The dangers that whistleblowers take

The Platform for the Protection of Whistleblowers in Africa (PPLAAF) has just published a report reviewing the most important cases uncovered in Africa over the last 3 years. Luanda is leaking in Angola, the Lumumba Papers in the DRC or even the scandal over state capture in South Africa … These revelations have shaken the highest circles in African countries. But whistleblowers are taking risks to expose these scandals.

In three years, the whistleblower protection platform has publicly supported a dozen whistleblowers on the continent, but assures in its report that “many others preferred to remain anonymous”.

Exile, arrest, loss of employment …

Exposing a financial scandal or a case of corruption can actually be costly for whistleblowers. This was the case for Jean-Jacques Lumumba in the DRC. In 2016, he revealed a suspicious transaction involving a CEO of the BGFI Bank involving President Kabila’s regime. The case with the nickname “Lumumba Papers”, is in the hands of justice. But whistleblowers are now living in exile in Europe after threats in their country.

Noureddine Tounsi condemned corruption in the port of Oran in Algeria in 2017. He was arrested in September 2020 and prosecuted for espionage. Retaliation according to the PPLAFF, while the NGO recalls that the investigation into the scandal revealed by the whistleblower is not progressing.

In Mali, Fadiala Coulibaly, an accountant, revealed a network of embezzlement to cotton farmers in 2017, but he lost his job for his commitment.

But despite these risks, the situation for whistleblowers is gradually changing, according to Fadel Baro, co-founder of the civil movement “Y’en a marre” in Senegal. He is the Pplaaf coordinator for West Africa. He takes stock of the situation on the continent:

We know journalists, activists and human rights defenders in general. They have frameworks and platforms that support them. But whistleblowers are people who often suffer retaliation from their businesses.

Fadel Baro: “Whistleblowers are the bad conditions in the fight against corruption”

►Read the Pplaaf report for 2020 (in English)

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