The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) on Tuesday launched the digital Anti-Corruption Commission Whistleblowing Application which 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
ZACC is a Chapter 13 (of the Constitution) institution that has eight major functions which revolve around combating corruption as well as encouraging transparency, honesty and financial discipline in both the public and private sectors. “In my opening remarks at the first press briefing in 2019, I noted the challenges that are be delving the Commission and key among them was the lack of a whistleblower protection framework,” ZACC Chairperson, Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo said during the virtual launch of Anti-Corruption Commission Whistle Blowing Application.
“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 characterized by values of good governance, respect for human rights, justice, the rule of law, and countering illicit financial flows and counter-financing of terrorism.
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. In order for the Commission to meet its target, Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo said, 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 Minister of Justice to treat this matter as a matter of urgency,” she said. The tip-off application helps break the silence around the daily occurrence of corruption and seamless interaction among participants or the whistleblowers.
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.</div> Also the application can be accessed through ZACC’s website, www.zacc.online/tipoffs.
In July 2020, the Government launched the National Anti-Corruption Strategy for 2020 to 2024. This national document fulfils the requirements of Zimbabwe’s obligations under Article 5 of the UNCAC, which requires 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. The Commission’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. About 60% of its resources to investigation and asset recovery and 40% to the prevention of corruption.
The goal of this 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.