U.K. Suspends Aid to Zambia Amid Corruption Investigation

(Bloomberg) -- The U.K. has suspended aid to Zambia’s government while investigations into fraud allegations take place, according to the High Commissioner of the southern African nation’s historically biggest donor.

Britain has “frozen all bilateral funding,” Fergus Cochrane-Dyet said in a post on his Twitter account. “UKAid takes zero-tolerance approach to fraud & corruption.”

The U.K. Department for International Development in June suspended funding to Zambia’s social cash-transfer program, which distributes welfare grants, when it received reports about potential misuse of funds, it said in an emailed statement.

President Edgar Lungu gave Roland Msiska, the secretary to the cabinet, a week to “take decisive action to curb all malpractices in the administration of the social cash-transfer program,” he said in a statement Tuesday. Preliminary information indicates 43.8 million kwacha ($4 million) of the program remains unpaid to beneficiaries, he said.

Yields on Zambia’s $1 billion Eurobonds due 2024 rose 64 basis points to a record 17.7 percent on Tuesday.

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