Hypercube funder, Hivos, admitted that funds were abused at the tech hub

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Earlier this month, we posted a summary of the findings of an audit of the now defunct Hypercube Hub. The audit was carried out by a Recovery Manager hired for this process. The audit found that some members of the Hypercube founding team and management of the hub may have abused funds.

We contacted all the founders – Rinesh Desai, Nigel Mugamu, Nikki Kershaw, Munyaradzi Chiura, Tapfumanei Murove and Nicola Kershaw – to get their comments on the allegations of abuse of funds in the report. None of them came back to us on record, with those who wrote back asking that we don’t use their responses.

The Recovery Manager has however since released more information to provide additional details of his findings. The new information includes an apparent statement from Hivos confirming that they stopped funding the hub and blacklisted it because their own audit had disclosed irregularities.

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According to the report, the statement was given by Tanja Lubbers, the Regional Director of Hivos – Southern Africa on 15 March 2016. It reads:

“In August 2015, we informed Hypercube Board and management that we would conduct a financial inspection which would be conducted by an Independent Financial Consultant. The purpose of the inspection was to verify financial management systems in place as well as compliance with specific donor agreements and to make recommendations on areas requiring improvements. The inspection was undertaken in line with Article 7.1 of the Hivos General Conditions, which states; “Hivos is authorized to institute an audit of the implementing organization with a view of checking the use of the funds made available. The organization must cooperate in such an audit in every way necessary.”

The Financial inspection was undertaken and a briefing of the findings was tabled on 13 October 2015 (in the presence of the Hypercube Board and management representatives) and some of the findings revealed the existence of a number of Governance and Financial management irregularities affecting Hivos and other donors that had funded the organization. Following from this outcome, there was an extensive consultation with the control unit at the HivosGlobal Office which culminated in the decision to terminate the contract with Hypercube with immediate effect and to place the organization on a blacklist. This was duly communicated to the Board and management of Hypercube on 11 November 2016.

One of the main reasons for terminating the contract was related to the fact that Hypercube Board Management were informed about some of the anomalies by other donors but the organization had not taken timely steps to address the concerns.”

We contacted Hivos to get their comment on this new information but the email has not been responded to 6 days later.

Before this new information, when we asked Hivos about the matter, they admitted that their contract with Hypercube was terminated at some point, but did not provide the details of why this happened. Then, they responded within a day.

Confirmation that they terminated and blacklisted an organisation that was potentially abusing funds is actually positive for Hivos so it’s strange that they’d want to stay away from doing so. The problem however may be that other funder of the project, the US Embassy, have so far indicated they didn’t have major problems with what happened at Hypercube and how it ended. At least none deserving any blacklisting.

Hivos therefore might view admitting that there were serious fund abuse problems at Hypercube as unnecessarily upsetting the apple cart of Zimbabwe’s NGO funding ecosystem.

As usual we will post an update if they eventually respond.

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57 Comments

  1. Basil says:

    Why publish without substantive facts on what transpired?

    1. [email protected] says:

      How much fact do you really need.

      You do realise that if they were lying, they would be liable for prosecution?

      Hivos isn’t some tuckshop you run in your backyard.

      Why does it vex you so much that they are attempting to get to the truth?

      Isn’t transparency the ultimate ideal?

      Who would resist or fight against that except those that benefitted or seek to protect those that did?

      I say, Carry on TechZim!!!

      Well done!

      Get to the truth. We need to learn from other’s failures.

    2. Don says:

      They published a whole statement. What is not substantive about that? This is not the type of story that is developed in one go. You sound like you want to muzzle them

    3. Masi says:

      Hypercube co-founders lied to Hypercube Community Members and the world at large when they said that the reason they are closing shop is because of prevailing economic challenges. This was confirmed when a lead donor indicated that it terminated the contract with Hypercube and blacklisted it. As a result hypercube was left with no money and it closed shop and it lied that its closing because of economic challenges bedevilling the country when its because their contract was terminated due to abuse of funds. Because Hypercube was blacklisted the co-founders or anyone who traces his roots from that project like community members cannot be able to access funding opportunities from Hivos . As a result the actions of a few have affected the whole tech community in Zimbabwe. I therefore call upon the co-founders of Hypercube Hub to account for every cent they got from hivos, and payback whatever they abused. They must urgently convene a meeting with the former community members of the hub to kick start this process. in addition the co-founders must apologise for the wrongs they committed and for necessary actions they did not do. That is my contribution and hope to hear your contribution to this.

