By Chris Kiwawulo
The Toyota Tundra pick-up which investigators had impounded from former Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) secretary general, Richard Nataka’s home in Munyonyo belongs to Red Cross.
According to data from Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), URCS is the registered owner of the black 5700CC petrol engine Tundra which singer Bobi Wine a.k.a Robert Kyagulanyi claimed from Police.
On Wednesday, Kyagulanyi drove the Tundra with a red registration number plate UAT 416K from the Criminal Intelligence and Investigations Department (CIID) at Kibuli amid protests from the URCS.
The Tundra had been parked at Kibuli after it was impounded on suspicion of tax evasion. The Tundra was part of a consignment of suspected smuggled goods that a team of Police and URA officials found at Nataka’s home.
New Vision has learnt that the Tundra’s Bill of Lading had URCS as the importer.
URCS interim secretary general Ken Odur protested the release of the vehicle to Kyagulanyi, saying Red Cross was not given reasonable opportunity to object and ascertain the claim of right being asserted by the musician.
“The car was imported using the Uganda Red Cross name and money, so, it belonged to URCS.
We don’t know why Bobi Wine claimed it and why the Police released it to him,” Odur told New Vision in an interview.
Sources said the CIID officer, Abbey Muhoozi, who was in charge of the case involving the vehicle released it to Kyagulanyi.
“That officer told us that he had got orders from the Inspector General of Police (Gen. Kale Kayihura) to release the vehicle,” Odur said.
Attempts to get a comment from Police were futile.
Odur therefore requested the government to assist URCS by all lawful means to recover possession of and resolve the issue of the right of ownership of the motor vehicle.
Earlier, Nataka admitted there was a vehicle found in his compound, but said it belonged to a city businessman he did not name then.
When contacted, Kyagulanyi said the car belongs to him and not URCS.
“I was working with Red Cross for seven years as their goodwill ambassador. I imported that car using my money and since I was working with them, I asked for a lift in their container. I paid sh53m in taxes for that car.”
He said Nataka was his personal friend alongside many other Red Cross employees.
“Is there anything wrong being a friend of a former secretary general? Red Cross even owes me sh43m but when I talked to that new secretary general (Odur), he said that was trash.”