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Trustee of Zimbabwe's Girl Child Network Expresses Confidence in Founder Makoni

  • Gibbs Dube

Betty Makoni

Betty Makoni

Girl Child Network trustee Leanne Grossman told VOA that 'there are no funds missing and I believe that what we have is an individual or individuals who either are jealous or are being put up to this activity' for political reasons

A U.S. member of the board of trustees of Zimbabwe's Girl Child Network has expressed confidence in the organization's founder, Betty Makoni, telling VOA that to her knowledge all funds raised for medical treatment of a Zimbabwean woman are accounted for contrary to allegations lodged in Britain.

Girl Child Network trustee Leanne Grossman of Oakland, California, told VOA that “there are no funds missing and I believe that what we have is an individual or individuals who either are jealous or are being put up to this activity by the government which is interfering with the work of the trust."

“Non-profit organizations see this kind of activity in places where the government is trying to close them down or prevent them from executing their activities. I have worked with Betty Makoni for several years. She is trustworthy and has full integrity," Grossman told VOA's Studio 7 program.

Grossman told reporter Gibbs Dube that an audit of the organization’s books has been commissioned in order to show the public that the funds raised in the United Kingdom and in Zimbabwe to cover the cost of an operation for Taremeredzwa Nomatter Mapungwana were in good hands.

A British police spokeswoman, meanwhile, said the British Charity Commission is expected to become involved in an investigation sparked by allegations that some of the funds raised for Mapungwana were unaccounted for.

Essex police press officer Heather Watts said authorities received two reports from individuals alleging the misuse of funds and noted that reports from these people were expected to be filed with the commission overseeing charities.


Watts said the commission is expected to look into the matter and then inform police if it finds financial irregularities in connection with the campaign that raised some £15,000 in the U.K. and US$20,000 in Zimbabwe.

But Charity Commission press officer Sarah Nelson said the Girl Child Network trust fund was not registered in the United Kingdom and that no report had been received to trigger an investigation by the commission.

Zimbabwean Barbara Nyagomo-Mambo, an organizer of the fund-raising campaign, insisted that she filed a complaint regarding the alleged disappearance of funds with both the Essex police and the Charity Commission.

Founder Makoni told VOA Studio 7 this week that her organization's finances are in order, charging that the allegations are politically motivated by partisans of the former government of President Robert Mugabe seeking revenge for her past disclosures of sexual abuse by prominent politicians.

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