ZAM
Right of reply to ZAM story The following is an addendum, prepared as a right of reply by legal counsel for Dr Aloy Chife and the company Socketworks Limited, to ZAM’s story The Border Control Syndicate – How Plunder Continues in spite of Parliament and the Courts https://www.zammagazine.com/investigations/1414-nigeria-the-border-control-syndicate-how-plunder-continues-in-spite-of-parliament-and-the-courts , which was published on 22 July 2021. The publication of this addendum/right of reply takes... Right of reply to ZAM story The following is an addendum, prepared as a right of reply by legal counsel for Dr Aloy Chife and the company Socketworks...
Ghislaine Deudjui, Michèle Ebongue, Marie Louise Mamgue, Data Cameroon & ZAM
72 ministers, mayors, members of parliament and businessmen from Cameroon, Gabon, Chad, Congo and the Central African Republic, a devastatingly poor central region on the African continent, owned high-end properties in posh neighbourhoods in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in the 2019-2020 period. These findings are the result of an eight-month long search, ending in February 2023, of the database of the Center for Advanced Defense Studies (C4ADS), a US-based organisation that “combats illicit networks... 72 ministers, mayors, members of parliament and businessmen from Cameroon, Gabon, Chad, Congo and the Central African Republic, a devastatingly poor...
By Josephine Chinele and Zuza Nazaruk
How the ‘tobacco system’ keeps farmers in poverty During a check on multinationals who pay tax in various locations, we come across a Malawian tobacco company, Alliance One Tobacco Malawi (AOTM). It belongs to an American multinational corporate chain and boasts of being one of the chain’s top revenue providers . The company makes its profits from raw tobacco exported from the small African country, whose population of 20 million is not much bigger than that of the Netherlands. Yet, it pays... How the ‘tobacco system’ keeps farmers in poverty During a check on multinationals who pay tax in various locations, we come across a Malawian tobacco...
ZAM Reporter
Embark on an eye-opening journey with four fearless African investigative journalists as they unravel the truth behind the uprising against kleptocratic regimes. In 2023, Emmanuel Mutaizibwa, Ngina Kirori, Theophilus Abbah, and Elizabeth BanyiTabi visited the Netherlands to shed light on the tumultuous protest movements sweeping across Africa. Their groundbreaking 'Cry Freedom' investigation unveiled gripping accounts of citizens rallying for change in the face of oppression. You can now join their... Embark on an eye-opening journey with four fearless African investigative journalists as they unravel the truth behind the uprising against kleptocratic...
Evelyn Groenink
How an investigative editor continues his work while on the run Gregory Gondwe, founder and editor of Malawi’s Platform for Investigative Journalism, and currently on the run from the Malawian military, still cannot figure out how his country’s president, once-vocal opposition and anti-corruption activist Lazarus Chakwera, is now seemingly unable or unwilling to reign in the bloodhounds. “You ask yourself: who is this person? Is this the same person that I met when he was on the campaign trail and... How an investigative editor continues his work while on the run Gregory Gondwe, founder and editor of Malawi’s Platform for Investigative Journalism, and...
ZAM Reporter
On 31 January, the same day that the Network of African Investigative Reporters and Editors called out Africa’s oppressive kleptocrat regimes , Malawian investigative editor Gregory Gondwe received note that the Military Police in that country were looking for him. The reason why the security forces had set out to take him in ‘for a chat’ at military barracks, he heard, was an article he had published two days before, on January 29th. The article had published documents showing that the military... On 31 January, the same day that the Network of African Investigative Reporters and Editors called out Africa’s oppressive kleptocrat regimes , Malawian...
ZAM Reporter
African investigative journalists call out misrule on continent The Network of African Investigative Reporters and Editors, NAIRE, has issued a New Year’s statement that is simultaneously a call to action by democratic forces, both on the African continent and globally, to support its efforts to expose regimes consisting of “kleptocrats who sell out resources, promote incompetence and nepotism, and oppress civil society.” Noting that these same regimes harass, imprison, and even kill credible... African investigative journalists call out misrule on continent The Network of African Investigative Reporters and Editors, NAIRE, has issued a New...
