Head of Uganda Red Cross Society Implicated in Smuggling

October 12, 2013 4:27 am0 comments by:

Kampala-The head of the Uganda Red Cross Society-URCS, Michael Richard Nataka, is in trouble over allegations of smuggling and tax evasion.

Nataka’s trouble stems from suspected smuggled goods that the police, recently seized from his residence in Munyonyo, a Kampala suburb.

Officials of the Uganda Revenue Authority-URA and the Police stormed his residence and seized suspected contraband goods estimated at more than 800 million shillings.

The officials allegedly found the items being offloaded from the vehicles.

According to the police, the goods that were mainly construction materials had been disguised as property of the Uganda Red Cross Society to evade taxes.

Uganda Red Cross Society is by law exempted from paying taxes on its items destined for humanitarian activities.

Some of the impounded goods include plasma television sets, computers, refrigerators, disjointed beds, sofa sets, chairs, tables, umbrellas and interior decoration items.

The government has reacted angrily by calling for the removal from office of the Secretary General of Uganda Red Cross Society from office.

Musa Ecweru the State Minister for Disaster Preparedness in the Office of the Prime Minister has written to the central governing board of Uganda Red Cross Society calling for the interdiction of Richard Nataka the Secretary General.

Minister Ecweru states in his letter that the Secretary General, Richard Nataka should stay out of office pending the outcome of the investigations that are being carried on him over allegations of smuggling and tax evasion.

But the Uganda Red Cross Society has declined to heed to the Minister’s advice of suspending the Secretary General from office.

“For the Honorable Minister to state that he will consider disassociating himself from the national society if his advice is not heeded to is not only grossly patronizing but a failure to honor the auxiliary role of the national society and to respect the said fundamental principles and Uganda Red Cross takes no exception to this” writes Robert Ssebunya the Chairman of Uganda Red Cross in an email sent to the Continent Observer.

The country’s Inspectorate of government is also separately investigating reports that the Secretary General of Uganda Red Cross Richard Nataka has been using his private company to procure services for Uganda Red Cross.




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