Onjezani Kenani, hailed as a true patriot
* By Monday, January 18, the third day of the campaign, the fundraising initiative is approaching K22 million raised
* We have noted that there is tax on some of the items to be brought for the cause
* I hereby write to you to seek a waiver of the tax so that we maximize the number of items we can buy to save lives
* “When inspired by Onjezani,,the best way to show it is to contribute whatever little to the COVID-19 fundraising initiative”
By Duncan Mlanjira
One of Malawi’s well-known social issues commentator, Onjezani Kenani, who initiated an appeal three days ago to the public to fundraise in order to buy COVID-19 medical equipment, has applied for a Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) tax waive through the Minister of Finance, Felix Mlusu.
Kenani has written the appeal to Mlusu saying “with fellow Malawians and wellwishers of other nationalities on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms, we have embarked on a fundraising campaign to contribute to the COVID-19 pandemic fight”.
By Monday, January 18, the third day of the campaign, the fundraising initiative is approaching K22 million raised to use the money to buy oxygen cyclinders, oxygen concentrators, oxygen pressure regulators, oxygen itself, non-rebreather masks with reservoirs, enoxaparin and nasal prongs.
It is also expected to buy drip stands, patient monitors, pulse oximeters, 3-sided bed screens to erect around beds when health care workers examine and do procedures, personal protective equipment, medical supplies and medicines that may be required.
“However, we have noted that there is tax on some of the items [and] I hereby write to you to seek a waiver of the tax so that we maximize the number of items we can buy to save lives.
“I would be most grateful to receive your feedback and response as quickly as you can manage on your part. We are currently soliciting quotations from suppliers.
“Our plan is to place our orders within the next 12 to 24 hours and we would most appreciate your response before then.
“As we are accountable to the public, let me alert you in advance that we will be sharing this and any other related correspondence on social media so that those contributing the money to us are able to follow the conversation accordingly.
As of Monday January 18, K9,860,957 was in the National Bank of Malawi account; 2,080 Swiss francs in Paypal; 2,140 euros in Gofundme; $500 in US bank account and $700 in Swiss account.
Airtel Money account 1 had K752,078 with K463,374 in Airtel Money account 2 and K140,204 in TNM Mpamba account plus K2,325,599 from Thandie wa Pulimuheya, a total of K18,288,595.
“Thank you all those who have contributed. Those who have not weighed in, 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.
“As the government does its part, you and I can chime in and do ours. I am calling for donations so that we can buy oxygen cylinders, oxygen gas itself, pressure regulators and COVID-19 essential medicines that are critically needed in our hospitals.
“If all of us can do our part, we could make a difference. My National Bank account is 1855988, Stanley O. Kenani, Lilongwe branch, SWIFT code: NBMAMWMW.
“My Paypal account is also firstname.lastname@example.org. Airtel Money 1: 0999306684. Airtel Money 2: 0999604048. TNM Mpamba: 0888301039. Gofundme linke: gf.me/u/y2pi34
“Those who want to send to my Swiss or US bank accounts, please get in touch via inbox. Please drop me a message when you have donated, or send me an email at email@example.com.
“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.”
Kenani posted a touching message that came to his inbox: “Mr Onjezani Kenani, poor as I am here at Chipuni Village T/A Chakhaza in Dowa, I am greatly touched by the initiative can I contribute as low as K2,000.”
Pelani Mogha contributed by saying: “Mr. Kenani, today is my birthday. A friend gave me K20,000 as a gift but I am sending it to you to contribute to the COVID-19 fight.”
Wongani Mzumara told Kenani that he is “ a true definition of the word brilliant” while Gondwe Samson said: “You are working very hard my brother, may your energy and zeal never wane”.
Atusaye Mwalwanda said: “When inspired by Onjezani,,the best way to show it is to contribute whatever little to the COVID-19 fundraising initiative. Iye amakonda action osati mawu.”
Kenani then disclose that to enhance transparency and accountability, he has applied at the Registrar General for a business licence, in the name of ‘Covid Response Private Citizens’.
“With the business licence, we can open a bank account that does not belong to any individual. Airtel can also open an Airtel Money account for us with a limit of K100 million, as opposed to using individuals’ accounts, which have a periodical limit of K1 million.
“We anticipate that the business licence will be out tomorrow. Please note that the amount paid for this licence was not paid from the donations we have collected so far — rather, a son of the soil dedicated to the cause, used the money out of his pocket.
“He spent three hours today doing this, as a contribution to the fight, and we are most grateful to him for this. In the meantime, continue to contribute to the account details we have been using in the past three days until we have communicated the opening of the dedicated accounts.
“We take seriously our duty to be transparent and accountable to you, the people,” he said.