Fidelis Muthoni with her father Kenneth Kinuthia Photo/Courtesy
Murang’a NGO Boss Accounts Frozen over Sh2.8 Million Baby’s Surgery Cash
The bank accounts of an NGO founder, who allegedly refused to release Sh2.8 million for a baby’s surgery overseas, have been frozen.
Three accounts of Hope Foundation founder and CEO Joseph Wanjau have been frozen amid a search for him, said Murang’a county police commander Naomi Ichami.
Ichami said an Equity Bank and M-Pesa accounts, and the paybill number Wanjau used to raise money for 15-month-old Fidelis Muthoni, have been blocked.
Muthoni suffers from a frontal bone defect known as frontal Encephalocele, and was due for surgery in Canada on Tuesday.
Her family said a team of doctors from Canada had offered to treat her for free if they paid for her flight and six-month stay.
Ichami said Wanjau was earlier summoned to a Kigumo court to confirm whether he had any objections to the freezing of his accounts.
“Wanjau did not object to the government freezing his bank accounts,” she said.
“He also agreed to transfer money to the baby’s account to facilitate her travel to Canada before last Friday but he has since gone missing.”
Ichami said at the time the accounts were being frozen, the one at Equity Bank had only Sh173,000 while the M-Pesa account was active but empty.
Muthoni’s family said Wanjau, a close relative, volunteered to conduct the funds drive, but the money was withdrawn without their knowledge.
“The paybill account number transcripts that we got from Safaricom indicated that Sh2.8 million had been deposited into the account and later withdrawn,” said Muthoni’s father Kenneth Kinuthia.
Kinuthia added that he had given Wanjau Sh155,000 to deposit into the account.
He said Wanjau opened paybill account number 317081, posted his daughter’sphotographs on social media and sought financial assistance.
Kinuthia said the family has contacted the doctors and appealed for more time toraise money for Muthoni’s flight.
The family had been given until Monday to travel to Canada for the treatment that was to begin on Tuesday, he said.
“The doctors in Canada have understood our case and given us more time to look for money. They have assured us that they will set aside another date for her surgery,” he said.
Kinuthia urged the police to hasten the search for Wanjau and compel him to give them the money.
He said the doctors told him Kenya does not have facilities required for Muthoni’s surgery.
In a post on his Facebook page, ‘Wanjau Alejandro’ said the allegations were false, and that he had dedicated months of hard work to assisting the baby.
“It is worth noting that organising such a successful fundraising costs money for TV airtime, sponsoring videos and pictures on social media, administration and organisingfield events,” he said.
“To set things straight, no money has been stolen or lost. We are going to give a detailed account on the whereabouts of the Fidelis Fund. As an organisation, we would not want the money to be misused by the parents.”
He apologised for being unreachable by phone saying “I couldn’t handle the overwhelming calls after the allegations were published on the media”.
Ichami said Wanjau will be arraigned in court once arrested.
– The Star