Taiwo Adebulu, Josephine Chinele, Ngina Kirori, Zack Ohemeng Tawiah and Stephen Kafeero
How dedicated officials help the public from within corrupted systems In many countries in Africa, public services are inadequate or dysfunctional. Yet some public servants manage to provide effective healthcare, public transport, emergency assistance, or necessary paperwork, despite corrupt or mismanaged systems. But why are these practices ignored, or sometimes even deliberately side-lined, rather than used as examples for emulation, by the authorities? Why do good civil servants so often seem to... How dedicated officials help the public from within corrupted systems In many countries in Africa, public services are inadequate or dysfunctional. Yet...
Josephine Chinele
Zomba Mental Hospital (ZMH), 70 kilometres north of Malawi’s business capital Blantyre, used to be a place where mental health patients were brought to die. While mental conditions led to suicide, violent actions, trauma from beatings, and infected wounds caused by having been tied up by desperate relatives, untreated HIV, malaria, diarrhoea, and TB also played their part. Up to 2006, out of a total average patient population of 400, the death toll averaged 60 per year. In 2021, the death toll for... Zomba Mental Hospital (ZMH), 70 kilometres north of Malawi’s business capital Blantyre, used to be a place where mental health patients were brought to...
Taiwo Adebulu
In front of a teeming crowd at the family medicine department of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital in Nigeria, a young nurse bravely tries to sort out piles of patient files for the day. She does not get very far: besides the myriad patients in line to get tags for medical attention, doctors are also on strike, meaning that even those with tags may have to go home unattended. The enormity of the workload is apparent in the family medicine records office, where thousands of files are... In front of a teeming crowd at the family medicine department of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital in Nigeria, a young nurse bravely tries to...
Zack Ohemeng Tawiah
Ghanaian journalist Enimil Ashon had it on good authority, he wrote in the Daily Graphic on 25 November 2022, that the President of his country had thought that a new candidate applying to head the then moribund State Transport Corporation (STC) in 2017 “needed a mental examination.” The subsequent presidential decision to give the job to that very candidate, a former MP called Nana Akomea, was therefore probably informed by the fact that no one else wanted it. State appointments in Ghana are often... Ghanaian journalist Enimil Ashon had it on good authority, he wrote in the Daily Graphic on 25 November 2022, that the President of his country had...
Stephen Kafeero
In June 2020, in a rare move ahead of upcoming, and contested, elections in 2021, President Museveni fired the then-Executive Director of the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA), Judy Obitre-Gama. Obitre-Gama had been under investigation for corruption and incompetence since 2018, over failing to account for the Uganda Shilling equivalent of over US$700,000. Formally budgeted to pay for a project to register children in schools, and for laptops and batteries, the money had... In June 2020, in a rare move ahead of upcoming, and contested, elections in 2021, President Museveni fired the then-Executive Director of the National...
Ngina Kirori
The story of the fire brigade in Kenya’s eastern Tharaka Nithi county shows that it is perfectly possible to maintain a successful public service – and not only put out fires but also inspire hope in citizens – in a rural region classified by the World Bank as “very poor.” It also shows that competency, combined with political will, are enough to achieve success. The question that remains, however, is why other, equally poor counties in Kenya fail so dismally to do the same. And why is the governor... The story of the fire brigade in Kenya’s eastern Tharaka Nithi county shows that it is perfectly possible to maintain a successful public service – and...
Elizabeth BanyiTabi (Cameroon), Theophilus Abbah (Nigeria), Emmanuel Mutaizibwa (Uganda), Ngina Kirori (Kenya) and Brezh Malaba (Zimbabwe)
A new ZAM transnational investigation into migration from five African countries shows that, in many cases, the urge to leave is so desperate that migrants consciously risk extortion by smugglers, abuse, exploitative labour, and even death. In the vast majority of cases, awareness campaigns about these risks, financed by the EU and the UK, do not convince people to stay at home. A majority of interviewees in Uganda, Kenya, Cameroon, Zimbabwe, and Nigeria told ZAM team members that they would leave... A new ZAM transnational investigation into migration from five African countries shows that, in many cases, the urge to leave is so desperate that...
Elizabeth BanyiTabi, Emmanuel Mutaizibwa, Ngina Kirori, Theophilus Abbah and Brezh Malaba
• Awareness campaigns about the risks of (illegal) migration, even the risk of dying, have little to no effect • Aspiring migrants feel sadness about the state of their countries, but have little hope for change as their ruling elites are seen as corrupt and oppressive • The fact that the overwhelming majority of African migrants remain stuck in miserable conditions in the Gulf, Sahel, and North Africa was also no deterrent for new migrants In Douala, Cameroon, at the funeral reception for Bryan... • Awareness campaigns about the risks of (illegal) migration, even the risk of dying, have little to no effect • Aspiring migrants feel sadness about the...