  2. Imi Vanhu Musadaro says:

    Apparently, you guys are obsessed with this story. So funds were abused! You didn’t need to be a rocket scientist to have figured that out a long time ago. What is the point of this chain of articles, in the end? If it was enlightening us about NGO fund abuse, I think we’ve got the point, let’s move onto something else.

    1. [email protected] says:

      It is you that is obsessed with shutting them up.

      And we don’t want to move onto something else.

      You can move on if you want to. Last time I checked, there is a variety of subjects matters on TechZim, the Hypercube’s abuse of funds is a mere fraction of the current topics.

      No one forces you to read on this topic.

      You may also want to look up the word “obsessing”. The ratio of this topic to the sum total of all current topics is a good starting point, if thinking is a problem.

      1. Sagitarr says:

        Right on [email protected] – thinking is a lot of hard work. Not everyone can do it and is good at it…and not everyone is capable of doing it.

      2. Imi Vanhu Musadaro says:

        By the same logic, no one forces you to read my comments 😉

        ob·sess (verb), past tense: obsessed; past participle: obsessed
        preoccupy or fill the mind of (someone) continually, intrusively, and to a troubling extent.

        I aptly chose that word! Not wanting to move on, with no good reason, is obsessing. And, it is troubling to some of us as readers. By your own measure, at the bottom of the article are 3 related articles, all written in March, meaning that the ratio IS high.

        Like you said, THINK!!

        1. [email protected] says:

          It feels like obsessing to the culprits like you.

          You’re taking it out on the wrong person, buddy! Take it out on yourself and your peers who chose to abuse funds meant for beneficiaries.

          Not my problem that it bothers you to be exposed like this.

          If the premise of that logic is based on mine, then isn’t it just recursive, then?

          You use my argument to justify yours….so…you do know that, you actually agree to what I’m saying…?

          Sill with me?

          1. Imi Vanhu Musadaro says:

            Again with attacking the commenter.

            Anyway, I didn’t take anything out on you. My comment was directed at TechZim, you opted to reply to my comment. When I reply yours, your feelings get hurt. Amazing!!

            As well, which funds did I abuse and how have I been exposed? You have now just been reduced to pointing fingers without a basis. Labelling me a culprit doesn’t make me guilty of crimes I never complicit to. I said funds were abused, we know that, so what next?

            THINK!!

            1. [email protected] says:

              The bottom line is Hypercube should be exposed for the frauds they are. Be it that I feel hurt, that I attack, that I think or do not think.

              All that is digression. Light banter.

              The meat of it is that Rinesh Desai, Nigel Mugamu, Nikki Kershaw, Munyaradzi Chiura, Tapfumanei Murove and Nicola Kershaw have been found to have been exposed to have been complicit or indirectly involved in the abuse of donor funds. And you are taking great lengths and effort to muzzle TechZim from talking about it, unwittingly generating more interest in the matter…

    2. Don says:

      You really must love staying in the dark. Would rather we always shine light on all those dark or semi-dark places. Techzim keep on shining the light! Nothing wrong with exposing corruption.

    3. eliphas says:

      You are the reason why there is so much corruption. There is a clear case of abuse of NGO funds designed for the tech community and you want to move on to other issues? What issues? Move on by yourself & leave Techzim to unearth corruption

  3. 3rd Party says:

    Geez…again with Hypercube @Techzim?

    1. Don says:

      See no evil, hear no evil, say no evil? What is wrong with setting a high standard and calling people to task for failing!

      1. Sagitarr says:

        In a country where the ruling class want to encourage us (proletariat) to applaud failure and ululate for mediocrity, i’m not surprised at all. It’s terrible to be “educated” and live in a country where debate is stifled, sometimes by those we actually classify as “educated” as well. What’s the point?

