The 117 acre plot stands abandoned after the school project failed
The abandoned 117 acre plot were the Academy for Girls school was supposed to be built. Credit: M.Banda

Revealed: The cost of the school was not $15 m, but $6m

By Mabvuto Banda

New information has emerged about how Madonna’s handlers covered-up how the Kabbalah International Centre used poor Malawian children as a fundraising tool, mismanaged their funds and shifted blame on the managers of the failed school project

Phillippe Van Den Bossche was Executive Director of Raising Malawi, Madonna’s charity and Dr Anjimile Oponyo was the head of the planned Academy for Girls. They both were  accused of malfeasance in a report done by Trevor Neilson’s Global Philanthropy Group

Trevor Neilson
Trevor Neilson

But as I found out, it was a cover up by Neilson designed to shift blame on helpless Malawians and distance Madonna and the Kabbalah Centre from the Malawi embarrassment.

Neilson is an accomplished PR consultant who has worked with political heavy weights  like former US President President Bill Clinton and many other rich and famous people like Bill Gates and Sir Richard Branson.

Madonna reportedly raised $18million for the Malawi school project and, in 2010, she laid the first brick at a ceremony attended by senior government leaders and traditional leaders from the area.

But, in 2011, Raising Malawi announced that it was stopping construction of the school. According to a Newsweek report from April 2011, $3.8million had been spent on the project, but only $850,000 had gone towards the work in Malawi. The rest was spent by the Kabbalah Centre’s office in LA.

Chissano: One of the mediators

Malawi is finalising the process of taking  its dispute with Tanzania over Lake Malawi, with its potentially massive reserves of oil and gas, to the International Court of Justice in the Hague, a senior minister has said

Two former African presidents, Joachim Chissano of Mozambique and Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, have been mediating the dispute but so far nothing has come out of it.

“The government of Malawi has been committed to the mediation process and peaceful resolution of the dispute through contact and dialogue but we are now ready to take Tanzania to the International Court of Justice because they have been stalling the mediation efforts since 2012,” said foreign affairs minister Francis Kasaila.