Zambia Fires Minister Over Alleged Misuse of Funds

(Bloomberg) -- Zambian President Edgar Lungu fired Emerine Kabanshi as minister of community development and social welfare after donors including the U.K. and Sweden suspended aid to the country amid allegations of fraud at the department.

Kabanshi was replaced by Olipa Mwansa Phiri, presidential spokesman Amos Chanda said by phone Wednesday from the capital, Lusaka.

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. Finland and Ireland have also frozen funding for the program, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency said in a statement on its website Tuesday.

U.K. High Commissioner Fergus Cochrane-Dyet on Monday said his government had “frozen all bilateral funding” after preliminary reports that almost 44 million kwacha ($4 million) of the program hasn’t been paid to beneficiaries.

Lungu has ordered an investigation headed by Secretary to the Cabinet Roland Msiska.

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