Doubts have emerged on the sincerity of a Twitter user who had last week requested Kenyans to donate funds for ‘her young daughter’s’ treatment in hospital.
Nairobi News has learned that the Twitter user, by the name Mary Wanyika, took advantage of generous Kenyans by posting pictures she had googled.
In her request, Ms Wanyika said that her baby had a rare condition called Spina bifida and that she needed Sh320,000 for myelomeningocele closure to avoid paralysis.
“I don’t have a paybill number yet but this is my personal number 0717054575 (Mary Wanyika),” she posted her details.
But a simple search on the internet revealed that the pictures she shared were taken in 2012 in Zambia by an organisation called Cure.org.
The pictures were of a 10 day-old girl born with the rare condition.
Spina bifida is a birth defect that occurs when the spine and spinal cord don’t form properly.
Ms Wanyika has since deactivated her social media account and has also switched off the mobile phone number that she used to collect donations.
The Twitter account had in several tweets thanked Kenyans who heeded her appeal.
Donors who tried to reverse their donations after the fraud was exposed were shocked to find that the amounts had been withdrawn.
A global survey in 2018 by UK-based Charities Aid Foundation had ranked Kenyans amongst the 10 most generous nations in the world.
Kenya was ranked eighth (out of 146 countries) in terms of its three key criteria – helping a stranger, donating money and volunteering for good causes.
It was the only African country in the top ten.