With an aid of appropriate examples, discuss the problems that a whistle-blower is likely to have to consider in deciding whether or not to speak out.
Whistle blowing is an attempt by a former or current employee of an organization to disclose illegality or any other wrongdoing in or by an organization. Whistle blowing can be divided into two types namely, internal and external whistle-blowing. When wrongdoing is reported to someone with a higher rank than that of the whistle blower it is termed internal whistle blowing. On the other hand, if it is reported to outside entities such as governments, regulatory agencies or other external stakeholders it is referred to as external whistle-blowing. Another differentiation is whether the whistle blower is being effected or not. If the person is, it is called personal whistle-blowing and when it is someone else it is termed impersonal whistle-blowing.
Problems faced by whistle-blowers on whether to report the wrongdoing or maintain silence is the following:
Almost all whistle-blowers face some form of retaliation if they are not protected by unions or professional organizations. Both the professional and personal lives of the whistle-blower will be questioned and if possible, damaged. Form a career standpoint, the whistle-blower might be fired, given bad recommendation letters and even blacklisted from future employments in the same position of other organizations. The social life of the whistle-blower and everyone close to them are ripped apart by rumours that might be true or false but, nonetheless still be very. Sexuality, mental stability, drug abuse and sex scandals are the few ways that the personal life of a whistle-blower can be damaged.
Protection of whistle-blowers by law
The law doesn’t protect whistle-blowers from retaliation from stakeholders as compared to witnesses in a murder trial. For example, Namibia doesn’t comply with the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).Namibia doesn’t have any basic anti-corruption legislation and hasn’t even drafted the basic laws such as the whistleblowers protection and access to information bill.
The lack of protection from the judicial systems further strengthens the possibility of retaliation as there is nothing the whistleblower can do to protect them (except lawyers to protecting the whistleblowers image), except if the illegality is to such an extent that it earns the right to go to a criminal court.
Cost of lawyers and other legal cost associated with whistle-blowing
With the almost non-existent laws and legislation to protect whistleblowers in Namibia for example, lawyers will then have to be hired and the cost associated with them sometimes outweighs the conscience of doing the right thing. With the fact that the whistleblower might lose their job and be retaliated upon even whether they win or lose the case, using a lawyer must be justified by an atrocious act being done by the organization.