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Red Cross writes to Museveni over NatakaPublish Date: Jan 23, 2014
Red Cross writes to Museveni over Nataka
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Richard Nataka (L) was suspended from URCS at the height of investigations into suspected smuggled goods. PHOTO/Eddie Ssejjoba
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By Chris Kiwawulo & David Lumu                           

The Red Cross has written to President Museveni, seeking an appointment to brief him about the challenges that have engulfed the humanitarian organisation since October when Richard Nataka’s clandestine racket was busted.

The URCS Interim Central Governing Board chairman, Stephen Tashobya, said that the Red Cross president, Bishop Tom Okello, wrote to Museveni, and that any time the Red Cross team would brief Museveni.

“We think the President is entitled to know what is taking place.  We also want to brief him about the challenges that the Red Cross is facing,” he said.

This development was announced on Wednesday after the former Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) secretary general Richard Nataka failed to appear before the interim disciplinary committee over tax evasion and smuggling allegations.

Tashobya told New Vision that the final decision on whether to dismiss Nataka or not would be done by the Red Cross Board on Thursday (today) at 10am local time (EAT).

In a notice published in the press on Tuesday this week, Red Cross asked Nataka to appear or they reach a verdict in his absentia, but he never showed up.

“We have done all we could to interact with Nataka but unfortunately we have not succeeded. We are compiling a report to the Red Cross Board, which will come up with a final verdict on Thursday,” Tashobya said.

New Vision has established that the report of the Interim Probe Committee has recommended for the dismissal of Nataka from Red Cross, although Tashobya insists that the final decision lies in the hands of the board.

Tashobya, who is also the Kajara County MP, noted that “the board will adopt or reject our report”.

Nataka was recently suspended from URCS at the height of investigations into suspected smuggled goods that Police and Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) found at his home in Munyonyo, a Kampala suburb.

The URA officials met with the Tashobya probe committee and submitted a report on the matter while police investigations into the saga are ongoing.

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