Two Journalists are Rewarded for their Efforts to Fight Corruption

By Ali Mwadini, Internews Media Trainer in Zanzibar

A woman stands holding a certificate
Munawary Khamis Mbarouk won top prize for her reporting on corruption. Credit Internews

Two veteran radio presenters, both women trained by Internews, made a clean sweep of Zanzibar’s anti-corruption media awards. Journalists for over a decade, Asha Ahmed Omar and Munawary Khamis Mbarouk won the Zanzibar Anti-Corruption and Economic Crime Authority (ZAECA) Award 2020.

Munawary took top prize for her investigation into racketeering at a Zanzibar port. Second-placed Asha covered graft and protectionism on the small island.

Munawary says they wanted to expose how corruption hurts people socially and economically. “Folks were being scammed on ferry tickets to Dar es Salaam, paying up to TZS 60,000 ($25) instead of TZS 25,000 ($10). Even so, they could be stranded for days! After we broadcast the story, things improved.”

Investigative reporting training helped the journalists improve

Munawary and Asha work at Chuchu FM, an Internews’ partner station.

A woman wearing headphones and holding a mic interviews a man while they are standing next to a van
Asha Ahmed interviews a Daladala driver in Unguja during her mentorship with Internews. Credit Internews

Asha credits the investigative reporting training she received from Internews for helping her improve her reporting. “In the old days, if I had just one source, I felt OK. But now, if my story is not well-balanced, I think it’s a sin! Plus, I can write a good script that impacts our listeners. I wanted to show them how protectionism shreds the social fabric of Zanzibar and hampers good governance.”

The training was hard at first, said Munawary. “We’d spend the whole day on a single story. I was so bored back then, but now I see the results.”

Each journalist received an official certificate and a new smartphone from Zanzibar’s Anti-Corruption and Economic Crime Authority. Established in 2018, the ZAECA Award aims to combat corruption. This year, ten radio stations submitted a total of seventeen entries.

“Their work had real merit,” said ZAECA’s Acting Public Relations Officer Yussuf Juma Suleiman. “We’re monitoring the problems they highlighted. For example, we make sure passengers are not overcharged. We are also sensitizing the community on our results.”

Chuchu FM Manager Salma Aley says Internews’ help in general is raising her team’s standards. “We get training and good equipment, all of which helps with program quality and deadlines.”

Internews’ Boresha Habari project is funded by the US Agency for International Development – USAID and implemented in partnership with FHI 360. It supports an open environment in which the media promote participation, inclusion, and accountability in Tanzania.