Taiwo Adebulu
When the force isn’t with you: one community’s fight for the light it needs to live and trade. Temitope Meshach, who runs a bakery in South Ondo Senatorial District, Ondo State, Nigeria, has a mixer and oven that can produce four cakes at once. However the heavy equipment requires an adequate electricity supply to function, and she has not been able to use them since the lights went off in her area ten years ago. ‘I have a generator but the capacity is not enough’, she says, adding that the same... When the force isn’t with you: one community’s fight for the light it needs to live and trade. Temitope Meshach, who runs a bakery in South Ondo...
Anneke Verbraeken
The Dutch and UK governments spent millions on sponsoring the rehabilitation of a crucial road in eastern DRC. Thirteen years after the project was launched, very little has happened. “We are a misery-cliché of decades-long wars, hunger and rape. The world is used to us dying here.” [Text in Dutch below] When I first met Byombe in 2010, he had been taken under the wing of Jules, a human rights activist and entrepreneur. Byombe had been working in the illegal mines in Walikale and Jules tried to get... The Dutch and UK governments spent millions on sponsoring the rehabilitation of a crucial road in eastern DRC. Thirteen years after the project was...
ZAM Reporter
A new documentary examines the people and landscapes that oil leaves behind At the end of the documentary ‘All die na die’, by Muhammad Akinyemi for HumAngle Media, the image is overlaid with a soundtrack of laboured breathing, as if the viewer’s own lungs were doing the fighting. The powerful sound and images convey what it must be like to live in the Niger Delta, where illegal oil tapping and refining done by local strongmen results in an omnipresent soot which coats heads, hands, bodies and... A new documentary examines the people and landscapes that oil leaves behind At the end of the documentary ‘All die na die’, by Muhammad Akinyemi for...
James Onono Ojok
Gulu, the de-facto capital of Northern Uganda, looks a lot better than it did twenty years ago when Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army was ravaging the region. A World Bank-aided roadbuilding programme and sudden booms in investment bring new possibilities for development, revenue collection and funding sources. If managed well, Gulu City will continue to become a metropolis. But the city’s administration continues to frustrate progress, threatening future development and sometimes even claiming... Gulu, the de-facto capital of Northern Uganda, looks a lot better than it did twenty years ago when Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army was ravaging the...
Mukudzei Madenyika
Inside the Brain Drain Destroying Zimbabwe's Health System After Zimbabwe reached independence in 1980 the state introduced free health care for citizens, with new clinics and immunisation available countrywide. But then training of doctors and upkeep of hospitals stalled, and three decades of neoliberal reforms and widespread corruption, in concert with sanctions targeting the ruling ZANU-PF party, have left the health system ravaged. Now many medical workers are voting with their feet. Zimbabwe’s... Inside the Brain Drain Destroying Zimbabwe's Health System After Zimbabwe reached independence in 1980 the state introduced free health care for...
Estacio Valoi
When British mining outfit Gemfields Group Ltd launched a local partnership in Northern Mozambique, hopes were high that the taxes earned from this new company’s operations would help a historically disadvantaged region to develop. Several years down the road, amid a series of broken promises, hope is waning. But what went wrong? How millions of dollars don’t end the misery on the ruby fields. "We could say that there was an error," says Vicente Chicote, the police commissioner of Mozambique’s... When British mining outfit Gemfields Group Ltd launched a local partnership in Northern Mozambique, hopes were high that the taxes earned from this new...
Josephine Chinele
Not every civil servant in Malawi is corrupt- many just want to do their job and be paid. But rot within Malawi’s state systems makes honesty very difficult. How ‘the cartels’ protect their grip on power. As a van with ‘Central Medical Stores’ written on its side in bold text arrives at the health centre in Nsanje, the southernmost district in Malawi, residents quickly surround it. They are surprised, because actual deliveries of health supplies to the area are a rarity. But disappointment quickly... Not every civil servant in Malawi is corrupt- many just want to do their job and be paid. But rot within Malawi’s state systems makes honesty very...
