Stakeholders Speak on Whistleblower Legislation

Stakeholders feel there is need for adequate resources to fully implement the long-awaited Whistleblower Protection Bill approved by cabinet in March.

This came out during a Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ) consultative workshop on whistleblower protection that brought together journalists and legal practitioners, among other stakeholders Tuesday in Bulawayo.

Prisca Dube, from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said the country should learn from the Namibian experience where a lack of funding is stalling implementation of the Namibian Whistleblower Protection Bill of 2017.

“Namibia’s Whistleblower Protection Bill is ranked one of the best internationally in terms of content but the bill has not yet been fully implemented due to financial constraints, five years after enactment.

Whistleblowers are an important part of society as they expose corruption which is one of the violators of human rights,” she said.

“Those enacting the bill must work with communities so that there is a better understanding of what and who exactly a whistleblower is to encourage full appreciation from communities,” said Anthony Chiwota, a participant.

Dr Lungile Tshuma a media practitioner and Lecturer at NUST, said it was important to conscientise whistleblowers that include journalists to promote balanced reporting.

“The bill should shield whistleblowers and those close to them to ensure they are not victimized when they expose corruption. There must be a high level of transparency and accountability in institutions. Victimisation of whistleblowers in any form may result in hesitancy around reporting on issues of corruption,” he said.

Source: Community Podium

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