A Pakistani national, Shakil Ahmed Ansari, who is operating a non-governmental organization (NGO) named the Pakistan Social Community was yet to register it at the Ministry of Home Affairs or at the Pakistan Embassy, The Guardian on Sunday can reveal.
The Pakistan Social Community has been in operation for about three years, collecting money from local and international organisations and individuals for its activities.
Shakil Ahmed Ansari confirmed in an interview that his organisation is not registered but said plans are underway to register it. He was, however, quick to say that he is surprised that some people are asking for its registration now when the organization has been doing a lot of charity activities in the country, and top government officials and the Pakistani ambassador to the country have been attending its activities.
An official at the Pakistan embassy who opted not to be named said recently there have been many people asking the embassy on the whereabouts of their money which they donated to the organisation.
The source said Shakil Ansari accompanied President Jakaya Kikwete to Turkey last year and while there, Ansari collected money from some Turkish people for his community outfit, and people who donated the money had to ask the embassy if the money has been used for intended purposes.
He said the embassy could not provide them with information on the donated money as the organization was not registered with them.
Ansari sent text massages to many Palestinians living in the country and other prominent people asking them to donate money because the President was set to visit a primary school which his organisation runs in Kibaha district, known as Pakistan Primary School.
“We have been receiving a lot of complaints from different individuals whom Mr Ansari has been asking them to donate money for activities of his organisation, while it is not known to us,” the official stated.
The Pakistan Embassy is not opposed to Mr Ansari having an organization in the country but it should be registered by the government for transparency and verifying that it is accountable, he said. Currently the embassy only recognises the Pakistan Welfare Community which is registered at the embassy and by the government, he elaborated.
“We want him to register with our embassy and the government so that it is accountable, as many people have been donating their money to the organisation in ways that cannot be verified as to how much it was, and how much money has been used for what purpose,” he emphasized.
Asked for response about lack of accountability and transparency in collecting money from individuals, Ansari brushed off the criticism saying they come about because he wrote the ambassador of Pakistan in the country, Tajammul Altaf, demanding explanation on his involvement in the deportation of two Pakistanis then working in the country.
“I was not very surprised with this. I know it will come one day. You see all these matters are coming up because of the labour dispute which to me I thought it would be settled amicably,” he said adding that the ambassador himself has been attending functions.
In a related development, Ansari who is also a member of the Lions Club has been accused of using the media to advance his personal agenda.
A letter written by Lions Club regional chairman Hyderali Gangji to all Lions advised Mr Ansari to refrain from using the media for his personal ends and also asked him to stop using disrespectful words against fellow and senior lion members.
Gangji was referring to a picture which appealed in the daily newspaper, The Guardian of January 31 which has a caption indicating that Ansari is the chairman of Lions Club. However, Ansari said it was not his mistake but the paper which he said doesn’t know the protocol of Lions Clubs.
A letter written by Gangji on 7 February 2012 to Ansari and in our possession reads, “The Disrespective words used by you against the senior and respected leader of the Mulltiple District 411, Pmcc / Pdg Lion Abdul Majeed Khan demands an immediate written apology.”
It further said The Lions in the District 411B Tanzania and Uganda would not tolerate any fault or misbehaviour to any Lion Leader, and as a matter of fact for any fellow Lion.
Ansari in an interview said he apologised for his action and asked the Lions Club should do to him whatever it pleases them.
According to a letter written by him on 9 February 2012 Ansari said, “You are my leader and elder Sir. I just want say that in the respect that you are right and I am wrong Sir, please forgive me. No argument will come from me of you. I want peace for myself and please grant me it. Let’s keep the harmony,” said part of the letter, adding that “I want my life for even one day as Lion better than a wolf who lives a hundred years.”