By Staff Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) Tuesday launched an anti-corruption whistleblower mobile application to make it easier for citizens to confidentially report suspected cases of high-level graft in the country.
Speaking at the virtual launch of the application, ZACC chairperson Loice Matanda-Moyo said she was confident the application will assist the public and the organisation in fighting increasing corruption related crimes in the country.
“In my opening remarks at the first press briefing in 2019, I noted the challenges that are bedevilling the commission and key among them was the lack of a whistleblower protection framework,” she said.
“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.”
Matanda-Moyo said Zimbabwe was 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.
“These 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,” Matanda-Moyo said,
“In order for the commission to meet its target, it is important that we provide a platform for whistleblowers 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 Minister of Justice to treat this matter as a matter of urgency,” she said.
“First, the whistleblower platform provides easy access to an instantaneous 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.
“Second, the tip-off application helps break the silence around the daily occurrence of corruption and seamless interaction among participants or the whistleblowers.
“Third, the application can be a base for public expenditure tracking, where public funds can be protected from greed or ill-doing of individuals, and most importantly it provides an avenue for users to anonymously submit evidence to cases that ordinarily collapse due to a lack of evidence.
“It is also in times like today where the Covid-19 pandemic is ravaging communities that such an innovation assists the commission in executing on its mandate with minimum human physical contact. I, therefore, cannot overemphasise the immense significance of this platform and encourage the members of the public to use it.”