Stakeholders ought to legislate for the protection of whistle-blowers, says the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) chairperson, Loyce Matanda-Moyo who also on Monday, 27 September, revealed that the country was losing some US1.8 million annually due to graft.
She was speaking at a whistle-blower workshop.
“It is estimated that Zimbabwe loses about US$1.8 billion annually due to corruption. Such illicit financial flows bleed the economy of revenue meant to promote sustainable socio-economic development and the betterment of the livelihoods of all Zimbabweans. This leaves government with little or no resources to fulfil its obligations to its citizens, “she said.
The ZACC leader urged the promulgation of laws to protect whistle-blowers.
“I cannot over-emphasise the importance of whistle-blowers in the fight against corruption and the need to ensure adequate protection for these whistle blowers. Whistle blowers can provide information that leads to successful convictions and asset recoveries, thereby saving the nation from losing eeded revenue,” said Matanda-Moyo.
“Therefore, the existence of whistle-blower legislation is imperative to combating corruption,” she added.
The call to protect whistle-blowers has been growing over the years.
Marking the World Whistle-blowers Day in June this, Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ) called for strategic frameworks—the enactment of relevant laws included—to aid their work.
“Whistle-blowers play a critical role in exposing wrongdoing and corruption, therefore potentially saving the country millions of dollars in public funds and ultimately guaranteeing the effective and efficient delivery of public services,” noted TIZ in a statement.
The anti-corruption watchdog urged stakeholders to draw their whistle-blowing framework from regional and international conventions, among them the Southern African Development Community’s Protocol against Corruption, the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption and the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC),
Zimbabwe is signatory to all these frameworks.
Matanda-Moyo said influential individuals were among the most corrupt people.
“We need to take into cognisance that most corruption perpetrators are powerful persons. Without adequate protection, potential whistle-blowers are reluctant to come forward with information, fearing victimisation. Without a whistle-blower framework in place, it will be difficult to win the war against corruption,” she said.