Britain freezes aid to Zambia over graft fears

2018-09-18 20:12
Edgar Lungu (File: AFP)

Edgar Lungu (File: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Britain has suspended aid payments to Zambia over concerns of alleged fraud and corruption by the government of President Edgar Lungu who has faced graft allegations from within his own party.

Britain's High Commissioner to Lusaka Fergus Cochrane-Dyet confirmed the suspension of funding in a tweet posted late on Monday.

"Correct that UK frozen all bilateral funding to Zambian government in light of potential concerns until audit results known," Cochrane-Dyet wrote in a tweet. "UK Aid takes zero-tolerance approach to fraud and corruption."

Britain's development ministry says on its website it earmarked $63.1m in aid for Zambia in the 2017-18 fiscal year.

The amount that has been suspended is unknown.

Former foreign affairs minister Harry Kalaba, who resigned his position in January this year alleging "swelling" official corruption, said Britain's decision proved there was a problem.

"I feel vindicated. The very first time I resigned and when I spoke people felt that I was speaking politics," said Kalaba who is still a lawmaker in Lungu's ruling party.

"But now the foreign community is saying what I said when I resigned.

"What is sad is that the innocent souls will suffer."

Last week, the London-based Africa Confidential publication said misuse of donor funds had pushed Finland and Sweden to freeze aid, while Britain was demanding the return of $4m that was allegedly embezzled.

In response to Britain's move, Lungu called for an investigation into misuse of funds launched four months ago to submit its findings.

"I want a speedy and decisive investigation into the matter to establish the status of the disbursement of the (funds)," Lungu said in a statement.

"Whatever cases of abuse requiring criminal investigations may arise, such cases must be reported to relevant agencies - and where administrative action is required I want to see prompt action taken".

Lungu's office added that preliminary findings suggested $3.9m was still owed to the intended beneficiaries across the aid-dependent country.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook


Read more on:    edgar lungu  |  zambia  |  southern africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

SQL Reporter

Cape Town
Communicate Cape Town IT
R10 000.00 - R12 000.00 Per Month

Product & Pricing Actuary

Cape Town
Goldman Tech Resourcing
R850 000.00 - R1 000 000.00 Per Year

Sales Representative in george

Western Cape
Roots Sales and Merchandising
R3 000.00 Per Month Per Month

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.