Zambia police to probe fraud reports by civil society organizations of UK funds

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Police in Zambia on Monday confirmed that a probe has been instituted into alleged fraud by some local civil society organizations on funds provided by the British Council meant for observance of last year’s general elections.

The funds were provided under one of the United Kingdom’s funded programs called Zambia Accountability Project which runs from 2014 to 2018.

Last week, reports emerged that the British Council had reported three local civil society organizations for alleged theft of about 3.5 million U.S. dollars.

The theft was uncovered following a forensic audit, with the British government reporting the matter to the police ad demanding refunds of the money.

But the named organizations dismissed the reports as mere speculations.

Zambia Police Spokesperson Esther Mwaata-Katongo said the police have received a formal report from the British Council on the suspected fraud which was reported on November 9, 2017.

The police, she said, have since opened an inquiry file in the matter.

The fraud is believed to have occurred between January 1, 2016 and September 1, 2017, she added.

In 2016, the governments of Finland and Sweden sought refunds of their monies after an audit of a farmers’ body, the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU), established gross misapplication of the funds provided. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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