Ex-Zambia labour minister arrested

2012-07-24 20:36
Austin Liato (File)

Austin Liato (File)

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Lusaka -Zambia's former labour minister Austin Liato was on Tuesday arrested on charges of abuse of authority, the spokesperson for the government joint investigations team Christopher Chibanku said.

Liato who served as minister in the administration of former leader Rupiah Banda was in May jailed for two years after a court found him guilty of concealing $400 000 found buried on his farm in December last year.

He has however appealed the sentence.

"The government joint investigations team has arrested former labour minister Austin Liato on two separate counts of abuse of office," Chibanku told journalists.

He said that on the first count Liato abused his office of authority in June 2010 as a member of Parliament for the Kaoma Central constituency and as labour minister by facilitating the sinking of two boreholes at his farm in Mwembeshi.

The boreholes were meant to be sunk in Kamoma Central constituency," he added.

"On the second count Liato on dates unknown but between 14 May 2010 and 19 May 2010 did facilitate the diversion of two hammer mills which were meant for the people of Kaoma district."

Liato is to appear in court on Wednesday and has been released on police bail.

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