A fundraising appeal has been launched by one of Malawi’s well-known social issues commentator, Onjezani Kenani, to buy equipment and supplies to provide frontline medical workers to care for those battling the coronavirus outbreak.
Kenani has initiated an appeal to the public through his Facebook page to fundraise in order to buy oxygen pressure regulators for hospitals and within 24 hours since the appeal was posted, over K8 million has been raised.
In his appeal, Kenani wrote: “Friends, I prefer action. We can be pointing out things our government is not doing right, but the fact is that the people are suffering out there and some are dying.”
The celebrated write said he was calling for donations to buy oxygen pressure regulators — they enable oxygen cylinders to deliver oxygen to patients.
“We, Malawians have always beautifully come together at such times to do our part. The government is trying its best, but you and I can also make a difference.
“I am calling for donations to my bank account. I will — as I have always done — account for every single tambala. I am starting the ball rolling by donating $140 (K100,000). If all of us can do our part, we could make a difference.”
He indicated that those interested can donate to his National Bank account number 1855988 (Stanley O. Kenani, Lilongwe Branch, SWIFT code: NBMAMWMW and to drop him a message when one has donated, or send an email at [email protected].
His Paypal account is also [email protected]. Airtel Money: 0999306684 and TNM Mpamba: 0888301039.
Those who want to send to his Swiss or US bank accounts were asked to get in touch via inbox.
“We cannot just watch the house burning and shout instructions at firefighters, save this, save that, no. Let us run into the fire and save what we can. Friends in Malawi and the diaspora, let’s do this.
“We will donate these supplies to the Queen Elizabeth Central, Zomba Central, Kamuzu Central and the Mzuzu Central Hospitals.”
After 24 hours, the National Bank account had K3,773,457; PayPal (1,304 Swiss francs); Gofundme (1,215 euros); Airtel Money (K1,063,000); TNM Mpamba (K60,000); Swiss Account ($820) and US account ($400) with total at K8,036,000.
“Thank you very much for contributing. We launched this appeal 18 hours ago, and we are here now. The needs are immense. Let us do what we can.
“Some are saying: ‘But why deposit to his personal account?’ And they are right to ask such a question. In our country, money is usually stolen or misused.
“But those who are depositing the money to my account are doing so based on the history of me they are familiar with. On this page, we have raised money and sent children to India for heart surgery and other problems.
“We have raised money to pay school fees for scores of children, and to assist some Malawians of albinism when their future was in peril. We raised money to buy bicycles for school teachers at a primary school in the Lower Shire.
“We once raised K5 million for flood relief in the Lower Shire, here, on this page, gave people food and buckets they critically needed.
“Heck, we even raised money to defend our vote! We have done a lot together. Every single tambala that has been donated has been accounted for.
“For us to open an account for Covid-19 relief, the bureaucratic quagmire would take three months to navigate, and we do not have such time.
“Some think it is for my personal glory that I am doing this. Frankly, it is evil to think that efforts to save lives can be viewed as being undertaken for personal glory — people are dying out there.
“Some of those donating have told me, ‘Mr Kenani, I have just been in hospital due to Covid-19. It’s bad. I’m glad to contribute to this effort’.
“Those who want to find fault with our efforts, it is their right to do so, and they are free to criticize us the way they want. In any case, they can spend their money on bread or alcohol, it is their money, after all. We are not taking it by force. This is entirely voluntary.
“As for those who want to save lives, please join me. Your contribution, no matter how little, will make a difference.”
But then some tricksters tried to create an alternative Airtel Money account, duping people as if Kenani’s account was full, forcing him to issue a warning not to send Airtel Money contributions to anybody called Lisa Chirwa.
“It’s a thief trying to steal from Malawians using my name,” he said before later informing the public that Airtel has blocked the Lisa Chirwa account.
“Anybody who tries to torpedo this initiative will have their number immediately blocked, and law enforcement agencies will be notified accordingly. Be warned.”
Amongst the contributors is a Cabinet Minister who donated K100,000 but preferred not to be mentioned as he donates in his individual capacity.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :