Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre (ALAC)

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ALAC provides free legal aid services to victims and witnesses of corruption and seeks to empower citizens to demand accountability and transparency in Zimbabwe.
Last updated: July 2018

Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre (ALAC) is a new anti-corruption initiative providing free legal aid services to victims and witnesses of corruption and seeks to empower male and female citizens to demand accountability and transparency. It is a community service centre that offers both pragmatic services to individuals, communities, companies and institutions who are victims of corruption or witnesses to corruption by giving legal aid and advice. The advocacy aspect of the centre focuses on public education and prevention strategies based on cases and complaints lodged and collated by the centre on a quarterly basis. ALAC seeks to facilitate the engagement of the public in the fight for transparency and accountability and to provide legal advice to victims of corruption in Zimbabwe.

Thus, ALAC seeks to:

  • offer an independent channel for victims or witnesses of corruption to report their concerns, propose solutions and seek advice;
  • provide free legal advice and practical help to clients;
  • increase the capacity of the public institutions to work with citizens by receiving and dealing with complaints effectively;
  • Empower citizens with relevant information and their legal rights in the face of corruption to foster a culture of exposing corruption; and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the existing anti-corruption interventions in the delivery of services to the public

The ALAC project rejects the notion that people are indifferent in the face of corruption. People do become actively involved in the fight against corruption when they are provided with simple credible and viable means to do so. The project allows us to reflect on the real experiences of the people, which enhance the legitimacy of advocacy campaigns. ALAC serves as a public interface and a direct means of citizen empowerment to take action against corruption – it’s a people-centred project. The targeted publicity campaigns and mechanisms for ALAC assist in raising public awareness on citizens’ rights related to corruption issues. It also provides impetus for policy advocacy and institutional reform by linking ALAC‘s work with media, civil society and public pressure for greater public accountability on anti-corruption policies

 Their targets

Men, women and children who have either been victims or witnesses of corruption and are seeking redress or simply to expose the evil practice. To prevent false expectations from the clients, it is important to clarify ALAC’s capacities and limitations. The following are some of the guidelines on what ALAC does and does not do. ALAC empowers clients to pursue their complaints and as such, it plays a facilitation role in the client’s pursuant of their cases. The Centre assists clients to:

  • Determine the strengths and weaknesses of the complaint
  • Identify essential information/evidence i.e documents which can help strengthen the case and advice the client how to access them
  • Understand the legal and administrative options available; help formulate, draft, submit and follow up official complaint letters (although the client remains the complainant)
  • Link the client with relevant institutions when it is not possible to help, but there is clearly a case or an issue of public interest
  • Forward the documents to the authorities for follow up (e.g client wishes to remain anonymous but there is a matter of public interest)
  • Guarantee confidentiality of the obtained information source, with the exception of the information being used during any legal procedure by the courts
  • Refer clients to relevant institutions if their complaints or cases are outside the jurisdiction of ALAC

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