Bettie Johnson-Mbayo
Award-winning Liberian journalist and ZAM network reporter Bettie Johnson-Mbayo and her husband Dr Moses Mbayo were recently assaulted by a group of men working for Marvin Cole, a Representative in the Liberian government. The attack was a punishment for parking their vehicle near his driveway. The couple and four friends had still been inside the car on the roadside at the time, on their way to pay their respects to a local family who had suffered a bereavement. But rather than take action against... Award-winning Liberian journalist and ZAM network reporter Bettie Johnson-Mbayo and her husband Dr Moses Mbayo were recently assaulted by a group of men...
Adejumo Kabir
The story of a government that fails to help cattle herders, an army that fails to fight bandits, a train that fails to safely get from A to B, and the bandits who benefit from this mess. Any passenger trying to travel between Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, and Kaduna, the northern region’s hub about 200 kilometres away, comes away with the impression that the loose bands of thugs locally known as ‘bandits’ are now more powerful than Nigeria’s government and army. For a long time, making the journey by... The story of a government that fails to help cattle herders, an army that fails to fight bandits, a train that fails to safely get from A to B, and the...
Kunle Adebajo and Murtala Abdullahi
While the resources herders and farmers compete over – fertile land and water – are rapidly dwindling, the populations of both groups are fast growing. The result? Distrust. Attacks. Counterattacks. Even more distrust. And then a seemingly unending cycle of brutality and bloodbath. A bare-chested old man lies in the emergency room of a government hospital in northeast Nigeria. An intravenous line sticks out from his right arm and an arrow from his left shoulder. A second arrow, with the tip now... While the resources herders and farmers compete over – fertile land and water – are rapidly dwindling, the populations of both groups are fast growing....
Estacio Valoi
Investigations into a polluting and land grabbing coal mine project in Mozambique, inter alia in ZAM have led to questions put to a Danish contract partner to the mine. The coal mine in Tete province, owned and operated by Brazilian VALE, has polluted land and water sources and also forcibly resettled over thirteen hundred families. Government security forces acting on the side of the company have violently suppressed local protests. Danish FLSmidth, a minerals processing equipment supplier for the... Investigations into a polluting and land grabbing coal mine project in Mozambique, inter alia in ZAM have led to questions put to a Danish contract...
Khadija Arife
A new videoseries shows in five short episodes made by activists just how the plunder of their own countries by local leaders, thanks to (often less-than-ethical) trade relations with foreign companies and global kleptocracies, translates to international assets. Episode 1: Angola. The struggle of a mother living in a Luandan slum is one that requires all her might, each day, just to keep her child alive. With insufficient clean water, sanitation or electricity, virus-borne diseases like cholera... A new videoseries shows in five short episodes made by activists just how the plunder of their own countries by local leaders, thanks to (often...
Estacio Valoi
A troubling pattern of land-grabbing, violence, pollution and death in Mozambique’s Tete province contradicts a Brazilian coal mine’s claims of ‘responsibly sourced’ coal. It also shows, once again, that Mozambique’s government authorities and security forces are squarely on the side of those responsible for the damage. Six years ago, the plunder of rubies in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province made – mainly thanks to ZAM network colleague Estacio Valoi’s work – headlines around the world. Most... A troubling pattern of land-grabbing, violence, pollution and death in Mozambique’s Tete province contradicts a Brazilian coal mine’s claims of...
ZAM Reporter
[ Texte en français ci-dessous. ] In the past five years ZAM has published a vast body of work done by 35+ eminent African investigative journalists. Transnational investigations like 'African Oligarchs', 'Public Disservice', The Associates', 'Last Resource' and 'The Kleptocracy Project' received wide acclaim and, more importantly, had some impact. It is clear that a number of ills in the fields of social injustice and misgovernance need further exploration as well as a push for more change.... [ Texte en français ci-dessous. ] In the past five years ZAM has published a vast body of work done by 35+ eminent African investigative journalists....
