$412,000 Found Buried In Zambia’s Former Labour Minister’s Farm

Zambian investigators are hunting for an ex-minister at whose farm they dug-up about $412,000. According to a state-run newspaper Zambia Daily Mail newspaper, Inspector General of Police Martin Malama has urged former Labour minister Austin Liato to “come out of hiding”.

A combined team of Zambia Police, Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) and Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) last Thursday raided the farm of former Mr Liato – about 45km west of the capital Lusaka – where they found Zambian Kwacha 2.1 billion (about $412,000) buried underground.

“He should hand himself over to the team of investigators now and come out of hiding because this is not helping matters. It is not helping his situation at all,” the Zambia Daily Mail quoted Dr Malama.

“We need to find out from him personally where he could have gotten the K2.1 billion found at his farm. It’s not a secret that we are looking for him.” The police chief said Mr Liato should have been questioned earlier, but he had told the investigators that he was sick and “we understood, but now he must come because we are looking for him.”

The former ruling party – the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) – over the weekend suspended Mr Liato from the party and his portfolio as chairperson for labour in the party’s supreme organ – the national executive committee.

President Michael Sata had said the “Mafia-style” under which this money was hidden raised serious questions about how the same was acquired.


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