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Corruption-PFee Mubini brings new ideas for tackling corruption

03 Feb 2019 at 12:03hrs | Views
Corruption damages the social and institutional fabric of a country and it's a scourge that cannot be changed, from corrupt to clean, simply by relying on the government to enact and enforce laws.

The Corruption-PFee Mubin project is meant to raise awareness on corruption

While many countries are making significant progress in curbing corruption, Zimbabwe seems to be losing the war against graft despite signing international conventions like the United Nations Convention against Corruption as well as establishing institutions like the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission.

Zimbabwe is the 160 least corrupt nation out of 175 countries, according to the 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index compiled by Transparency International.

Corruption Rank in Zimbabwe averaged 123,48 from 1998 until 2018, reaching an all-time high of 166 in 2008 and a record low of 43 in 1998.

There is no silver bullet for fighting corruption and as such, a local non-governmental organisation, Africa Innovation Trust (AIT), which was founded on the premise of growing the technology edge in a mainstream way of life, has joined the data revolution band wagon in tackling corruption.

"AIT delivers tools and platforms that allow the public to report on corruption," said AIT lead resource Benjamin Nyandoro.

"The mobile application ICU ‘I See You' on Android, iOS, and Windows devices, downloaded ‘free', allow the public to report via [text, image, audio and video] on corruption.

"ICU responds to the bulk of the concerns often raised around reporting cases of corruption. Among the concerns are quality of evidence and safety of whistle blowers."

Nyandoro said technological innovation has the potential to tackle key issues in society, including corruption.

"By utilising advancements in technology we are joining hands with the government and other organisations that are using other means to tackle the scourge in an effective manner," he said.

In its fight against corruption, AIT has come up with a multi-pronged strategy that includes a clean-up campaign running under the banner Corruption-PFee Mubin.

Last Wednesday, AIT joined hands with City of Harare that gave birth to a weekly clean-up exercise that is meant to raise awareness on corruption.

"We joined City of Harare and we have installed 10 bins at some strategic points in the city centre. Our message is that, when you throw litter in a bin you are as well getting rid of corruption. Corruption is dirty and it should be thrown in a bin," said Nyandoro.

According to the senior lecturer in the Department of Communication at the University of Namibia, Admire Mare, technological innovation can be successfully used to fight corruption.

"Overall, using technology for whistleblowing and exposing corruption is becoming a global norm. There are many case studies of such technologies being used to assist anti-corruption bodies expose and detect corruption," Mare said.

"The advantage of technology is that it allows for anonymity and timeous circulation of leaks and information without exposing the whistle-blower to intimidation and harassment by investigating officers."

However, Mare said technology has its own shortcomings.

"People can also abuse technology to leak fake information. They can abuse the clock of anonymity to spread fake leaks which can damage people and organisational reputation," he said.

"There is a need to make sure all the leaked information is verified before nailing some as corrupt so that technology can enhance our fight against corruption."

Nyandoro said the Corruption-PFee Mubin project would cascade to other cities.

"We have engaged the government and the local authority and on Wednesday, we are expecting to start the ball rolling by bringing an official from the government to have an appreciation of our project," he said.

"We are taking the Corruption-PFee Mubin project across the country and we hope it will raise awareness and possible encourage citizens to join the fight against corruption."

With mobile technology and applications being utilised to harness data and gain faster insights coupled with the country's increasing smartphone penetration, AIT's "I See You" can do wonders and help tackle corruption in the country.

Source - the standard
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