Elizabeth BanyiTabi, Emmanuel Mutaizibwa, Ngina Kirori, Theophilus Abbah and Brezh Malaba
• The financial exploitation of migrants is a multimillion-dollar business for agencies, rackets, syndicates, and scammers • Many state officials are involved in schemes exploiting migrants • The production of passports yields hundreds of thousands of dollars per day • African countries also receive billions from migrants abroad “He can pray for your visa,” promises apostle Goodwin, from his stage at the Zoe Ministries evangelical settlement on the shores of Lake Victoria, just outside Uganda’s... • The financial exploitation of migrants is a multimillion-dollar business for agencies, rackets, syndicates, and scammers • Many state officials are...
Elizabeth BanyiTabi, Emmanuel Mutaizibwa, Ngina Kirori, Theophilus Abbah and Brezh Malaba
• Nine out of ten Nigerians said they want to “escape” • “Frustration of excellence” is behind an exodus of doctors, IT experts, and teachers • Academics leave behind silenced and empty campuses • Oppression drives many to “vote with their feet” The extremely heavy traffic during weekdays on Zakariya Maimalari Street and Muhammadu Buhari Way in the central business district of Abuja, Nigeria, is largely caused by the stream of young men and women who park their cars on walkways to enter the visa... • Nine out of ten Nigerians said they want to “escape” • “Frustration of excellence” is behind an exodus of doctors, IT experts, and teachers • Academics...
Elizabeth BanyiTabi, Emmanuel Mutaizibwa, Ngina Kirori, Theophilus Abbah and Brezh Malaba
• Over sixty percent of EU-funded “returnee projects” fail • “Rescue centres” in Saudi Arabia keep women detained for years • Cameroonian businesspeople in the diaspora have stopped investing in their home country • Migrants who were returned to Cameroon were arrested, tortured, and raped • In Nigeria, returned migrants were abandoned into destitution • €250 million from the EU for the development of a biometric ID for Nigerians did not stop border crossings but enriched politically-connected... • Over sixty percent of EU-funded “returnee projects” fail • “Rescue centres” in Saudi Arabia keep women detained for years • Cameroonian businesspeople...
Elizabeth BanyiTabi
DOUALA, 2 June 2023 At the reception after the funeral of Bryan Achou*, people commiserate about death of the young man, who was only 28. “He's a kid from my neighbourhood! In less than two weeks we lost two children. One was in the oceans between Turkey and Greece, the other was in Tunisia,” one mourner exclaims, her face showing disbelief. “Really before 2035 this country would have been emptied of its citizens,” another mourner replies. The year 2035 is a reference to the government's new paper,... DOUALA, 2 June 2023 At the reception after the funeral of Bryan Achou*, people commiserate about death of the young man, who was only 28. “He's a kid...
Ngina Kirori
On Christmas Day in 2019, at her wits end after failing for long periods to put enough food on the table at home, Faith Murunga left Kakamega, her rural area in Kenya, with an “agent” who offered her a domestic worker job in Saudi Arabia. “I simply could not bear to see my children going without food. A friend told me about the opportunity and connected me to the agent. The deal was that I would be paid 30,000 shillings (US$214) monthly, with health benefits.” She packed her bags, said difficult... On Christmas Day in 2019, at her wits end after failing for long periods to put enough food on the table at home, Faith Murunga left Kakamega, her rural...
Theophilus Abbah
Stuck in the desert in Algeria “with nothing”, Uka Ifeanyi, on 14 February 14 2023, accepted an offer by the International Organisation on Migration (IOM) to “resettle” back home in Nigeria. Brought back by bus to Lagos, the IOM staff “asked us to wait for three months for our accommodation and resettlement,” he says when reached by phone. “However, no one has called us since then.” This was not what Ifeanyi had expected, since the IOM officials had specifically asked him about his skills and... Stuck in the desert in Algeria “with nothing”, Uka Ifeanyi, on 14 February 14 2023, accepted an offer by the International Organisation on Migration...