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Under Fire, Zimbabwe Girl Child Network Founder Betty Makoni Refuses to Step Down

Makoni told VOA that the people demanding her resignation are aligned with the Central Intelligence Organization, which bears her a grudge for calling attention to alleged abuse of girls by officials of the former ruling ZANU-PF party

Co-founder Betty Makoni of Zimbabwe’s Girl Child Network says she will never step down as organization president despite questions in Britain as to the use of donor funds by the non-governmental organization.

Makoni told the Voice of America the people who want her to resign are aligned with Zimbabwe’s feared Central Intelligence Organization, which bears her a grudge for focusing attention on alleged abuse of young women by top politicians of the former ruling ZANU-PF party.

She said her books are clean and she has made a report to police in Essex, the United Kingdom, seeking protection from those she describes her enemies, who have filed a fraud complaint with that office.

Makoni dismissed as false claims by three of her colleagues that her organization cannot account for all of the funds raised to pay for an operation for an 18-year-old Zimbabwean woman, Taremeredzwa Nomatter Mapungwana.

Makoni, who has received some $14 million in donations since launching the Girl Child Network 10 years ago, told VOA Studio 7 reporter Gibbs Dube that she has a clean record with all of her donors.