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Pivot of Vice: Transparency International Zimbabwe in ‘Corruption Shame’

Harare . – Transparency International Zimbabwe (TI Z) established as a custodian of uprightness is embroiled in a public boomerang of words...

Harare. – Transparency International Zimbabwe (TI Z) established as a custodian of uprightness is embroiled in a public boomerang of words with former internal writer, Byron Mutingwende after he exposed alleged rampant corruption and sponsorship of revolts in Harare.

TI Z maintains to be a non-profit, non-partisan movement seeking to extinguish societal vice, according to its mandate – however, Mutingwende’s confessions seemed to have perforated holes within the organisation’s hierarchy meant to be society’s spirit level.

By Derick Matsengarwodzi
In a first person narrative titled: Shocking Corruption at (T IZ), Mutingwende contends of institutionalised corruption.
Rampant Corruption Allegations at T IZ

“Corruption at T IZ reads like a script from a Hollywood movie yet that organisation is expected to promote accountability and good governance. There had been numerous reports of graft but no one ever had the opportunity and zeal to fully understand the goings on until I personally took it upon myself to work within that institution to dig out the truth,” alleges the freelancer.

The writer joined T IZ in 2014 in a communications capacity, yet the organisation refutes his assertions.

Mutingwende further charges that, he joined the organisation in order to expose the deep rot since its establishment in 1996. Mutingwende’s expose, carried by a local online publication were dismissed as sour grapes in lengthy press statement by (T IZ).

“The TI Z Board notes with concern the publication of malicious articles ostensibly aimed at ‘exposing the rot’ of corruption at the institution. The articles, authored by Mr Byron Mutingwende, make unsubstantiated allegations of corruption, cronyism, nepotism and other accusations only meant to deliberately damage the reputation of TI Z,” expressed the statement.

It remains everyone’s guess why Mutingwende remained mum whilst he benefited from an entity riddled by shenanigans, with T IZ saying he was angry after his dismissal.

“It is our view that Mutingwende’s anger and vicious attacks on the organization started on the termination of his relationship with TI Z as a contributor,” the statement adds, “His first reaction was to threaten that he should be kept on a monthly retainer of $300.”

The media statement additionally states that Mutingwende had threatened to expose the organisation after his sacking, though no reasons were given.

A member of the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN), Mutingwende says he is actually the victim, after highlighting cases of falsifying monetary claims by staff during outreach programmes.

“I notified the board chairperson of TIZ, Loughty Dube about such cases of corruption two weeks before writing these revelations. He went on to accuse me of working for the dreaded Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO). In shock, I explained to Chairman Dube that what I did was in pursuit of transparency and accountability,” notes Mutingwende.

Dube is also the Executive Director of the Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe.

Another shocking allegation is the backing mass protests within Zimbabwe in 2016.

“Poor vendors and residents of Harare expressed dismay when TIZ bought more than 300 flags and refreshments for the people in support of the founder of #ThisFlag Movement, Evan Mawarire, when he was arrested during the ‘Shut Down Zimbabwe’ protests last year.”

The press statement quelled Mutingwende’s claims.

“TI Z’s only involvement with these social movements has been to agree with their statements on the state of corruption in the country. TI Z is neither a funding institution nor a sub grantor. We do not have any funding relationship or capacity to fund any other entity,” added the statement.

Recently, President Robert Mugabe lamented the proliferation of non-governmental entities in African countries, saying they often interfered with state independent functions.

Mutingwende maintains his disclosures are factual.

“I stand by what I wrote. The Board of Transparency International Zimbabwe (TI-Z) has not engaged me to substantiate the claims and I wonder how they arrived at that conclusion. I am ready to go wherever it takes to prove myself right. I can't be intimidated by threats of litigation.”

Neither party is yet to launch a police report.

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