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...
Emmanuel Mutaizibwa
“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 capital Kampala. “Many have been helped already. They have travelled, they are working in the United States. You only have to bring offerings and he’ll work his miracles for you.” The thousands gathered here on this Tuesday evening await Prophet Elvis Mbonye, he of the white robes, the headphones, and the prosperity miracles that... “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...
Brezh Malaba
Zimbabwe’s émigrés deliver billions into an ailing economy “One of the most painful realities of being a teacher in Zimbabwe is that you cannot afford to give your own children a decent education,” says Obert Masaraure (39). Masaraure is a teacher and a trade unionist, as well as a parent with three school-going children. He adds that the average teacher salary in his country, between the equivalent of US$200 and US$300, is “too little to even feed your family, or provide clothing and healthcare,... Zimbabwe’s émigrés deliver billions into an ailing economy “One of the most painful realities of being a teacher in Zimbabwe is that you cannot afford to...
Evelyn Groenink
On the surface it seems darkly consistent for Europe and the UK to respond to ever louder calls for slavery apologies with intensifying efforts to create a Fortress Europe laager and a ‘small-boat-free’ channel. The new ‘Stop the Boats’ law and the Rwanda plans in the UK, together with the EU’s barbed wire fences and Frontex patrols around Africa’s northern and western coastlines, send the very coherent message that Africans belong in Africa. Slavery was wrong, right? So these slave ships should... On the surface it seems darkly consistent for Europe and the UK to respond to ever louder calls for slavery apologies with intensifying efforts to create...
Chris Kapfumvuti* (Zimbabwe), Charles Mafa and Linda Soko (Zambia), and Estacio Valoi (Mozambique)
Executive summary Do-it-yourself mining in rural areas could trigger grassroots development, say policymakers, community leaders and NGOs. Sadly, those in power often continue to enable crude exploitation of the villages with wealth beneath their feet. Shady officials, ruling party members, at least one “impersonator”, a war veteran and, in Zimbabwe, a government-linked mafia, obtain mining rights in communities where mineral wealth is found, then partner with foreign companies to get rich... Executive summary Do-it-yourself mining in rural areas could trigger grassroots development, say policymakers, community leaders and NGOs. Sadly, those...
Estacio Valoi
In spite of government policies supposed to assist community-based mining, villagers who had hoped to explore “the wealth beneath their feet” were “cheated” out of their concession again. The third and final instalment of our investigative series on small-scale mining in southern Africa looks at how a ruling party says one thing, yet does another, in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique. According to Mozambique’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Mining, community-based artisanal mining “is an activity that... In spite of government policies supposed to assist community-based mining, villagers who had hoped to explore “the wealth beneath their feet” were...
Charles Mafa and Linda Soko
In Zambia, top government officials covet mining rights and enter partnerships with foreign companies, to the detriment of artisanal mineworkers: the second instalment in a three-part investigative series on mining in southern Africa. Deep within Zambia’s artisanal mining sector lies a captivating web of intrigue, where high-ranking Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development officials, together with foreign entities, capture coveted mining rights. This clandestine alliance, together with the... In Zambia, top government officials covet mining rights and enter partnerships with foreign companies, to the detriment of artisanal mineworkers: the...
Chris Kapfumvuti*
Over a hundred of Zimbabwe’s artisanal miners, who produce close to seventy percent of that country’s abundant gold wealth, died last year, reveals the first of a three-part investigative series on mining in southern Africa. A deep scar runs down Chenje Musimwa’s left shin: an injury the 33-year-old artisanal gold miner suffered while working in a deep tunnel in eastern Zimbabwe's gold rich Penhalonga area. It is only one of the scars he has all over his body; most are injuries from sharp and... Over a hundred of Zimbabwe’s artisanal miners, who produce close to seventy percent of that country’s abundant gold wealth, died last year, reveals the...
