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How Transparency Int is using SMS to fight corruption in Zimbabwe

Transparency International Zimbabwe

Transparency International ZimbabweLast week, Transparency International Zimbabwe (TI-Z), launched an Interactive SMS Platform to help Zimbabweans report corruption activities in the country. Witnesses and victims of corruption will be able to send SMSs to the platform to report such cases as bribery and cheating, says the communication we got from the organisation. Since last week, TI-Z says it has already received about 150 SMSs reports.

The SMS itself is a regular SMS sent to a regular mobile number (+263 775 220 700) and costing the regular US 9 cents. Being a regular number, anyone, even those outside Zimbabwe can report relevant corruption activities on the platform. According to TI-Z the information received will be processed via a web application accessed securely by TI-Z designated staff.

The information received is used to help craft anti-corruption strategies by the organisation. This, the organisation says, also helps inform public policy on corruption. The organisation also clarified to us that pertaining to the individuals reporting the cases the information “in most instances” is used to assist the victims and witnesses of corruption. The organisation says it contacts the senders and informs them on how the information they have reported will be used and at this point the senders are free to agree or refuse this further action. Assistance for the witnesses and victims is provided via TI-Z’s Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre (ALAC).

As these people are basically whistle blowers who run the risk of victimization and the SMS technology by design is not anonymous, we sought clarification from TI-Z on how they will ensure anonymity of the people reporting to the platform. A response received from the company says they use secure technologies to protect the information on their platform.

Reports can also be made via a toll free voice number, email (alac@transparency.org.zwTwitter, or anonymously via a form on the organisation’s website.

5 thoughts on “How Transparency Int is using SMS to fight corruption in Zimbabwe

    1. @cshoko:disqus good call. besides their sms service has got at least 2 disadvantages: 1. it’s expensive (yes 9 cents is expensive). 2. they cannot secure data across telecomm services because they have no control over that. so supporting ipaidabribe.org.zw is a plausible option

  1. This is a great shame, and I guess why innovation does now flourish in Zim. These guys should have just used ipaidabribe. or maybe the guys at ipaidabribe are not marketing their product to the right pple.

  2. Transparency International makes me laugh. With a sufficient amount of corruption, all SMSs to their number can be intercepted. These folks seem not to understand the extent of corruption in third world countries, Zimbabwe included. Not so long ago I read kuti vana Pablo kuMexico vakavaka mobile network yavo. Ane shungu anoita but how do you know that those messages will into be intercepted? There ware people who are corrupt to the tune of billions of US dollars who can afford such infrastructure to intercept communications? And why should people pay to report corruption? And if folks report corruption what are they (TI) going to do? What if someone reports police corruption, who will they report to? Plus whose phone number is it anyway? Maybe the owner of that phone number will delete messages about corruption which he has been bribed to delete. Transparency international must do better. If they were serious they would do something like wikilaeks, and hosted on servers outside Zimbabwe.

    And just how much information do they expect to get from 160 characters?

    According to TI-Z the information received will be processed via a web application accessed securely by TI-Z designated staff.

    How do we know Transparency International staff are not corrupt? Are they employing angels?

    My advice to them is to build a website that posts information unfiltered as it comes in.

    1. You say this…

      How do we know Transparency International staff are not corrupt? Are they employing angels?

      then this….

      My advice to them is to build a website that posts information unfiltered as it comes in.
      By your reasoning, you question their honesty and then advise them to build a website, unfiltered. What is it about a website that would make a supposedly corrupt person suddenly filter information?

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