National clean-up day must focus on corruption

AFRICA Innovation Trust (AIT) has said the national clean-up campaign held on the first Friday of every month must also focus on corruption that has continued to adversely affect the nation.

BY WINSTONE ANTONIO

In an interview with NewsDay yesterday ahead of today’s cleanup exercise, AIT lead resource Benjamin Nyandoro (pictured) said the face of corruption is changing every day in this digital age, making it more complicated to deter, detect and punish without adopting responsive innovations.

“It is corruption that we need to clean up. Zimbabweans must join the national clean-up Fridays calling for an end to corruption. We have to put emphasis to the fight against corruption. Corruption is litter, let us, all in our many different ways, clean up Zimbabwe,” he said.

“Post-November 24, 2017 to date, Zimbabwe witnessed a wave of publicised high-profile corruption cases. However, these remain cases reported at the discretion of ‘gate keepers’, largely the State and political actors. Many of these cases have fallen off the radar owing to possible manipulation, non-availability of a transparent case-tracking system and a credible alternative set of evidence.”

Nyandoro said his non-profit organisation has developed a mobile application (ICU ‘I See You’) that allows the public to anonymously report corruption as it happens, with an option to either take a picture, record audio, video or text.

“As AIT, we seek to promote a culture of reporting corruption through providing accessible, safe and secure platforms that allow the public to anonymously submit, view and track confirmed reported cases,” he said.

“Our intervention responds to concerns around reporting cases of corruption, which are quality of evidence, safety of whistle blowers and availability of a robust transparent system that can track reported cases, indicating case statuses.”

Nyandoro said drawing from reports that they were receiving, the appetite to report corruption is more in rural areas as they are directly affected by abuse of relief aid by councillors and village heads.

In their campaign to encourage the public to keep Zimbabwe clean of corruption, AIT has installed 10 advertising bins around corruption-rife hotspots in Harare that they empty every Wednesday, inviting volunteers to join the refuse collection.

“Our on-going flagship weekly refuse collection campaign equates corruption to litter. Running under the theme Time to Put Corruption Where it Belongs, in The Bin, the campaign encourages the public to keep Zimbabwe clean of corruption,” Nyandoro said.

“The weekly refuse collection is a show of commitment that we definitely act on reported cases. In this case, the reports are the litter that you throw in the bin, which is a responsible thing to do, the same way it is a responsible act to report corruption.”

He said some of the people who have so far participated include Harare Central ward 6 councillor Joshua Nyatsuro, several musicians across genres and University of Zimbabwe social work students, among others.

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