The funeral wake of veteran actress Pretty Xaba, who passed on last Saturday in India, has been marred by allegations and counter allegations of two fundraising groups with one questioning the accountability (or lack thereof) of funds raised in respect of Xaba’s medical treatment in India.
Celebrities Combined Trust senior official and Xaba’s former workmate Tino Katsande insinuated that the team of Lets Help Pretty campaign led by veteran actor and events manager Taonga ‘TK’ Mafundikwa were guilty of non-adherence to norms of fundraising for people in need of urgent medical treatment.
Although Katsande did not categorically accuse the Lets Help Pretty campaign team for misappropriation of funds, her statement alluded to such.
Said Katsande: “Although I was not part of the committee that handled the money of the Lets Save Help Pretty campaign, I can’t comment on the alleged misappropriation of funds.
“However, as a person who is involved in major fundraising for children who need life-saving operations, it must be noted that the handling of public funds is very intricate and requires accountability and transparency with the family of ailing persons being at the helm of things.”
Mafundikwa said he only became part of the fundraising team because of his friendship with Xaba whom he has worked with on several projects.
He said everything was above board and the fundraising was superintended by the late Xaba’s daughter-in-law Ruth.
“For someone to ever insinuate or suggest such (impropriety) is tantamount to hallucination,” said Mafundikwa.
“This is the time to mourn and celebrate Pretty (Xaba)’s life and make efforts for her repatriation rather than focusing on trivial matters.
“All our campaign was being supervised by Ruth (Xaba) who stayed with Xaba when she was unwell and the money was deposited straight to her, even the Prophet Magaya donation was received by Ruth and I salute her for standing by Pretty (Xaba) in times of need.
“Pretty’s so called relatives are not deaf and mute hence they could have voiced out if they had issues on how we handled things, its some people creating fiction.”
He expressed disappointment at how some individuals or organisations were now questioning the accountability of the funds at a time Xaba had passed on.
“If there were genuine concerns, people must have come out when we were struggling to save Pretty’s life and now our biggest prayer is for her safe repatriation and burial,” he said.
At least $ 20 400 was raised to facilitate Xaba’s trip to India and subsequent surgery.
Prophet Walter Magaya chipped in with $18 000 while $2 400 was proceeds from a fundraising show co-ordinated by Mafundikwa at Book Café.
Xaba succumbed to cancer of the oesophagus and her body is still stuck in India awaiting repatriation.
Mourners are gathered at her family house in Eastlea.