today's Pick
Red Cross in financial crisis, workers not paid
Publish Date: Feb 27, 2014
Red Cross in financial crisis, workers not paid
  • mail
  • img
newvision

By Chris Kiwawulo     

The Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) is in a financial crisis following the suspension of aid by donors, New Vision has learnt.


As a result of the financial hardships at the humanitarian agency, URCS staff members have not got salaries since January, one of the senior employees who preferred anonymity confirmed.

“Ever since the donors suspended support towards Red Cross in September, we have been in financial hardships. Even the salaries between September and December came in late because management had to look here and there,” the employee revealed.

Sources said donors are waiting for results from a forensic audit into URCS activities and a progress report from interim Secretary General, Ken Odur.

According to sources, Odur was given six months to show change and progress at URCS before donors could rethink their position regarding financing assistance towards the humanitarian agency.

When contacted, URCS spokesperson Catherine Ntabadde could neither confirm nor deny the crisis but referred New Vision to the Secretary General (Odur). Odur’s aide who picked the phone said her boss was locked up in a meeting and she promised that he would get back, although he had not by press time.

A team of auditors from PricewaterhouseCoopers based in Geneva, Switzerland, arrived in the country in December 2013 to conduct a forensic audit of URCS. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) engaged PricewaterhouseCoopers to carry out the audit.

The two-member team was tasked to investigate URCS’ activities following reports of smuggling and tax evasion that rocked the humanitarian agency recently. The two Auditors; Beat Weber, a Senior Manager and Andre Caria, a Senior Assurance officer are in Uganda to a conduct a scoping audit.

The audit follow Police and Uganda Revenue Authority’s finding of suspected smuggled goods at the home of former URCS secretary General, Michael Nataka, in Munyonyo. Nataka, who has since been dismissed, was replaced by Odur. Odur was the deputy secretary General for Kenyan Red Cross Society.

Several URCS senior staff and board members were also sacked. URCS board chairman Robert Ssebunya was also replaced by Kajara County Member of Parliament, Stephen Tashobya, who is the interim Central Governing Board chairman.

The board dismissed suspended finance director Sarah Ndegemu and her deputy Geoffrey Wepondi while Richard Amadra, the undersecretary general in charge of institutional development was pardoned after he reportedly pleaded with the board.
 
According to investigations, the sacked URCS senior staff members were accused of forgery, improper use of the organization funds, expenditures without authority, inter-borrowing without authority and flouting procurement procedures.       
 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Zoo lets the brave tickle a lion
Dare ya, double dare ya, to tickle a lion''s belly. Or touch his menacing claws....
Burkina Faso leader defiant after violent day
Burkina Faso''s President Blaise Compaore on Thursday refused to give up power but called off a state of emergency imposed after a violent uprising against his 27-year rule that saw parliament set ablaze....
Otafiire to media: Stop harassing Mbabazi
Justice minister Maj. Gen. Kahinda Otafiire says the press should stop what he termed as “harassing” former prime minister Amama Mbabazi....
Burkina parliament set ablaze in protests over president
Angry demonstrators went on the rampage in Burkina Faso on Thursday, setting parliament ablaze in a surge of violence that forced the government to scrap a vote on controversial plans to allow President Blaise Compaore to extend his 27-year rule....
Graca Machel wants woman to succeed Museveni
Uganda should have a female president when President Yoweri Museveni retires, South African former first lady has said....
Ebola cases slow in Liberia, but too soon to celebrate: WHO
The rate of new Ebola infections appears to be slowing in hard-hit Liberia, but the crisis is far from over, according to the World Health Organization....
Should the absence of bride price prevent couples from wedding?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter