‘Fighting graft a high-risk exercise’

ANTI-CORRUPTION activists have expressed concern that the two controversial Bills recently passed by Parliament — Private Voluntary Organisations (PVOs) Amendment Bill and Patriot Bill — may impede the fight against corruption if signed into law.

The activists raised the concerns during a meeting organised by Zimbabwe Women Against Corruption Trust (ZWACT) in Harare on Friday.

“If signed into law, the PVOs and Patriot Bills would restrict the operations of certain civic organisations, particularly those doing anti-corruption programmes,” said one of the participants.

“No one would come out in the open and report corruption.”

Deliberations brought to the fore the risks associated with fighting corruption.

Participants said civic society organisations and individuals involved in the fight against corruption faced the risk of being harassed, harmed and compromised by the elite.

ZWACT director Sandra Matendere said fighting corruption was a high-risk exercise.

The training workshop coincided with the commemorations of World Whistleblower Day, a day set aside to honour the determination of people who speak up against corruption and celebrate the positive changes they bring to society.

“As ZWACT we are currently engaging in safety and security training as part of institutional strengthening,” she said.

“Fighting corruption is a mammoth task, therefore, we have to come up with risk mitigation and management measures.

“As a woman-led organisation, the training is necessary considering the sensitivity of corruption issues.

“It is important for corruption fighters to understand their role and the importance of having strategies of protecting themselves from backlash as well as increasing their effectiveness.”

According to Transparency International, Zimbabwe is ranked 157th among the 180 countries on the Corruption Perceptions Index.

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