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Peter Kuthan / AZFA
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« on: November 06 2012 »

Transparency International Zimbabwe (TI-Z)
November 05, 2012

Transparency International Zimbabwe (TI-Z), the leading organisation in the fight against corruption successfully launched the Interactive Short Message Service (SMS) Platform at a function held at the Quill Club in Harare. Speaking at the launch TI-Z board member Mr Loughty Dube said this platform will enable Zimbabweans to report corrupt practices such as bribery, cheating among others, in real time. The SMS Platform is open to all citizens (inside and outside the country). This Interactive SMS Platform will compliment other anti-corruption initiatives currently available in Zimbabwe.

TI-Z came up with this Interactive SMS Platform to exponentially increase its people driven approaches by taping onto current technology. This allows people to send TI-Z real-time information using a mobile based information platform to reject and report corruption. This is a mobile and web based platform; which allows victims and witnesses of corruption to report corruption from a mobile phone to a web based server. This Interactive SMS platform enables Zimbabweans to send an SMS to the following number 0775 220 700 for as less as US$0.09c. This means people from remote such as Tsholotsho, Chipinge, Dulibadzimu among others, can now report corruption as it happens. People living outside Zimbabwe are also able to send information via this platform, all they need is to prefix 263 to the Interactive SMS number. For example if someone is Canada and they intend to report corruption to this platform they will be able to SMS to +263 775 220 700. The SMS platform was chosen because common mobile phone handsets support the SMS functionality.

Once the message is sent from a mobile phone handset which supports Short Message Service (SMS) to 0775 220 700, the message will be forwarded to a server for retrieval by Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre (ALAC) who will analyze information and take appropriate steps to assist clients. ALAC is a public service initiative providing free legal aid services to victims and witnesses of corruption. Senders are encouraged to include Time, Place & Incident as they send in their reports. To report corruption on your phone one has to go to Messages, Create New Message, and Type in your report including incident, date and place. Send to 0775 220 700. Information sent is kept confidential and identity of senders will not be revealed.

People are free to SMS ALAC on any information relating to but not limited to the following:

    Corruption (and related offences) people experience and witness in Zimbabwe daily
    People’s comments pertaining to media reports on corruption perpetrated by different people in offices of public trust
    Community’s views on corruption (and related offences), and recommendations to mitigate fraud among other corrupt practices
    Or any corruption related information!
    Recommendations on how best Zimbabweans can eliminate this social scourge

It is hoped that this Interactive SMS Platform will contributed towards eliminating the social scourge affecting vulnerable people living in the remotest places of the country. Apart from this Interactive SMS Platform witnesses and victims of corruption can contact ALAC via the Toll Free number: 0800 4276, E-mail: alac@transparency.org.zw, Twitter: @transparencyzim, Send an anonymous form via the TI-Z website

Visit the Transparency International Zimbabwe fact sheet

source: www.kubatana.net
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Peter Kuthan / AZFA
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« Reply #1 on: November 08 2012 »

How Transparency Int is using SMS to fight corruption in Zimbabwe

Staff Writer, November 8th, 2012

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.zw) Twitter, or anonymously via a form on the organisation’s website.

source: TechZim
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