Chigozie Victor, Mansir Muhamed & Hauwa Shaffii Nuhu / Humangle
Terror continues to massacre northern Nigerian citizens, while the government persecutes ordinary villagers as ‘terrorists’. The Islamic fundamentalist Boko Haram militia feeds on poverty and social injustice in northern Nigeria. The movement commits grave war crimes such as mass murder and the kidnapping of children. However, in the fight against it, the Nigerian military has become just another force to fear. Two stories, reported in December 2021 by Nigerian Humangle, a platform co-founded and... Terror continues to massacre northern Nigerian citizens, while the government persecutes ordinary villagers as ‘terrorists’. The Islamic fundamentalist...
ZAM Reporter
Last week, on 15 January, award-winning Liberian journalist Bettie Johnson-Mbayo and her husband Dr Moses Mbayo, together with a friend, were ordered flogged by parliamentarian representative Marvin Cole because their vehicle was parked at the edge of his fence in a public alley. The couple and their friend, a school principal, had parked there to pay their respects to a nearby family where someone had recently died. The people’s representative saw the parked car near his fence as an obstruction of... Last week, on 15 January, award-winning Liberian journalist Bettie Johnson-Mbayo and her husband Dr Moses Mbayo, together with a friend, were ordered...
ZAM Reporter
An intense social struggle is under way between exploiters and exploited in many African countries. We should not be bystanders, nor should we think in terms of taking the side of “Africa versus the world.” We should engage with those who fight for justice in Africa, true self-determination and good governance.’ In the past year, ten muckrakers in eight African countries left no stone unturned in their investigations into cronyism, self-enrichment, and the undermining of service delivery. The... An intense social struggle is under way between exploiters and exploited in many African countries. We should not be bystanders, nor should we think in...
Evelyn Groenink
How to go deeper into state dysfunctionality and widen impact for change through pan-African focus and collaboration. The African Investigative Journalism Conference kicks off this week. Below is ZAM investigations editor Evelyn Groenink's input for the transnational collaborative journalism session on Friday 15 October. Stay tuned for outcomes of the session and selected outcomes of the conference to be reported here next week. I. Introduction The following is a list of investigative exposés... How to go deeper into state dysfunctionality and widen impact for change through pan-African focus and collaboration. The African Investigative...
Evelyn Groenink
Ten African investigative journalists who participated in ZAM’s Kleptocracy Project look back on months of risks, hardship and revelations. Bettie Johnson-Mbayo’s worse moment came when she had to print a Freedom of Information request at a print shop in Monrovia, her Liberian hometown. ‘I live in a society where people are interrelated. The print shop owner could be related to a subject in my request’. At the time, Johnson-Mbayo was already receiving threats. Journalists have been killed before in... Ten African investigative journalists who participated in ZAM’s Kleptocracy Project look back on months of risks, hardship and revelations. Bettie...
ZAM Reporter
Over one-and-a half-weeks ago ZAM reported how, after Taiwo Adebulu’s marriage corruption story , yet another investigation in our Kleptocracy Series had caused commotion in Nigeria. An outraged businessman by the name of Dr Aloy Chife called Theophilus Abbah’s ‘Border Control Syndicate’ story ‘lies’ in as far as it pertained to him. The slighted Doctor targeted Abbah’s editor at ZAM, Ruona Meyer, tweeting at her that he was a ‘US national’ and that ‘Ruona’ had 24 hours to delete her ‘lies’, or... Over one-and-a half-weeks ago ZAM reported how, after Taiwo Adebulu’s marriage corruption story , yet another investigation in our Kleptocracy Series had...
Fiacre Salabe
For years, hundreds of millions of CFA Francs have been sent to the municipal authorities in Nola, a town in the south of the Central African Republic (CAR). This money, from taxes and levies paid by timber companies operating in the densely forested area, is intended for public services like the construction of hospitals, schools, market buildings and new roads connecting the rural areas to the town. Between 2015 and 2020, the municipality received well over FCFA 726 million, US$ 1.3 million from... For years, hundreds of millions of CFA Francs have been sent to the municipal authorities in Nola, a town in the south of the Central African Republic...