The UK government has frozen direct financial aid to the Zambian government after concerns about widespread corruption.
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 £48m (R936m) 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 governing 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 (R59m) that was allegedly embezzled.
Lungu’s spokesperson Amos Chanda said that Britain had told Zambia it would suspend support to the country’s development and education ministries.
“It is an exaggeration to say they have frozen bilateral aid,” he said. “They did not officially communicate but we summoned the High Commissioner, who confirmed.”
more recommended stories
Kissing Matt Hancock’s United Nation Africa job offer withdrawn
Former British health secretary Matt Hancock.
Rwandan president pardons former Prime Minister jailed for issuing fake cheques
President Paul Kagame has granted pardon.
Nigeria to bar unvaccinated government workers from offices
Nigerian government has announced that government.
U.K. Former Health Secretary Handed Africa Role After Covid Failings
UK former health secretary Matt Hancock,.
Joe Biden, Kenyatta to hold White House meeting
President Joe Biden will host Kenyan.
International court sides with Somalia in sea dispute with Kenya
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The International.
Mozambique rebel leader killed in battle
A rebel leader in Mozambique has.
European Union envoy sorry for calling Liberian capital city ‘dirty’
The head of the European Union.