Police hunt MISA Zambia chairperson over fraud

Henry Kabwe

Police are investigating officials at Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA- Zambia) and ZNBC on charges of fraud, falsification and theft of donor money amounting to K70million.

Police spokesman Bonny Kapeso confirmed on Monday that police are investigating  Kabwe for fraud.
This relates to the money given to Media Institute of Southern Africa – MISA Zambia by Save the Children Sweden-Zambia.
The money was meant to carry out a program in December 2009, dubbed EVERY ONE Campaign. The program is a world-wide awareness programs that targets and challenges leaders to bring a difference to the lives of children to help save millions by 2015.
Police were alerted by a whistle –blower when an alert MISA Board Member stopped a fraudulent payment of K9million on 5th February 2010.
Facts of the matter are that in its Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed on 24th November 2009 between representatives of MISA (Chanda Mfula) and Save the Children (Petronella Mayeya), MISA was tasked to carry out an awareness program and given a grant of K70million for this purpose.
Investigations revealed that upon receiving this grant, MISA Chairman Henry Kabwe engaged himself and his personal outfit, Media Network on Child Rights and Development (MNRCD) in fraud to siphon out money using illegal means.
In particular, Police are investigating a cheque issued on 2nd December 2009, payable to Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) but was fraudulently cancelled.
A ZNBC employee was instead paid this amount with a down payment of K19.5million issued to her on 3rd December 2009. Subsequent payments were later paid to her in cash.
Police are investigation MISA Chairperson, Henry Kabwe who is said to have sub-contracted himself to carry out the children’s program without the knowledge of the Board and its management and was paid most of the remainder of the money through his organisation, Media Network on Child Rights and Development (MNCRD).
A payment of K9million which was issued to MNCRD on Friday 5th February was stopped by an alert Board member and this is said to have triggered Police investigations.
Other Police sources confirmed that Kabwe and the ZNBC presenter were being investigated as cases of NGO’s abusing donor funds were on the rampant. Police are also investigating similar allegations from other NGOs.
Police stated that many NGO leaders are involved in corruption, money laundering and fraud as credible institutions are used to obtain money from unsuspecting donors and money is siphoned out by these leaders using bogus companies and fraudulent firms.
Following the enactment of the NGO Bill into law in 2009, government and law enforcement agencies have been given wider powers to prevent abuse of resources by NGOs, from cooperating partners, and help curb the abuse of such resources by NGOs leaders and their employees.

Latest information indicate that MISA has instituted an internal audit to verify the claims and that the MISA board will meet Tuesday to consider chasing Kabwe from the organisation.

ZNBC is also said to be considering disciplinery measurers against Kabwe’s partner at ZNBC.

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