It seemed too good to be true. A diamond-rich, corruption-free, democratic, prosperous, and peaceful African country with a tradition of peaceful transfer of presidential power (the incumbent president voluntarily leaves office a year before the next general election). It was.
Technology can help illuminate dark corners of political funding in Africa
2017 and 2018 proved the value — and power — of collaboration among journalists in Africa. But while the Paradise Papers and, of late, the Implant Files have been major highlights, there still has not been a major shift in the mindset of African leaders towards corruption. Take for example my country, Botswana: Ian Kirby, president of the Botswana Court of Appeal, was linked to several offshore companies in the British Virgin Islands — but simply dismissed the exposé, saying it offered nothing new. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, no action was taken against President Joseph Kabila’s twin sister and media mogul Jaynet Kabila after she was linked to a company incorporated on the Pacific island of Niue months before her brother was elected president.
It began with a tip-off from a former head of an international humanitarian organization who used to be based in Zimbabwe. There was an explosive dossier detailing heinous crimes of the Gukurahundi — a series of massacres of civilians carried out by the Zimbabwe National Army in the 1980s — and had been kept under lock and key for decades. Earlier this year, the Botswana-based INK Centre for Investigative Journalism tracked down the mystery dossier and, in July, broke the story. Here’s how we did it.
More than 10 years ago, the first non-profit investigative journalism in Africa was established. Following this development, more nonprofit investigative journalism organizations have been set up in more than 20 countries throughout the continent. And that number continues to grow.
We know the story: Africa is poor, and it needs the help from rich countries. And if Western powers have exploited the black continent through slavery, colonialism and resource extraction, that’s all in the past.
As the world commemorates World Press Freedom Day INK Centre for Investigative Journalism’s NTIBINYANE NTIBINYANE pauses to pay tribute to Sol Plaatje, one of the founders of independent journalism in Africa.
Detention and harassment of journalists investigating the construction of the president’s holiday home
Botswana security agents on Wednesday afternoon briefly detained and threatened to kill three journalists from INK Centre for Investigative Journalism, a non-profit journalism outlet based in Botswana. The detention which occurred in the central part of Botswana appears to be an effort to intimidate and harass independent media in a country lauded as the shining example of democracy in Africa. Seven armed plain clothes security agents on quad bikes and SUVs barred the journalists near Mosu village, some 600kms north eastern Gaborone and warned them never to “set foot” near President Ian Khama’s private compound or risk death.
An energy company previously accused of hydraulic fracking in Botswana’s central district by minority rights groups and enviromentalists appears in the Panama Papers’“list of shame”, INK Centre for Investigative Journalism and its partner Botswana Gazette has established.
The Panama Papers show politicians and mining, oil and gas interests benefit from secrecy and dubious multimillion dollar transfers