The idea to set up the Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACT-SA)was initiated in 2003 by some individuals who were really concerned about the deleterious effects of corruption on development. Among the founders were Arnold Tsunga, Obert Chinhamo, Alouis Munyaradzi Chaumba, and Paul Themba Nyathi among others.

These individuals were deeply concerned that some African States were endowed with an abundance of natural resources but nonetheless, their citizens were very poor. These resources were enriching a few individuals. Other countries were doing well whilst in others corruption was endemic. There was need to find out the underlying root causes and where possible create a platform for different stakeholders to learn from each on the best strategies to fight corruption.

Back then, the founders felt that there was need to work on:

  1. The prosecution of high profile corrupt leaders and seizures of their illicitly gained wealth
  2. Dealing with impunity against corruption
  3. Improving anti-corruption laws and policies
  4. Engaging in anti-corruption exchange programmes
  5. Dealing with corruption in the private sector
  6. Setting up and/or strengthening anti-corruption courts and tribunals
  7. Strengthening anti-corruption institutions
  8. Tracking electoral corruption
  9. Raising awareness against corruption and its negative consequences

In 2004, some meetings were held to discuss on setting up the Trust. Legal practitioners under the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) volunteered to support by draftingt he Notarial Deed of Trust and lodging it for registration with the Registrar of Deeds Office in Harare, Zimbabwe. Eventually ACT-SA was born and registered under Notarial Deed Trust Number MA147/2004.