By Ngala Hansel, May 18, 2017
Cameroon Journal, Buea – Bandy Kinnaka, better known by her blog name Bandy Kiki, has said she’s not apologizing to any one for allegations she made about Tapang Ivo and Mark Bareta to the effect that the duo are using the Southern Cameroons struggle to raise funds to enrich themselves. Kinnaka was responding to questions from the Cameroon Journal about the veracity of the story she published on her blog.
In the story she alleged that Tapang and Bareta were siphoning funds raised for the struggle for personal aggrandizement.
“The sole foundation of my report,” she told The Cameroon Journal, “is based on the screenshots and they are nothing but authentic. Unfortunately as an independent blogger, I can’t name my sources or tell you how I got them.
For investigative journalism purposes, let’s judge the facts as per the screenshots, the bulk of the conversation on one of the screenshots happened on Tuesday May 2 around 9:45 PM (Belgian time)…”
Trying to affirm the veracity of her story and sources, she retorted; “Ask Mark if he got visitors from Essen that evening? The next question is, do Mark and Ivo have a mutual friend in Cameroon by name Derick? And does Derick know Mancho’s girlfriend? Next question is, do they have someone by the name of Daniel at the Cameroon embassy in Belgium?” If you get the answers to these questions, you will be able to know if these screenshots are true or false.” She stated.
Kinnaka would not explain how she got hold of the screenshots that purport to show Mark Bareta chatting with Tapang Ivo, but suggested “If you get the answers to the above questions, you will be able to know if these screenshots are true or false.”
She went on to tell us “Please ask Mark to provide screenshots of his conversation with Ivo between the hours of 21:00 to 22:00 PM on Tuesday the 2nd of May. Obviously if deleted the conversation between this hour won’t exist. If it does exist let him provide the screenshot for exactly 9:43 PM (Obviously it won’t exist)…”
Speaking further with our reporter, the blogger suggested she would go the extra mile to prove that her claims are true and was giving Tapang and Bara the opportunity to vindicate themselves from the smear that has recently tarnished their respective images. “I am ready to hire an accountant in Belgium to audit Mark’s bank accounts and in the USA to audit Ivo’s bank accounts. They can make things easy for everyone by providing legit BOOKS, accounting for all the money they have collected from the people of Southern Cameroons. Typing a few lines on Facebook and calling me names wouldn’t make the cut! I challenge Mark and Ivo to publish a balance sheet audited by an independent accountant which I am ready to pay for (they have one week to take the offer). If they come out clean, I will apologize to them and DELETE Kinnaka’s Blog, to end my career as a blogger. English Speaking Cameroonians are in a vulnerable situation and it is sickening to watch people take advantage of the situation” she posited.
Bandy Kiki came under a rocket fire of insults and criticism when she wrote recently on her blog “The money usually flows in, in thousands of US Dollars following numerous Facebook live outings by the said individuals to motivate donors in the name of moving “the winning” struggle forward. In the end, when the collections are
closed, the screenshots indicate, the money is then shared among the various stakeholders involved and in some cases a tiny fraction sent home to one or two persons to disguise the mafia surrounding the operations. That is how it becomes a matter of war, insults, setting-up of people and groups of people who go out of their way to call for accountability on the use of the public funds raised. Those asking for accountability as quickly named
enemies of the struggle and “agents of La Republique” and swept under the carpet or put up for public lynching on Facebook and other social media outlets.”
Mark Bareta was swift to react to the allegations in a Facebook post wherein he wrote;
“My Family and friends have brought into my notice an information posted by Bandi Kiki’s Kinnaka blog on Facebook titled ” How Mark Bareta andTapang Ivo Tanku turned the ‘STRUGGLE’ into a money making venture” with purported screenshots from Tapang Ivo. While, I thought it wise to wade it off as a big distraction to this struggle, I think the people of Southern Cameroons deserved that I, Mark Bareta immediately clear the air so that this negative energy should not consumed us as we move into our biggest 20th May Boycott. It should be noted that two other Cameroon newspaper reported on the same story. Let me state the facts and I think Southern Cameroonians can verify. I am only doing this so that Southern Cameroonians should not be distracted.
- Mark Bareta did not join this struggle in October 2016. The struggle has been part and parcel of my genetic makeup since I got into my teens.
- All issues concerning Gofundme have been public. I have run one Gofundme account whose report was made public months back and closed. Gofundme ran by Tapang Ivo has been public and never in the dark and he too has repeatedly updated his audience as far I know…”
Reacting to the screenshots, whose source Kinnaka would not reveal, Bara who has thousands of followers wrote;
“Now, with regards to the purported screenshots from Tapang Ivo Tanku shared by Kinnaka, I am seeing those conversations for the first time. Though the purported screenshots cannot tell us with whom Ivo is having the said discussion, let us assumed that those purported screenshots were the discussion between Mark and Ivo as Kinnaka Blog suggested. This means that such a screenshot could have come only from Mark Bareta or Tapang Ivo and no one else. I am not sure we are too dumb to share such if actually something like that took place. How did Kinnaka blog get hold of those screenshots if it is not made? Our Facebook accounts have not been compromised.
- Let us also assume Tapang had such a conversation with another person. What stops the said individual to reveal him/herself in a bid to show accountability and truth? The said individual should come forth and say, I had this conversation with Ivo and show proof of dates he/she had etc. Why pass it through Kinnaka blog which is known for writing against this struggle from day one? Your conclusions on those screenshots are good as mine”
When the Cameroon Journal asked Tapang Ivo for comments on the allegations Kinnaka made against him and Bara, his brief response was “Fake People. Ignore them,” and declined to comment any further.
For her part, Kinnaka, responding to a question per allegations that she’s an agent of the Cameroon Gov’t and duly acting on her behave, responded that she was not sponsored by the government.
“That is what ‘they’ say about most people who don’t agree with one thing or another concerning the struggle. A desperate attempt to discredit anyone asking questions or someone with another approach. I have not received any such sponsorship against the struggle.”
At press time, she was yet to get back to the Journal with a response as to why she chose to run the story at such a sensitive moment in the struggle. We’ll keep following that story closely as more developments unfold.