Media Institute of Southern Africa Zambia Chapter vice-chairperson Felistus Chipako says there has been no fraud involving K70 million in her organisation.
In a press statement to the Watchdog, Chipako said:
“The MISA Zambia National Governing Council (NGC) which met on 12
February 2010, wishes to inform the nation that investigations carried out by both the MISA Zambia Secretariat and the NGC show no evidence of there having been fraudulent dealings or fraud involving K70 million, as alleged in the media recently.”
Chipako said ‘the allegations of fraud emanating from a project undertaken by MISA Zambia, with sponsorship from Save the Children Sweden, can be best
described as ‘most unfortunate and regrettable’.
She said ‘the K70 million which
MISA Zambia received from Save the Children Sweden, was meant to
facilitate the holding of activities to commemorate the anniversary of
the Convention of the Rights of the Child, and the launch of the
Everyone Child Survival Campaign, between November 20, 2009 and
December 7, 2009.”
According to Chipako, MISA Zambia believes in transparency, accountability and in the furtherance of good governance.’
“It is, therefore, mandatory for us at MISA Zambia to always be mindful of our responsibility to ensure that we are forever adhering to these principles and imperatives.
“This is why from its inception, MISA Zambia has always striven to keep
introducing means and tools designed to detect any potential
fraudulent activities. Our record in this regard is clear for all our
members, clients, and partners to see’, said Felistus Chipako, the chairperson of Media Network on Child Rights and Development (MNRCD).
Last week, Police Police spokesman Bonny Kapeso confirmedthat police were 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.
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.