Tendai Biti, Zimbabwean opposition member of Parliament and constitutional lawyer, says that his country may have invented state capture, but South Africa refined it. Corruption, especially at state capture levels, is one of the biggest threats to democracy, according to Biti.
Tendai Biti, opposition Member of Parliament in Zimbabwe, insists that his country invented state capture and South Africa merely refined it.
Speaking in South Africa recently, Biti says that this concept was not an original one, saying that:
“I come from a country called Zimbabwe, in respect of which for 39 years, power has been monopolised by a political party called Zanu-PF, on which decision making has been based on the desire and agenda for power retention and the desire and agenda for personal aggrandisement."
Biti lamented the fact that, despite nearly four decades of independence, the majority of Zimbabweans live on R5 a day.
30% of Zimbabweans don't have access to clean water and this Biti chalked up to "the exclusion of consent, monopolisation of power and the denial of political space and denial of the right to choose".
The MP highlighted the importance of upholding democracy, which could not be possible without citizen inclusion:
“Democracy must be substantive, it must be more than mere mascara and lipstick. That is why the issue of making a democracy with economic development is key. The issue of ensuring that that democracy actually uplifts the ordinary citizen from poverty is key."
State capture, or corruption in other words, is one of the biggest threats to democracy as we know it.
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