Hypercube donors, US Embassy & Indigo Trust, respond to abuse-of-funds audit report

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Earlier this week we published an audit report by the Hypercube Community that circulated on social media and email. The report alleged that some of the founders of the hub had possibly abused the funds and facilities of the hub.

We contacted the 3 funders; Hivos, the US Embassy, and Indigo Trust. Hivos gave us their comment and we published it here. They essentially sought to distance themselves but confirmed some of the report’s contents – that they had terminated their relationship with Hypercube at some point and that the reasons cited by the report are part of why they would ordinarily terminate such relationships.

Indigo Trust and the US Embassy also eventually sent in their responses.

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Here’s Indigo’s comment:

We funded Hypercube (£30,000) in September 2013 in partnership with the US Embassy in Zimbabwe and haven’t funded this organisation since.  Our Trust aims to stimulate innovation and we do accept that there is a high risk involved in funding brand new organisations.  We did our best to identify the team with the best skill set, vision and business plan.  Unfortunately at times, things don’t go according to plan and we discontinue funding in these instances.

The US Embassy’s comment was short and as expected:

We do not comment on, nor do we participate in, independent audits of our grants or grant processes

As expected because they already did a Lessons Learned session where 3 co-founders – Munyaradzi Chiura, Rinesh Desai and Nikki Kershaw – shared why, in their opinion, the hub had failed. You can read about those lessons learned here.

There has been some interest on social media in what exactly happened at Hypercube and one would obviously hope that donors and those that they donate to would be more open about how the money is spent. Especially when initiatives are considered the community type, like Hypercube was.

So far, what we’re getting from all this is that some serious and unfortunate things did happen at Hypercube while it was in operation but that both the donors and the recipients of the donations, would prefer that the details of these things remain unknown to the community they purported to serve. Which is just unfortunate.

If indeed money was abused, isn’t this the same abuse that we everyday accuse the politicians of doing. Yes, you could say that this money did not belong to the community in that it was given to Hypercube but then you’d also need to argue that abuse of money in some instances is ok.

If it is the case that money was not abused, then surely it would be better for the donors to be open about this by providing the data on how the money was used. Either way, we hope those that donate to these donors demand to see the data, even for amounts as ‘small’ as the Hypercube Hub grants.

5 Comments

  1. More free option says:

    Well if you thought corruption only happens in govt…. You’d be seriously wrong. It’s our culture eat or be eaten. This is not the only trust that has been abused… One that I have personally involved has been shut down catering for HIV orphans…. In this case the managers faked the audit till one of the debtors came to claim what was his .even though on paper it was paid. Really sad story after that to pay the outstanding debts one of the properties was a sold only to find out later that the lawyer handling the transaction ran away with money(he trying to claim asylum in Canada)… After all this the law society does not cover you… The processe is long and no results…. There truly is no justice in Zim…. And results the orphans are suffering and the program closed… Is probably happening on a daily basis…. And the reason our law and Constitution in flawed…. The more you take the more you get away with only the small fish are in jail… All the evidence is there and no justice…. The cheek of Zimbabweans after the manager was fired he’s trying to take us to court for unpaid salaries or undue firing or something else can’t remember

    1. tinm@n says:

      Corruption is everywhere.

      Even in big multinational organisations and leading democracies.

      It is a trait of the individuals involved rather than a rashly stereotyped, Zimbabwean behaviour….as you seem to think it and assert it

      Nothing to do with the constitution.

      Crime exists independently of the constitution..be it a poorly crafted one or an ironclad one.

      Donors actually also don’t have to account to you or disclose what prompted withdrawal of funds. It is the beneficiaries that account to them.

      Maybe you and your circles are like that, but don’t paint us with the same brush…and refer to only what you know (your circles and your experiences…and I suppose, you too…since you’re eagerly self-hating)

    2. tinm@n says:

      Corruption, misuse, conversion, theft, abuse of funds…all sorts of financial misconduct are everywhere. The tendency of humans towards that precedes law. Law exists to punish, deter or guide against it.

      Even in big multinational organisations and leading democracies.

      It is a trait of the individuals involved rather than a rashly stereotyped, Zimbabwean behaviour….as you seem to think it and assert it

      Nothing to do with the constitution.

      Crime exists independently of the constitution..be it a poorly crafted one or an ironclad one.

      Donors actually also don’t have to account to you or disclose what prompted withdrawal of funds. It is the beneficiaries that account to them.

      Maybe you,your family, friends and your circles are like that, but don’t paint us with the same brush…and refer to only what you know (your circles and your experiences…and I suppose, you too…since you’re eagerly self-hating)

  2. ww` says:

    thats the end of hthe rooo many questions gonn be asked and noone from the people whoran hypercube down (????) to the sponsors know this is a huge problem that might mean them losing a lot respect and credentials.
    but honestly speaking at times never trust a person who wants to save the world cause what they gonna eat whenthey saving the world. time to sponsor people who straight up sayig i want to do this. but wesee it everyday people using a fake messiah complex to get as much money as possible destrot the project knowing noone going to resucitate it and no questions to be asked. best thing pubish the truth blck list tehses guys if they are guilty. cz they going to move on starrt another hub get a good job have a nice resume.

  3. Imi Vanhu Musadaro says:

    I think more should be done to report on corruption when it is actually happening than, retrospectively, when it’s all over and done with. No amount of complaining (now), will do anything for the hub. The donors aren’t going to litigate, those who “benefited” are focusing on the way forward to feed themselves, whilst we are still in the same spot just complaining. This story is a as good as dead.

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