The Standard has noted statements by the Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ) and the Zimbabwe National Editors Forum (Zinef) responding to a story in our edition of January 16 to 22, concerning attempts by some freelance journalists to block an investigative story commissioned by the Information for Development Trust (IDT).
The Standard has for the past five years partnered with IDT, a non-profit organisation, to probe bad governance and corruption in Zimbabwe.
The story that was subject to underhand attempts to corrupt the journalist contracted by IDT headlined “Tobacco contractor short-changes farmers amid bribery scam involving scribes” exposed alleged abuse of farmers by Voedsel Tobacco International through its contract farming scheme. The journalist behind the investigation is not employed by The Standard.
As a publication that prides itself in being ethical, we welcome the pledge by the media bodies to institute impartial investigations into the allegations against the freelance journalists.
The Standard will support any investigation that seeks to get to the bottom of these allegations because we share the concerns raised by both VMCZ and Zinef.
We are ready to cooperate fully with the investigations.
Our ground-breaking partnership with IDT has produced some of the biggest, evidence-based and award winning investigative stories around corruption in command agriculture, electoral malpractices and labour issues.
We remain resolute in playing our role in helping Zimbabwe fight the scourge of corruption that costs the country billions of dollars every year.
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