        1. Imi Vanhu Musadaro says:

          The question I pose to you the higher “educated” being is: What is the objective or change to be gotten from writting about this one issue repeatedly?

          Is it going to help ex-Hypercube members find another incubator? No! Is the money going to be returned? No! Is anyone going to be prosecuted? No! Is NGO funding going to stop? No! Is it going to get your idea/startup funding? No!

          They have been exposed, that’s good enough. Even if you could publish individuals bank statements and the whole money trail, the question stands: will anything change? Past, present or future…

          No solutions are being offered here. The ones who were affected the most, members of Hypercube are getting on with life, whilst you are crying about something you can’t change and most likely didn’t affect you. You must stop the #15BillionYedu mentality and be constructive.

          1. Masi says:

            Your comments just like others elsewhere also do not change anything apart from scaring constructive debate of the issue at hand. Your criticism of TZ about writing more on this issues does not make sense. You dont pay a cent to Techzim and your contribution to their revenue stream is 0.0000000000000000001% and you now want to dictate to them what to write or not write. If you subscribe to DSTV or cable which I know you do, have you ever complained that CNN is talking 24/7 about Trump or Syria. If you dont like the article you must read other articles relevant to you available on this blog, or you can also appear on the same platform you critize and post your critique as a guest post so that we can comment your ideas. Its now cleart that this blog post has touched a raw nerve based on the comments generated and probably people who had a near interest to the issues at hand startled debate on this same article.

            1. 3rd Party says:

              So….in your world…only those not-critical of TZ should comment here? So how then are you different from the government of the day?

              1. Masi says:

                Criticize the contents of the article not the author of the article. It seems you have issues with the author. Hypercube is blacklisted and you offer no remorse and instead attack the author. Is the author the one one who blacklisted Hypercube an issue that I know is why you are behaving the way you are doing.

            2. Imi Vanhu Musadaro says:

              What is constructive here? I’ve asked, and instead you are talking about me paying TechZim. Are there no ads here? Who sees and clicks those ads? Us the readers. If they stop writing quality articles, we will also stop coming, don’t be shallow. Anyway, no one dictated anything, I have no control over TechZim and can merely make suggestions. It is up to THEM in the end whether they think such an issue is worth persuing.

              Though I don’t subscribe to DSTV, it follows a totally different content provision model. You subscribe and pay for those channels, but cannot control what’s shown on that channel. It’s very different from the Internet. If you can’t see the difference, hopefully TechZim can pen something to school you. Your comparison should be to something like Video on Demand like Netflix. And Netflix does listen to critique and has adjusted content according in some instances, FYI.

              Again, by the same logic you put forth regarding articles here. If you don’t like these comments you can read other comments relevant to you or that agree with what you believe. It is now clear that these comments have touched a raw nerve with you, but it still doesn’t change my opinion. These Hypercube articles have offered nothing constructive!

              1. Masi says:

                Vakuita uchiuya zvakanaka, you have said that if Techzim does not write quality articles you stop coming to their site and their ads revenue drop?. So you honestly think that this hypercube stories are poor quality. If so can you point to me an article that have generated this much comments the whole of this week on Techzim. It is apparent that this article was read by many people and the same for all the other articles about Hypercube. As far as i know techzim are in business and they follow stories that are popular and hypercube stories were one of the popular stories so they did more articles as they are popular. unfortunately you number a few who dislike these articles for reasons best known by you, If you did not pick up one serious issues about these Hypercube articles I offer the following the following to start a debate with you. Hypercube co-founders lied to Hypercube Community Members and the world at large when they said that the reason they are closing shop is because of prevailing economic challenges. This was confirmed when a lead donor indicated that it terminated the contract with Hypercube and blacklisted it. As a result hypercube was left with no money and it closed shop and it lied that its closing because of economic challenges bedevilling the country when its because their contract was terminated due to abuse of funds. Because Hypercube was blacklisted the co-founders or anyone who traces his roots from that project like community members cannot be able to access funding opportunities from Hivos . As a result the actions of a few have affected the whole tech community in Zimbabwe. I therefore call upon the co-founders of Hypercube Hub to account for every cent they got from hivos, and payback whatever they abused. They must urgently convene a meeting with the former community members of the hub to kick start this process. in addition the co-founders must apologise for the wrongs they committed and for necessary actions they did not do. That is my contribution and hope to hear your contribution to this.

