Zimbabwe aims to strengthen institutions, enhance legal framework, promote a culture of integrity, as well as ethical behaviour, with the media being called upon to join in the fight against corruption, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Ziyambi Ziyambi, has said.
He was speaking at the Anti-Corruption Media Awards for the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) in Harare yesterday.
Minister Ziyambi said fighting corruption required a comprehensive and coordinated approach, hence the development of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS), a roadmap to guide efforts in combating corruption.
“The NACS is a testament to our Government’s unwavering commitment to creating a corruption-free Zimbabwe,” said Minister Ziyambi. “It provides a framework that outlines the key areas of focus, strategies, and actions required to address corruption comprehensively.
“It is a blueprint that guides our collective efforts to promote transparency, accountability and good governance. As a country, we aim to strengthen our institutions, enhance the legal framework and promote a culture of integrity and ethical behaviour. It is a call to action for all stakeholders, including the media, civil society and the private sector, to join hands in the fight against corruption.”
Minister Ziyambi said the media serve as a powerful tool in raising awareness and exposing corrupt practices.
He said investigative reporting and the fearless pursuit of the truth by journalists has been instrumental in bringing corrupt individuals to justice.
“Fearless media is instrumental in the attainment of Vision 2030. To the media, I urge you to acquaint yourselves with the laws widely used by ZACC,” said Minister Ziyambi.
He said Zimbabwe has a strong legal framework, which criminalises offences such as active and passive bribery, extortion and money laundering, among others.
Prosecutor-General Justice Loyce Matanda-Moyo, the recent past former ZACC Chairperson, commended the organisation for honouring journalists.
“Although I have left ZACC for the National Prosecuting Authority, I remain committed to fighting corruption,” said Justice Matanda-Moyo.
“Collaboration between the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and the National Prosecuting Authority has always been symbiotic. My movement to NPA can only strengthen it. Our shared mission to combat corruption and promote the rule of law requires a concerted effort from all stakeholders, and it is heartening to see the media playing a pivotal role in this endeavour.
“The media serves as a crucial ally in our collective fight against corruption, acting as the eyes and ears of the public and bringing to light issues that demand our attention.
“The complementary role between the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and the National Prosecuting Authority is integral to the success of our efforts.
“While ZACC investigates and uncovers instances of corruption, the NPA plays a pivotal role in ensuring that those responsible are held accountable through legal proceedings.
“To further enhance this collaboration, I propose a closer partnership between the media, ZACC and the NPA. Journalists have the power to not only expose corruption but also to inform the public about the legal processes that follow.”
ZACC executive secretary, Ms Sukai Tongogara, extended gratitude to Justice Matanda-Moyo for her continued dedication to upholding justice and fighting corruption.
“Your leadership has been instrumental in shaping the landscape of anti-corruption efforts and we are honoured to have you with us today,” said Ms Tongogara.
Chief Director in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Mr Jonathan Gandari, said the awards were a sign of Government’s determination to fight corruption.
“This is a very good initiative by ZACC to reward investigative reporters who are working in the areas,” said Mr Gandari. “We are in a country where people think investigative journalism is not allowed, it will be thwarted and here is a Government institution and a Government Minister awarding those reporters who undertook investigative journalism, which means the myth that Harare does not allow investigative reports has been debunked.”
Mr Gandari was pleased that journalists from the public media won awards when the panel who chose the best was not even Government-related.
He challenged journalists, including those who work for the private media and freelancers, to do investigative stories and stand a chance to win these awards.
Mr Gandari reiterated that journalists in Zimbabwe are protected by the law to do their investigative work and that Government supports them to do their work.