The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) has created a mobile application for citizens to confidentially blow the whistle and report fraud and corruption, according to a September 9 NewZimbabwe.com article.
ZACC Chairperson Loyce Matanda-Moyo expressed her confidence in the new app during the virtual launch. “As much as we want the public to report cases of corruption, we as the commission have to ensure that we provide a platform that ensures the non-disclosure of the identity of whistleblowers and security of the information given,” she said.
Matanda-Moyo, who has served as a signatory to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol Against Corruption, and the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption, claimed that this app will be a step in the right direction for fighting corruption, especially since the conventions have placed an emphasis on whistleblower protection. “In order for the commission to meet its target, it is important that we provide a platform for whistleblowers to feel safe to report cases of corruption,” she said, according to NewZimbabwe.com. Additionally, Matanda-Moyo said during the app’s launch: “I must hasten to say that the commission drafted a lay bill with the assistance of its partners which was given to the Attorney General on 17 June 2020. We implore the Attorney General and the Minister of Justice to treat this matter as a matter of urgency.”
The new whistleblowing app, according to Matanda-Moyo, “provides easy access to an instantaneous anonymous and straightforward reporting tool, empowering citizens to report safely, loudly and visibly when corrupt officials and public service providers abuse their positions of entrusted power.” The app can also “be a base for public expenditure tracking, where public funds can be protected from greed or ill-doing of individuals, and most importantly it provides an avenue for users to anonymously submit evidence to cases that ordinarily collapse due to a lack of evidence,” according to NewZimbabwe.com
Matanda-Moyo hopes that the app will also normalize the act of blowing the whistle and notes that the app is especially significant in the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic, where governments have executed mandates on social distancing.
The “tip-off application” can also be visited at https://www.zacc.online/tipoffs/, according to a tweet from the ZACC Twitter account. The user engages with an “artificial intelligence operation that asks the user questions in a manner that is as easy as texting,” according to an article in Zimbabwe newspaper The Sunday Mail. The user’s confidentiality will be protected through the app’s infrastructure, which is “designed to blind all incoming records to ensure that no one will ever have access to the location, device type, or any cookie that may be harvested online,” by using one server for the app traffic. The server will then “encrypt the sent messages and mask all the incoming reports with one IP address.”
Watch a clip from the app’s launch and Matanda-Moyo’s statements on Twitter.