26 October 2012

Over recent weeks a number of allegations have been made concerning the administration of donated funds and goods at Howard Hospital, Zimbabwe. In response, Salvation Army leaders sent a fact -finding team to Zimbabwe with a remit to examine the processing and use of donations to the hospital and to report to the Chief of the Staff as soon as was practicable.

The team (comprising three qualified officers – two from International Headquarters, London and one from Canada) have presented their findings. The Salvation Army is able to report that

  • there is no sign that donated funds have been diverted from their original purpose
  • donated goods, falsely reported to have gone missing, are all accounted for

At the same time, International Health Services Co-ordinator, Major (Dr) Eirwen Pallant, conducted a clinical review reporting that while some services had declined basic medical services were still available. The former Chief Medical Officer at the hospital, Captain (Dr) Paul Thistle is in the process of receiving a new appointment in his home territory of Canada.

Speaking on behalf of International Headquarters Commissioner Amos Makina, himself a Zimbabwean, states that ‘any allegations of wrongdoing on the part of Territorial Commander Vinece Chigariro are proven to be unfounded. The Commissioner has not used donated funds for personal use or for the day to day running of Zimbabwe Territorial Headquarters.’

The Salvation Army is pleased to confirm that the decision to appoint the present head of the Salvation Army in Zimbabwe, Commissioner Vinece Chigariro, as leader in the Kenya East Territory, was taken some months before any concerns about the Howard Hospital were raised. These matters are not related. Commissioner Barry C. Swanson, Chief of the Staff, said: ‘Commissioner Chigariro has the background and experience to be the leader of one of the largest territories in the Salvation Army, Kenya East, and we are praying for God’s blessing on her ministry there.’

Howard Hospital is highly valued by the Salvation Army which remains committed to the continuing development of health services in that community.