THE joint team of investigators probing the plunder of national resources on Wednesday cautioned Austin Liato for diverting boreholes and hammer mills donated to Kaoma Central Constituency to his farm.
And the combined probe team comprising the Zambia Police, Drug Enforcement Commission and Anti Corruption Commission has recovered two of the stolen hammer mills from Liato’s Mwembeshi farm.
Spokesperson for the joint investigative team consisting of officers from the Zambia Police, DEC and ACC, Charity Munganga-Chanda said yesterday that Liato, a former labour minister, was cautioned on Wednesday.
“He was cautioned on Wednesday around 16:00 hours and he was cautioned over two offences; the first one being abuse of authority of office and the second one is theft,” Munganga-Chanda said.
“It is in connection with four hammer mills that were donated to Kaoma community in Kaoma Central Constituency.”
Munganga-Chanda said two of the hammer mills were donated by International Drug Company while the other two were donated by Konkola Copper Mines KCM to Kaoma Central where Liato was the member of parliament at the time.
Munganga-Chanda said investigations into the matter were ongoing.
And highly-placed ACC sources said the joint probe team recently seized two hammer mills from Liato’s farm in Mwembeshi area in Lusaka West.
“They were found at this farm,” the source said. “When this information was brought in, the people that were contracted to sink the boreholes were contacted and they took the police to where they sunk the boreholes.”
The sources said one of the seized hammer mills was identified as having been donated by International Drug Company and the other was identified as having been donated by KCM.
They said the recovered hammer mills have since been taken to the joint investigative team’s offices at the former Task Force on Corruption offices in Lusaka’s Woodlands area.
The sources said in total, Liato was being cautioned over four hammer mills and two boreholes.
Liato is already appearing before Lusaka principal resident magistrate Aridah Chulu over the K2.1 billion cash that was found buried at his Mwembeshi farm.
Director of Public Prosecutions Mutembo Nchito has taken up the prosecution of Liato’s K2.1 billion excavation case.