          2. 3rd Party says:

            #Agreed! What is the objective of REPEATEDLY writing about Hypercube with no new info?

            1. Masi says:

              What is your objective if you REPEATEDLY continue to read the “same” posts with “no new info”

          3. [email protected] says:

            We don’t want solutions. That isn’t the premise of exposing these guys.

            We want the truth. We want to know and distance ourselves from their behaviour.

            It seems to really irk you that this is discussed. Your attempt to muffle TechZim actually generates more interest, and we are even more keen to get everything out.

            If you want to help your buddies or (forbid it)yourself/es, you might want to tone it down and lose the stuttering roach drama.

            If anything, TechZim is demonstrating that there’s are some of us who will note side with abuse of funds given by donors that mean well.

            Not all of us are like Rinesh Desai, Nigel Mugamu, Nikki Kershaw, Munyaradzi Chiura, Tapfumanei Murove and Nicola Kershaw.

            We don’t want the Zim Tech community to be branded with the same brush that these guys have reflected on themselves.

            We will follow, we will respond, we will encourage TechZim!

        2. 3rd Party says:

          Your challenge already begins when you classify them and us in the lower class….hapana ma classes pano.

          1. Sagitarr says:

            By siding with fraudsters you risk being classified (grouped) as part of them them. One begins to wonder what kind of individual you are. Substitute theft or abuse of funds with physical violence, torture or murder and then look yourself in the mirror as you pursue your warped logic. I doubt that any of the fraudsters mentioned in this article are “getting on with their lives” as you put it – that is kind of hard when you have to look over your shoulder every time plus erasing tracks of digital impropriety is not as easy as posting anonymously here.

      2. 3rd Party says:

        The issue here is….do we have to read the same article 4 times now…saying exactly the same thing? Written by the same author? It’s beginning to look like a vendatta.

        Failing is good my friend Don…you have not failed? At all?
        I guess that’s why you’re trolling TZ comments….

        1. Masi says:

          Even if they post about Hypercube everyday its good. So long they tell the truth, I have no problems with it. Techzim just like any serious blogger make posts that his/her audience likes based on past and present statistics and the reason you or we probably continue to see these articles is that they are reaching so many people including you and probably the adverts are doing well too. Its on record that you have been on the forefront of demonising these articles and you offered no serious criticism of these articles or at least the better side of things about Hypercube. So its clear that you are a professional hired commentator.

    2. eliphast says:

      Are you one of the hypercube crooks? We want more details on their chicanery. Why should you want to shush the issue?

  4. Coolies says:

    No complains about reading day in day out about succession politics affecting the country but when it becomes to issues of gross affecting innovation we hear some people saying that one article is enough.

    1. Kb says:

      They are probably the ones who abused the monies

    2. 3rd Party says:

      I don’t complain because I don’t read those publications anymore. This is deja vu!

      1. Coolies says:

        so dont ready these hypercube articles anymore, as your comments have chased away robust and constructive debate about the subject matter. I suggest you read this article on techzim at http://www.techzim.co.zw/2017/04/zimbabwean-crowdfunding-campaign-raises-over-8000-to-sue-the-police/

        1. 3rd Party says:

          What ribust and constructive debate has been going on here about the content? Please show me…

          1. Masi says:

            because of your actions you will find robust and constructive debate offline, from people who have not commented because they were terrified by your comments.

  5. Apostle says:

    But guyz,
    who is this namelesss, faceless, shameless “recovery manger”? who hired him? and what dus he hv against hypercube? why now, why not 2015 when all this alegedly transpired? And why does TZ take him so seriously?

