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Reverend David Snuggs returns to work after allegations over charity St Thomas' Handshake to Kware
A HAMPSHIRE vicar who withdrew from his post after claims were made about the charity of which he was chairman will return to work today, the Daily Echo can reveal.
The Rev Canon David Snuggs voluntarily stepped down from his ministry at St Thomas’ Church in Fair Oak after allegations were made about the work of the charity St Thomas’ Handshake to Kware, which he had led since 1997.
More than £600,000 had been raised for the fund by scores of community groups, uniformed organisations and schools in Hampshire to help support those in desperate need in the slums of Nairobi in Kenya.
The cash supports a clinic and a project building a school.
As revealed by the Daily Echo in November, the Charity Commission launched a probe into the charity’s affairs after claims were made about aspects of its work.
At the time, the trustees of the fund released a statement to say they had severed links with the figurehead of the charity in Kenya, Benn Mugisha, who had been vital in setting it up in 1995.
However, they refused to reveal what the allegations against Mr Mugisha were, or what sort of problem there had been with the work he wasdoing onbehalf of the fund.
Following the six-month probe,the Charity Commission says it is taking no further action against the charity, concluding the trustees acted properly when the allegations came to light.
A spokesman said: “Our role is focused on the trustees’ roles and responsibilities and on assessing the concerns regarding the administration of the charity’s activities in Kenya, the charity trustees fully co-operated with the Commission and we are satisfied they took proper steps to address concerns.”
However, he added advice had been given over the administration, governance and financial controls of the charity.
The work of the charity remains suspended, according to a statement from the trustees who said they wanted to discuss its future with the Rev Snuggs on his return from work. He has stood down as chairman according to the latest reports published by the Charity Commission and been replaced by Danny Stupple. Paul Johnson, the head of The Kings School in Fair Oak has also been added to the board, says the report.
The Rev Snuggs says in his statement within the report the challenge will be to find a successor for Mr Mugisha who no longer has the right skill-base for overseeing the work the charity is funding including building a school.
The Rev Snuggs’ return to work has been welcomed by the Diocese of Winchester who also carried out their own probe into the claims.
The Bishop of Winchester, the Rt Rev Tim Daykin, said: “I am pleased to announce the thorough investigations relating to the Rev Canon DavidSnuggsandhisinvolvement with the registered charity St Thomas’ Handshake to Kware have been brought to a satisfactory conclusion.”
The Daily Echo has been unable to contact Mr Mugisha for a comment.