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Alarm over whistleblower victimisation



THE Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) has expressed alarm over the continued victimisation of whistleblowers by perpetrators of corruption.

In a statement to mark World Whistleblowers Day, Zacc chairperson Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo implored policymakers to expedite the enactment of the whistleblowers legislation.

“Already, Zacc has received reports of victimisation of whistleblowers who are vital to the fight against corruption,” Justice Matanda-Moyo said.

“The commission notes with dismay that despite its obligations to protect whistleblowers within the provisions of the United Nations Convention against Corruption, the African Union Convention against Corruption and the Sadc Protocol Against Corruption, there remains a legal vacuum in the protection of whistleblowers.”

She said Zacc made 103 arrests for corruption in 2021, with 79 dockets already submitted to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for prosecution.

“Without whistleblowers, Zacc would not have achieved these figures. Zacc is targeting to submit 180 dockets to NPA this year, a 100% increase from the number achieved in 2020. It is against this background that the role of whistleblowers in achieving this target remains paramount,” she said.

She said the commission was advocating for policy and legal environment that protect whistleblowers.

“Part of these efforts includes drafting a Bill which has been submitted to the Attorney-General’s Office. We are confident that this piece of legislation will be enacted into law sooner rather than later. Zacc has come up with an online whistleblower reporting application to ensure that whistleblowers are able to report corruption. The application is designed to ensure anonymity of the whistleblowers.”

“This year, the commission received 88 anonymous reports on corrupt activities via this platform. The national anti-corruption strategy  steering committee has established a sub-committee that is dedicated to ensuring the protection of whistleblowers,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) has lamented the plight of the public service worker due to corruption, incompetence, and retrogressive attitudes of African governments.

In a statement to mark Public Service Day yesterday, Artuz said corruption by those in power had weighed heavily on the civil servants as taxpayers’ money that should be used to ensure their comfort was being corruptly diverted to personal use.

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