m joined by Andrew Mwenda, a Ugandan journalist and founder/owner of The Independent, Uganda’s premier current affair’s news magazine.

Mwenda has written extensively on this very subject, and in this podcast he sheds some light on the problem, and how Uganda – and Africa – might be able to pull itself out of the quagmire that stems from this problem.

Download: Fatboy Unplugged – Episode 007 – The Politics of Patronage [Guest: Andrew Mwenda] (13.2MB)

[Episode Duration: 55:50]


4 responses

  1. meshu

    Very insightful. Keep up the good work Fatboy.

    January 5, 2011 at 7:44 am



    April 21, 2012 at 11:37 am

  3. Eddie Smith

    Fat Boy — You are absolutely fabulous — to say the least ! You’ll always be my hero ! I am a Black American Writer who enjoys listening to your ( make sense ) podcasts — It’s a shame Black people waste their whole lives believing in god – when , in fact , there’s no one up there listening – instead of uniting like other races — Blacks put their whole lives in the white man’s fictitious bible bullshit — which guarantees they’ll never have a pot to piss in — very sad , huh ? Please send me some information on how I can immigrate to Uganda — I’m fed up with America’s bullshit – and would like to find a nice Ugandan Female so I can get married and really enjoy life with a Beautiful Black Baby from the Motherland — please respond – ( ) — of course I’m an Atheist — and very proud of it — the worst thing in the world is to be an intelligent FOOL

    June 2, 2012 at 3:44 pm

  4. Pingback: Martin Ssempa, James Onen & Andrew Mwenda Debate Homosexuality on Kingdom Radio « Fatboy Unplugged

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