Whistle-Blowing Platform Launched

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) has launched an anti-corruption whistle-blowing platform to make it easier for citizens to report any suspected cases of high-level corruption countrywide.

The platform was launched on Tuesday.

ZACC has received over 400 reports on suspected corruption so far this year, almost double the number received during the corresponding period last year, demonstrating improved public confidence in the work of the commission.

Several high profile arrests have been made while asset recovery of proceeds of corruption has been accelerated.

Whistle-blowing is a term used when a person passes on information concerning corrupt practices such as fraud, bribery and abuse of power.

Speaking during the virtual launch of the application, ZACC chairperson, Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo (pictured above), said since last year the commission has been facing challenges, which include the lack of a whistle-blower protection framework.

“As much as we want the public to report cases of corruption, we, as the commission have to ensure that we provide a platform that ensures the non-disclosure of the identity of whistle-blowers and security of the information given.

“Zimbabwe is a signatory to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption and the SADC Protocol Against Corruption, which all speak towards a corrupt-free world characterised by values of good governance, respect for human rights, justice, the rule of law, and countering illicit financial flows and counter-financing of terrorism,” she said.

All the conventions call for the protection of reporting persons and expect State parties to incorporate into their domestic legal system, appropriate measures to provide protection against any unjustified treatment for any person who reports in good faith and on reasonable grounds to the competent authorities, any facts concerning offences related to corruption and money laundering.

Justice Matanda-Moyo said the Government launched the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) for 2020 to 2024 on July 11 — national document that fulfils the requirements of Zimbabwe’s obligations under Article 5 of the UNCAC.

Article 5 mandates States to develop, implement or maintain effective, coordinated anti-corruption policies that promote the participation of society and reflect the principles of the rule of law, proper management of public affairs and public property, integrity, transparency and accountability.

“The NACS has six strategic objectives which include ensuring the protection of whistle-blowers and victims of corruption, thereby encouraging active participation in anti-corruption efforts by members of the public,” she said.

The goal of the strategy is to reduce the prevalence of corruption, improve good governance in the public and private institutions and improve ZACC’s service delivery, among others.

The whistle-blower platform provided easy access to a quick anonymous and straightforward reporting tool, empowering citizens to report safely, loudly and visibly when corrupt officials and public service providers abuse their positions of entrusted power.

ZACC’s Strategic Plan for 2020-2024, which is in line with the NACS, has therefore allocated its resources to two key result areas; combating corruption and prevention of corruption.

Justice Matanda-Moyo said 60 percent of its resources were for investigation and asset recovery while 40 percent is channelled towards the prevention of corruption.

The goal of the strategy is to reduce the prevalence of corruption, improve good governance in the public and private institutions and improve ZACC’s service delivery, among others.

“In order for the Commission to meet its target, it is important that we provide a platform for whistle-blowers to feel safe to report cases of corruption. I must hasten to say that the Commission drafted a lay Bill with the assistance of its partners which was given to the Attorney General on 17 June 2020.

“We implore the Attorney General and the Minster of Justice to treat this matter as a matter of urgency,” she said.

The whistle-blower platform provided easy access to a quick anonymous and straightforward reporting tool, empowering citizens to report safely, loudly and visibly when corrupt officials and public service providers abuse their positions of entrusted power.

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