Harare, Zimbabwe – Accountability Lab (AL) is launching a new project that contributes to the conversation on integrity and accountability in Zimbabwe. The “New Narratives for Accountability in Zimbabwe” project will create dialogue and active civic participation among Zimbabweans.

The project will work with local partner organizations to build unlikely networks within Zimbabwe’s diverse geographic and demographic communities, using music, art and youth-led public campaigns. Corruption has been a pressing issue in the country, with scandals from Willowgate in the 1980s, to Cashgate in 2014, and recently, to COVID-gate. The project intends to engage constructively with issues of corruption, with a focus on flipping the script by modelling integrity and accountability.

AL Zimbabwe will work with communities to improve knowledge about local problems and the accountability challenges that cause them, and drive conversations around accountability, integrity and impunity. The project will work on developing a new generation of accountability and integrity advocates through its campaigns, communities and knowledge work. It forms part of AL’s focus on the region, where work and programs are supported by Luminate, Ford Foundation, USAID and the MacArthur Foundation.

McDonald Lewanika, Accountability Lab Zimbabwe Chief of Party, commented that new narratives for accountability can only emerge when new voices are given the space to engage. “The project holds much potential to introduce new, young, vibrant, creative community voices on the accountability question. These voices have been missing, stifled, muzzled and suppressed for a long time. Yet, their participation and leadership on accountability and modeling integrity is indispensable to shifting the conversation in Zimbabwe from just finger pointing to finding solutions, and from naming and shaming to naming and faming. When citizens are actively engaged and demand as well as promote responsible leadership, accountable institutions can be built.”