Josephine Chinele
In a court case involving damage claims paid out to victims of sexual abuse on Malawi’s tea plantations, well-known Malawian NGO figure Godfrey Mfiti has been acquitted of fraud charges. The Blantyre Magistrate’s court cleared Mfiti of swindling compensation money from victims on grounds that the state failed to prove his wrongdoing beyond reasonable doubt. In an earlier article , ZAM detailed how Jacqueline Makiyi, one of 36 women who received a damage pay-out from their former employer, Eastern... In a court case involving damage claims paid out to victims of sexual abuse on Malawi’s tea plantations, well-known Malawian NGO figure Godfrey Mfiti has...
Mukudzei Madenyika
On the morning of 25 May 2005, as winter was fast approaching, 41-year-old Edson Madya, his wife Sharon, and their baby boy, woke up in their rented backyard room in Chitungwiza, 25km south of Harare, to people yelling, “Riot yauya, riot yauya!” meaning that the riot police was around. His fellow tenants were swiftly gathering their property, ferrying it outside. “Every illegal structure must be demolished without fail,” a municipal hailer echoed. Operation Murambatsvina (“remove the dirt”)... On the morning of 25 May 2005, as winter was fast approaching, 41-year-old Edson Madya, his wife Sharon, and their baby boy, woke up in their rented...
Manasseh Azure Awuni
Editor’s note: This is an abridged excerpt from the book “Investigative Journalism in Africa: A Practical Manual,” written by the award-winning Ghanaian investigative journalist, Manasseh Azure Awuni. It is republished with permission and has been edited for style. In 2007, two reporters of The Washington Post, Dana Priest and Anne Hull, investigated and comprehensively reported how bureaucracy and administrative lapses at the Walter Reed Army Medical Centre resulted in the poor treatment of... Editor’s note: This is an abridged excerpt from the book “Investigative Journalism in Africa: A Practical Manual,” written by the award-winning Ghanaian...
Omolabake Fasogbon, Nigeria, and Raquel Muigai, Kenya
Building collapses, and the tragedy of groups of survivors digging through rubble and shoving broken concrete beams to unearth relatives, friends and neighbours, have long been a familiar sight in places like Nairobi, Lagos, Dakar, and Accra. There have been hundreds of such disasters that weren’t prompted by an earthquake or flood, but were simply due to sloppy construction. Data is sparse, but the number of victims, from deaths to severe injuries to people who lost homes and livelihoods, likely... Building collapses, and the tragedy of groups of survivors digging through rubble and shoving broken concrete beams to unearth relatives, friends and...
Jon Allsop
The Columbia Journalism Review recently published a report on the ZAM and NAIRE 'Arizona Project' that investigated the murder of journalist Martinez Zogo in Cameroon. With the CJR's permission, we are republishing it below: In January, Martinez Zogo, the director of the Cameroonian radio station Amplitude FM, was found dead near Yaoundé, the capital . His body reportedly showed signs of torture: his foot was broken, several of his fingers had been cut off, and his tongue was deformed. A few weeks... The Columbia Journalism Review recently published a report on the ZAM and NAIRE 'Arizona Project' that investigated the murder of journalist Martinez...
Arizona Project Team
How the killing of a Cameroonian journalist silenced investigations into plunder by an internationally-connected elite, eliminated a rival for the succession of an ageing president, and sidelined a tax director. A dossier full of bank slips, payment instructions, and tables of sums amounting to tens of millions of dollars, printed by government printers and handed to a journalist, became the downfall of an upstart candidate who had been positioned as a possible successor to ageing autocrat... How the killing of a Cameroonian journalist silenced investigations into plunder by an internationally-connected elite, eliminated a rival for the...
Arizona Project Team
How tax cases involving hundreds of millions in payments from state coffers to questionable entities were snuffed out. A list of 67 suspicious transactions scheduled for investigation by Cameroon’s tax agency shows a total equivalent to US$ 656 million in undeclared payments from state coffers to questionable business entities and individuals. The list, obtained by the Arizona Project team in Cameroon (see box at end of article), covers the period 2017 to 2021 and contains the names of... How tax cases involving hundreds of millions in payments from state coffers to questionable entities were snuffed out. A list of 67 suspicious...