Zambia arrests ex-minister for alleged corruption over British aid

London, May 15, 2019 (AltAfrica)-Zambian authorities on Wednesday arrested a former minister for alleged corruption that led Britain to suspend aid to the southern African country last year, an official said.

Emerine Kabanshi was arrested “for abuse of authority of office”, said a statement from Zambian anti-corruption and anti-money laundering agencies.

Ms Kabanshi was Community Development and Social Services minister when Britain alleged corruption in the disbursement of social grants.

She was released on bail and will appear in court at a date yet to be fixed.

Britain froze aid payments to Zambia last September, highlighting concerns of alleged fraud and corruption by the government of President Edgar Lungu.

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Former Zambian Community Development minister Emerine Kabanshi arrested for alleged corruptionBritain’s development ministry said it earmarked $63.1 million in aid for Zambia in the 2017-18 fiscal year, but did not indicate how much was withheld over graft.

Background

In September 2018, Zambia President Edgar Lungu sacked Community Development minister Emerine Kabanshi whose portfolio manages a social cash transfer scheme currently embroiled in fraud allegations.

The president also sacked Zampost postmaster general, whose company was tasked to make payments to household beneficiaries.

The sackings came just days after Britain announced it had suspended all bilateral funding to Zambia in light of potential concerns until audit results were known.

British High Commissioner Fergus Cochrane-Dyet posted on tweeter that: “#UKAid takes zero-tolerance approach to fraud and corruption.”

The suspension of the funding has been done by the Department for International Development (DfID), which supports a social cash transfer scheme which has allegedly been abused by Zambian officials (AFP)
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