Tare family exonerate Betty Makoni over fund looting


Barbara Nyagomo Mambo and Munashe Moyo Godo started an internet campaign on social networking site Facebook to help raise £10,000 required for Tare Nomatter Mapungwana’s surgery. Later on the Girl Child Network – a charity run by Betty Makoni to help abused and disadvantaged girls – took over the fund raising campaign. It was then that Nyagomo-Mambo and Moyo-Godo are said to have demanded £360 in compensation for internet charges, time spent publicizing the appeal and phone calls.

Makoni and her network refused to pay this money and it’s alleged that because of this the aggrieved volunteers fanned the stories about missing funds.

US$20,000 was raised in appeals run in Zimbabwe by Bishop Trevor Manhanga, but they alleged that only £8,000 was received in the United Kingdom. Protest musician Viomak, who is Tare’s aunt, spoke to Newsreel on Monday giving the family’s side of the story. She said US$20,000 was raised in Zimbabwe and the full amount was given directly to the family. She said this money had nothing to do with the Girl Child Network.

Viomak said the Girl Child Network helped to raise the balance of £10,000 required to ensure Tare traveled from Zimbabwe to the UK and could pay the bill for her operation. When the target of £10,000 was reached they asked for the excess money to be sent directly to the family. She said because Tare’s family did not have a UK bank account she offered them use of her bank account to use temporarily. Tare’s mum was given the bank card and pin number to use.

Barbara Nyagomo-Mambo meanwhile denied being the source of the stories alleging that money was looted from Tare’s Fund. She however admitted that she and Munashe Moyo Godo (Makoni’s childhood friend) had demanded and were entitled to volunteer allowances under UK law. She said it was illegal not to pay volunteers in the UK and that their allowances should range from anything between £5 to £15 a day. She complained that in three and a half weeks she had run up a phone bill of £360 trying to raise money for Tare but received no compensation.

Nyagomo-Mambo also challenged the use of Viomak’s private bank account, saying members of the public were not informed that this was where the money was deposited.

She said because the donations were going via paypal, donors did not know the destination account and assumed it was still being handled by the Girl Child Network.