Freeman Chari speaks out on Lynda Masarira fundraising
By Freeman Chari
Following the videos and media reports about people taking advantage of Linda Masarira’s incarceration to fleece people, I have decided to explain to you the situation, at least from my end. Linda was supposed to issue a statement but I understand she is in hospital.
In July I sent $250 which was meant to pay salary of the maid and buy groceries and sanitary stuff for Linda. The maid recieved her salary and $100 groceries were bought. Our anticipation was that this was just a stop-gap measure and she would be released soon.
When I informed you about this I received complains, reservations etc from people who felt I could better deal with somebody else not the maid. Russel Masarira (Linda’s only brother) was suggested to me and I was given his number. I called him a few weeks into August inquiring about the children. He said he was taking care of 2 of the 5 children. The other 3 were in Mutare with the maid. He said there were challenges with food and school fees.
I then sent $250 to him through his wife’s (Penelope) account. My assumption was that he would use the money to at least have the kids in school. I received a call from Blessed Man Fungaimunaishe Mugadhla in Canada and he said they had raised a further $370 which they then sent to Russel. To me $620 was enough to get the kids in school and cared for.
Around Sept 20 I received a call from Silvanos Bhanditi Mudzvova who had gone to check on the kids in Mutare and he said their state was pathetic. Wellington Mahohoma reported the same. Sylvanos even went to the children’s school to ask about the arrears.
On 22 September I called Russel and I asked him why he had not taken care of the children in Mutare. He lost it and started insulting me: “Do you think your $250 and $370 is what has brought these kids to where they are today? Handina basa nekamari kenyu!!!” I was deeply disappointed.
I called Lance Guma that weekend because I understood Tino Chinyoka had started an initiative to specifically help Linda’s children. In my discussion with Lance we had resolved to send Maureen Kademaunga on her next trip to Chikurubi to ask Linda how she wanted her affairs administered given the roadblocks we were facing.
Fortunately, that Monday and order was granted to release Linda. I saw pictures of Linda & Russel upon release and I thought she would be told about what had transpired. I did not talk to Linda as I thought she needed family time. We were supposed to have a phone call on Sunday but she didn’t pick my call. Then Monday I had those videos forwarded to me.
I called Linda yesterday and told her what had transpired. I sent her the screenshots of my conversations with Russel and receipts.
This is what happened, it is frustrating and discouraging, but we are born as individuals, and each man must bear the burden of his own sins. The Zimbabwe Freedom Fund will continue and we are undeterred.