    1. Isaac says:

      all corrupt activities that happen both in the present and past are acts of corruption. Mhosva hairowe, we read it now because there was an audit done this year and no audit was done in 2015. So you mean that TZ must not be concerned by a bunch of thugs who flushed thousands of dollars down the drain?. All community members know the Recovery Manager. Just because you did not find the recovery manager on google does not mean he is non existent or what you were alleging. Google is not the Birth Certificate Office. Its apparent that you dont want to face the truth and you number those that have been cornered and you cant factual comment about the contents of the recovery manager but rush to make useless and imaginary theories on the personality of the recovery manager who after all genuine members of the hub are very fully aware of..

      1. Anonymous says:

        The REAL community members KNOW who YOU are. And we haven’t fallen for this charade. We have asked you to back off. You persist. Dig your own grave, we won’t visit it. You are not missed.
        Techzim, why humor this charlatan? Your credibilty is being brought down to his level. Why play his game? We know what he wants. And it’s not a good story.

        1. Isaac says:

          Still you have not brought any fact. Layout your facts so that we know your story. I think you were a community member of 2013 – 2015 probably that got a few crumbs. You are no longer a member because there are no more free crumbs in 2017. You already dug your grave and that’s why we don’t care or miss you too and its apparent in the reports.So leave TZ to do its job. We will not play your game of corruption. You are a toxic person who has poisoned the zim innovation scene and you don’t want the scene to be chlorinated as you prosper in those dirty waters.

          1. Pam says:

            @isaac you appear to be harbouring some contempt here. Are you close to this issue? what is the nature of your relationship with this woman?

      2. Apostle says:

        Iwewe ka!
        Quote: “because their own audit had disclosed irregularities”

        So, an official audit was done, yes?

        1. Isaac says:

          Hivos audited their own monies they provided to Hypercube and maybe the same with US Embassy. The recovery manager audited funds from all sources to hypercube and in addition about the programs that took place there. We know what concerns you….

    2. Pam says:

      Him? Simao is a woman’s name, surely? 😂😂😂

    3. eliphas says:

      You sound like one of the looters at hypercube. You don’t like the chicanery out in the open do you?

    4. eliphas says:

      Does it matter who it is? You are more concerned about the person doing the audit but not the crooks & that they abused grant money?? What kinda person are u?

  6. Anonymous says:

    When a slow news day becomes a fake news day.

    1. Don says:

      You haven’t said any single fact but you are very quick to allege fake news. Nigga Pliz. You sound like a paid commenter.

      1. Really? says:

        Pliz yourself!
        “Hivos therefore might view admitting that there were serious fund abuse problems at Hypercube as unnecessarily upsetting the apple cart of Zimbabwe’s NGO funding ecosystem.”
        Their statement does not say anything about abuse of funds. Conjecture and speculation, Techzim.

        1. Masi says:

          so you wanted it written in bold letters that nhingi akaba chakati, a corrupt person will never admit to be corrupt, the mere fact that the contract was terminated and they were blacklisted indicates abuse of funds for those who know how donors operate

        2. eliphas says:

          You are fool if you cant discern that money was abused at Hypercube Hub – a freaking idiot

  7. Real says:

    This is what happens when you are engaged in corrupt activities and do not cover both your physical and digital footprints. The co-founders are being punished for their sins because of the unforgettable nature of these web 3.0 tools we all love to use.

    1. 3rd Party says:

      Corruption irikupiko muri kungodaidzira corruption?

      Do you know what corruption is?

      1. Masi says:

        you continue to post here to defend your masters because they are corrupt, if they were not corrupt we were not going to read about these articles

  8. Really? says:

    The contents of this article don’t match the headline. When you subedit for clicks.

  9. Sagitarr says:

    When a company or organisation is black listed, that’s NOT positive news. Tell us more TZ. Flush out the fraudsters, wannabes so that they don’t poison the future.

  10. eliphas says:

    Hypercube Hub was destroyed by greedy so-called founders who had nothing to show for it excepts the fruits of their corruption plus the grave of the hub. SirNige, Irene, Munya, Tapson etc, you abused funds and destroyed a community hub. You must be in jail

Comments are closed.