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 MBABANE – Is the much-talked about state capture in SA also existent in the Kingdom of Eswatini?

African Alliance Partner S’thofeni Ginindza has hinted that it would be folly to assume that state capture has been taking place only in neighbouring South Africa.

He warned that Eswatini could also be faced with the same problem.
The reputable economist advised the country to undertake self introspection and not look further from home so as to avoid being captured. 
Ginindza strongly warned against state capture tendencies, noting that they could greatly hinder development of the country from being a First World country by 2022 as envisioned by His Majesty King Mswati III.

“Emaswati have a misconception that state capture has only been happening in South Africa. Eswatini could also be facing the same problem,” hinted Ginindza, during the re-launch of Ligcebesha Fund convened at Royal Swazi Spa Gigi’s Restaurant on Wednesday evening.
Wikipedia defines state capture as a type of systemic political corruption in which private interests significantly influence a state’s decision-making processes to their own advantage.

The term ‘state capture’ was first used by the World Bank to describe the situation in central Asian countries making the transition from Soviet communism. Specifically, it was applied to situations where small corrupt groups used their influence over government officials to appropriate government decision making in order to strengthen their own economic positions; these groups would later become known as oligarchs.

Allegations of state capture have led to protests against the government in Bulgaria in 2013-2014 and Romania in 2017, and have caused an ongoing controversy in South Africa beginning in 2016.

Providing examples on scenarios that make institutions and governments vulnerable to capture, Ginindza said capturing was likely to happen when the chief executive officer, board of directors or government were about to leave office.

He said senior executives and government leaders who were about to vacate office tended to be vulnerable to corruption because they either wanted to safeguard re-appointment or accumulate enough funds and resources to sustain their livelihood.

However, Ginindza clarified that this was not to suggest that the government whose term of office recently came to an end or company executives who have left office recently were captured. “Corruption is the biggest threat to development, not only in Eswatini but the rest of Africa and the world. If we were to monetise the benefits accrued from corrupt activities, it would run into millions,” said Ginindza.

Further, Ginindza also advised the nation to mutate the country into a First World country, there needs to be a change of mindset among the populace. He said for as long as the people of Eswatini do not embrace innovation, it would be challenging to attain the vision.

“The biggest factor which will propel the country into First World status is how the people think and react, which will prompt massive development,” added Ginindza.

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