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Investing in eSwatini remains a high risk, no democracy and rule of law.

Saturday, 13th June, 2020

We have witnessed many investors in the country who received a warm welcome from King Mswati and the government only to be kicked out and be dumped after the authorities and those in positions of significant trust manipulated their powers to defraud them.

These are the disadvantages of investing in a dictatorship State where a word of one man automatically becomes the law. 

As the media, we have an obligation to warn foreign investors to be careful before pumping their money in this country, for we have professional thugs in government who have been using every opportunity to cash millions of Dollars by promising investment opportunities that never existed. The truth of the matter is that we need jobs for the people but the lack of transparency and breakdown in the administration of justice in this country has rendered any investment useless and open for manipulation by those in power while the workers sinks deeper into poverty. Peace and political stability are some of the factors that promote foreign direct investment, however, the government has been hiding critical information from investors suggesting that the courts are fully controlled by the King who happens to be a major player in the economy as he owns shares in various companies.

King Mswati has been maturing in this dirty game of demanding shares from investors for self-enrichment and this automatically place the investment at high risk as Mswati is above the law and cannot be sued in any court within the country. The King normally demand 50% or more without contributing capital for the company startup, he will then milk the working capital of that particular entity until it is a going concern.  This country might be portrayed as peaceful in the eyes of the international community, but it is incubating corrupt thugs hence foreign investors should conduct their research before pumping money to avoid being conned particularly by those close to the King. 

It’s true, we need investors for the creation of employment and generation of revenue but as the media, we have an obligation to portray the true picture of what is happening in this country so that investors can take informed decisions. Foreign Direct Investment(FDIs) is significant for developing economies like Eswatini but the environment is not conducive because of this corrupt regime. 

Many companies have closed because of the King’s trap of giving investors a royal reception at the entry stage, going to the extent of abusing our tax by providing money loaded investors with 24 hours security in form of police personnel. The King will then appoint his people to key positions to look after his stake and providing him with information of how much the company is making in order for him to make endless demands for his luxurious life.

It is very unfortunate that businessman Shan Ramunga, the then Chairman of the now defunct Salgaocar Swaziland lost millions of Dollars as the King and those around him would consistently demand money, this is well documented. He lacked the information that this regime will milk you until you dry and then dump you. 

Shan was escorted by the police while in the country, but the very same police officers tried to arrest him after fabricating criminal charges after the deal went sour. The police and the Director of Public Prosecution(DPP) were acting on the instruction of those in power and this should be a lesson that investments in eSwatini are determined by the level of connections with the King, they are not protected by the law.   

 

Investing in eSwatini remains a high risk, no democracy and rule of law.
King Mswati III