A well-publicised campaign carried out last year to aid an ailing woman get treatment in India which Kenyans overwhelmingly contributed has been rocked by a scandal due to an ugly dispute over the millions of shillings received.
Gladys Kamande who gained prominence after a photo surfaced online of a street boy in Thika donating to her a Sh20 coin he had during a walk to raise funds for her treatment and activist Ndung’u Nyoro are fighting over Sh9.6 million that is supposed to be used for her treatment.
At stake is some Sh5 million that is yet to be spent. Kamande whose plight was widely covered in the media last year suffers from deep vein thrombosis. Before her treatment in India, she could not survive without oxygen tanks and had lost her sight.
Yesterday Kamande who is admitted at the Komarock Modern Hospital told the Sunday Standard that she is unable to pay for her treatment since Nyoro has declined to pay for her medication for the last four months.
“I am not the signatory to those funds so I wouldn’t know where that money has gone to. I have never gone to the bank to withdraw even a single shilling,” she said.
“Right now everyone says I am the one at fault. I have been abused from Thursday and told so many things including that I lied about my sickness,” she said.
Nyoro who has a large Facebook following courtesy of his online crowd funding abilities has accused Kamande’s family of ganging up against him after he declined to agree using part of the money to buy a plot of land which they wanted.
“At some point she identified a plot of land worth Sh1.5 million. I requested her to allow us go through treatment until the doctors give clean bill of health. She was unhappy but I thought that was the best option for now,” he said in a statement.
“I know how difficult it is to convince people to sacrifice their cash only for it to be spent buying expensive things and showing off to the very poor contributors,” he said.
Yesterday morning he was questioned by Directorate of Criminal Investigations officers at the Central Police Station which his lawyer Wahome Thuku later said was related to an allegation that he had threatened Lilian Wairimu.
“The complaint against Mr Nyoro was not about the controversies he has been posting about regarding his fundraising mission. It was specifically about threats made against Lilian, evidence of which, we are yet to receive,” he said.
Nyoro also accuses Kamande’s family of failing to account for the Sh4.5 million advanced for them so far and ganging up against him after he declined to agree using part of the money to purchase a plot of land which they wanted.
Nyoro claims a lawyer and a journalist for convincing Kamande that if they tarnished his name they will arm twist him into releasing the Sh5 million that he is still holding.
“I know the two are salivating at the Sh5 million still in the account but I can assure you they will get none of it,” he said. Without clear regulations on crowd funding, the dispute has raised questions on who has the rights to fundraised money.