Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Reporter
LEGISLATORS are seized with the Whistleblowers Protection Act, meant to safeguard members of the public who would have reported corruption cases, as the fight against graft intensifies under the Second Republic.
The paperwork will soon be tabled before Parliament as a bill so that legislators can go through its contents, critique it to check if it meets the dictates and demands of Zimbabweans. A bill is a proposed law and there are three types of Bills, public, private, and hybrid bills.
The Standing Rules and Orders require that a bill be published in the Government Gazette before it is introduced in the House.
Speaking at an anti-corruption public awareness campaign in Umguza district under Chief Mabhena, Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) commissioner Gabriel Chaibva said the legislation would greatly help in the fight against corruption, especially on the protection of individuals who provide information that exposes corruption cases.
Section 117 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe states that the legislative authority is derived from the people and empowers Parliament to amend the Constitution and make laws for the peace, order, and good governance of Zimbabwe.
“I am not so sure about the circumstance and content of the Whistleblowers Protection Act that is being proposed but what I am aware of are the principles to protect whistleblowers from unscrupulous, powerful, and corrupt people who may want to victimise them. Like I said the exact details of that piece of legislation is not yet known to us, we are still to get it availed by way of it being laid in Parliament as a bill then we will be able to know and critic it and see if it is sufficient to meet the dictates and demands of the people,” said Comm Chaibva.
The public awareness campaign is a deliberate programme by the commission to educate members of the public on how they can recognise, resist and report corruption. The programme took the Zacc teams to all but one district in Matabeleland North province which culminated with the official launch at Ngama Beer Garden under Chief Deli in Umguza last Thursday.
The campaign is in line with the 2019 resolution where the Commission, in liaison with President Mnangagwa resolved to embark on a national anti-corruption awareness strategy so that Zimbabweans get to know what corruption was as defined in the Constitution. The campaign also would lead to Zimbabweans knowing what to do whenever they see or hear about corruption.
Zacc was established in 2005 in terms of Chapter 13, Part 1 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. It was however generally felt that there was nothing tangible which the commission did until in 2019 when President Mnangagwa swore in the Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo led Commission. Other commissioners include Ms Jessie Majome, Mr John Makamure, Ms Thandiwe Mlobane, Mr Michael Santi, Mr Kuziva Murapa, Mr Gabriel Chaibva and Ms Mabel Hungwe.
To date, the Commission has made high-profile arrests with some of the cases being successfully prosecuted by the National Prosecuting Authority.
Recently Zacc reported that it had received 22 reports of unexplained wealth through externalisation of foreign currency amounting to US$22 million.