1.19.2013

Fired raising Malawi employee spreads lies about Madonnas success

She's the latter, according to Malawi's Education Minister Eunice Kazembe. Kazembe says that Madonna claims she built ten schools for the children of Malawi, when the actual number of schools built by Madonna was zero schools. I don't completely understand why our gal Madge—who is clearly dedicated to philanthropy (you can tell because she never stops yelling about it) and has eleventy bazillion extra dollars cluttering up the den (you can tell because it's Madonna)—would bother lyingabout building schools instead of just, you know, building schools. But, that said, last year the government of Malawi accused Madonna of "being more concerned with her 'propping up her global image' than bettering the impoverished African nation." This, it must be said, is a tasty burn indeed. So, who knows.

"The schools Raising Malawi claims to have constructed were already in existence," Kazembe said Thursday. "Raising Malawi only built 10 classroom blocks and not schools. People should know the difference between the two."

But officials from Raising Malawi told The Huffington Post exclusively that Kazembe's statements are unmerited, saying they are "shocked" by Kazembe's comments.

Meanwhile, an insider says the whole thing is the result of bureaucratic infighting and Madonna's getting the shaft:

A source close to the situation, who asked to remain anonymous while still working with the Malawi government, said he believes that Kazembe's statements came as a result of the recent appointment of Malawi President Joyce Banda's sister, Anjimile Oponyo. She now serves as the principal secretary for the Ministry of Education but previously worked with Madonna as CEO and head of the state-of-the-art girls' school the singer was commissioning in Malwai. The school was allegedly never built because of what a report from the affiliated Global Philanthropy Group — a company that works with organizations to "implement highly-leveraged philanthropic strategies" — said were Oponyo's "weak management skills." She was thusly fired from the project. Oponyo's dismissal is what the source believes may have played a role in Kazembe's recent statements about Madonna inflating the success of her latest projects.

To the children of Malawi: as soon as these women stop yelling at each other, I hope you receive hella schools. [HuffPo]

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