The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has commended the media for playing a critical role in the fight against corruption in the country. The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has commended the media for playing a critical role in the fight against corruption in the country.
ACC Public Relations Manager Timothy Moono said the media plays the role of watchdog and provides checks and balances on many public institutions’ activities hence making it an important partner in the fight against corruption.
Mr. Moono said the role the media plays of keeping tabs on the three arms of government is commendable.
“The media has played a pivotal role in the fight against corruption in Zambia as we have had many exposures of corrupt activities. However, there is more that the media can do to fight corruption,” he said.
Mr. Moono has since called on the media not only to rely on press releases from the ACC on cases of corruption under investigation but use their investigative journalism skills to expose corruption.
He said the media should also try to explain to the people the effects of corruption to society so that people know how it affects them.
He added that ACC has continued to put in efforts in the fight against corruption such as coming up with educational programmes which help to educate the public about the dangers of corruption.
And Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) Executive Director Goodwell Lungu said the media has put in a lot of effort in the fight against corruption as people have been informed of what corruption is and its consequences.
Mr. Lungu pointed out that the media continues to face some limitations in the exposure of corruption for fear of criminal sanctions that will follow in cases where they have no authentic source to quote.
He has since called on the government to put in place the access to information bill which will guarantee access to information and give the media a freedom of exposing some issues which may happen under the table.
Meanwhile, Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Acting Chairperson Hellen Mwale said the media is not doing enough to highlight issues regarding corruption due to lack of adequate information from the would be whistle blowers as most of them fear being victimized.
Ms. Mwale said that the reluctance by the investigative wings to follow up on reports by the media unless there was a written complaint has also contributed to the media’s poor performance in the fight against corruption.
She said the media faces a lot of challenges in the fight against corruption among which are, lack of adequate information on corruption issues and lack of transparency from institutions that are involved in curbing corruption such as the Police and the Anti-Corruption Commission.
“It is for this reason that MISA demands for the enactment of the Access to Information Bill, which if enacted will give media houses access to information which can be published for the public to know what is happening in public institutions or amongst certain individuals,” she stated.