Thu, April 25, 2024

'Politics is tribal. Business is pragmatic. Both aspire for power – one for authority and the other for money.'

B360 March 8, 2024, 10:10 am
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Even when big businesses are facing slowdown and SME’s are struggling to breathe, we go through expanded challenges of seeing entrepreneurs put behind bars, entrepreneurs going through security issues and facing extortion and threat to life, entrepreneurs taking their life unable to pay back loans, entrepreneurs collapsing under the weight of financial burden. On the other side of the spectrum, we see government and policy makers mired in corruption, lack of clarity on vision and processes, breaking laws that they are supposed to uphold. 

The need for this comparison comes from just one simple thought: Is the rule of law not the same for everyone? Does the constitution not guarantee justice? 

I am equally aware that, more often than not, this is not a black and white situation. There are so many shades of grey in the interplay of influence between politics and business. Rules are tweaked to pave the vested interest of some businesses, favours are bought and sold, bribes are given and taken, deals are made and broken, power is seized and played, conscience and integrity is on the market to be bought and sold. 

To survive in this country what matters most is who you know. Your connections will determine the quality of your life and open doors of possibilities. Needless to say, it will come at the cost of values and integrity. 

For business, your access to government and decision makers will leverage your success and buy you big deals. For politicians, your access to money will fund your political aspirations and beget your positions of power and authority. 

Politics is tribal. Business is pragmatic. Both aspire for power – one for authority and the other for money. When lines are blurred, they can wreak havoc. In time, the dark side of this association and manipulation is often exposed but all it unleashes is a culture of corruption; and it is always the common man who pays.

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MARCH 2024

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