The Ministry of Interior as well as a Kenyan governor have been roped into a Canadian TV exposé alleging that a charity swindled investors for projects in Kenya.
The exposé, which aired on CBC TV on Thursday, November 18, claimed that WE Charity had been lying to donors regarding the number of projects it had carried out in Kenya vis-à-vis the total funds contributed.
In some instance, it revealed, different donors were being told that they had funded projects to build schools in Kenya.
"WE Charity, then known as Free the Children, had collected donations to build two schools. Instead, they built one and told both donors they had paid for it," read the exposé which was also published on the broadcaster's online outlet.Marc Kielburger (left) and Craig Kielburger (right) appear on CBC TV in Canada on Thursday, November 18, 2021.CBC.ca
The report further indicated that the organisation, which started operations in 2003, had claimed that it constructed 900 schools when indeed it built only 360
In a clarification published on Saturday, November 20 by the station's Editor in Chief of daily news Brodie Fenlon, the team behind the programme known as the Fifth Estate, which exposed the dealings, began receiving complaints way before the story had even aired.
"We received more than 30 letters of complaint with multiple signatures from WE Charity donors who expressed concerns about our journalism, questioned the integrity of our reporters and urged us not to publish or go to air with the story," he stated.
Despite the cautions, the journalists carried on with the investigations and even travelled to Kenya for more findings on the matter.
While in the country, they disclosed that they faced numerous challenges including from the Ministry of Interior which accused them of engaging in unlawful activities.
"The CBC received a letter from Kenya's Ministry of the Interior with allegations that our reporters had engaged in unlawful activity, including a claim of trespassing on government property. For some reason, the letter was copied to the WE College in Kenya," stated the Editor in Chief.
Fenlon also noted that the journalists held an interview with Narok Governor Samuel Ole Tunai, who had his own crew. A few hours later, they were contacted by a lawyer based on the facts presented during the interview.
While in Kenya, the team interviewed the governor of Narok County, Samuel Tunai, a WE supporter who has lauded the charity for changing the "landscape and lives" of the people he governs.
"Tunai greeted our team with his own camera crew and recorded our interview. Within hours, a WE Charity lawyer based in Toronto wrote to The Fifth Estate quoting part of the Tunai interview, stating, 'It is clear that CBC has been presenting as 'fact' inaccurate information,'" added Felon.
After the exposé aired, the journalists continued receiving letters threatening to sue them but the management of the station maintains that it stands by their reporting.
WE Charity was co-founded by brothers Craig Kielburger and Marc Kielburger.A file image of Narok Governor Samuel Tunai.Samuel Tunai
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