By Staff Reporter
Harare, September 21, 2016 – A local NGO has been formed and has immediately launched an investigative journalism project which aims to unpack some of the country’s most complex cases of corruption which mainstream media have failed to follow up due to poor resourcing.
The Information for Development Trust (IDT), founded in November last year, launched the project on Friday during an occasion that was graced by journalists, legislators and members of parliament.
Some of the MPs who attended the Harare launch include MDC-T MP Paurina Mpariwa, who chairs the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee and Zanu PF’s Kindness Paradza, a veteran journalist now a member of parliamentary Media, Information and Communication Technology committee.
Mpariwa urged the project managers to work hand in glove with her committee in efforts to weed out rampant corruption in the country.
“This Investigative Journalism project is a noble and vital initiative. We need to work with such an institution as IDT in order to ensure that corruption is checked and will always be available to offer any assistance that you need,” she said at the launch held at a Harare hotel.
IDT chairperson, Reyhana Masters said the Investigative Journalism Project is coming at a time Zimbabwe was crying out for a vibrant platform through which “credible, in-depth journalism can be realised in order to enhance access to information on the public sector”.
“It must be noted, though, that the public sector does not have monopoly over corruption and, naturally, our initiatives will focus on non-State processes and systems too,” she said.
Project coordinator and former editor Tawanda Majoni said the investigative journalism initiative would help uncover some of the most difficult forms of corruption which mainstream media have failed to do due to a combination of many factors.
“This comes out of the realisation that IJ, just like the broader journalistic media, is facing too many constraints in Zimbabwe because of the ongoing economic crisis,” Majoni said.
“Media houses and journalists are incapable of doing well-researched stories that expose corruption because of financial constraints. The IDT intervention will therefore work towards removing some of these constraints.
“Besides ensuring reliable and professional media content, the project will provide a source of income to journalists and create a new culture of accountability in public governance.”
Majoni said plans were in place to grow the initiative into a giant project to be found in Southern African countries.
Zimbabwe is ranked among the most corrupt countries in the world with most of the corruption committed by top government officials often swept under the carpet.
President Robert Mugabe has been accused of failing to act on rampant cases of corruption involving his cronies.
The Zimbabweans leader has often said it was difficult to act on corruption as the crime was difficult to detect as it is often done between individuals among whom none will be willing to reveal the crime for fear of arrest.