Former Labour and Social Security Minister Austin Liato
File picture:Former Labour and Social Security Minister Austin Liato

THE Nkoya Royal Council (NRC) has appealed to President Edgar Lungu to exercise his prerogative of mercy and pardon former Labour minister Austin Liato who was jailed for being in possession of property reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime.

The prosecution, led by former DPP Mutembo Nchito and the subsequent controversial confirmation of the sentence by the Supreme Court, has left national contention.

NRC chairman David Tamboka told the Daily Nation that even though Mr. Liato may have erred in his life and subsequently slapped with a two year jail term, there was need for the Head of State to have mercy on him because of the good things he did for the people of Western Province.

Mr. Tamboka observed that Mr. Liato had done a lot while he was member of Parliament (MP) in Kaoma and on that account there was need for the President to show lenience on him just like he had done to other prisoners who were serving sentences for various crimes.

He said Mr. Liato had acted in good faith in all his time as an MP and that he was among the few MPs in Western Province who had dedicated their lives to serving the people that they represented.

“As Nkoya Royal Council, we are appealing to President Edgar Lungu to pardon our Nkoya son Austin Liato who is in Mwembeshi Prison. This man was a hardworking MP and did a lot in Mankoyaland and Western Province as a whole.

“We won’t forget what he did in Kaoma and Nkeyema during his time as MP and we are therefore asking the President to show leniency on him and pardon him because of his past good record,” Mr. Tamboka said.

Mr. Liato was on July 23, 2013 convicted and sentenced to 24 months imprisonment with hard labour by the Lusaka Magistrate’s Court, which also ordered that his farm and the money which he had buried on the property, be forfeited to the State but the sentence was later quashed by the Lusaka High Court.

The State appealed to the Supreme Court on grounds that the High Court erred in law when it held that to prove reasonable suspicion under section 71, the prosecution had to show a link between the source of the money or the accused to possible criminal conduct among other grounds of appeal.

In June this year, Supreme Court judge Mumba Malila upheld Mr. Liato’s conviction by the magistrate.

Liato was charged with possession of property suspected to be proceeds of crime contrary to section 71(1) Act number 19 of 2011 of the laws of Zambia.

On November 24, 2011 in Lusaka, Liato had in his possession K2.1 million, which was reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime.

And President Edgar Lungu has arrived in Zambezi district of the North-Western Province to grace the 33rd Lunda-Lubanza ceremony of the Lunda speaking people.

The ZAF Aeroplane carrying President Lungu landed at the Zambezi airstrip around 10 hours.

And speaking to people who welcomed him when he arrived, President Lungu advised the Lunda and Luvale speaking people to live in peace and avoid bickering.

President Lungu appealed to the two chiefdoms to resolve their differences amicably and NOT resort to tribal hatred.

The president says he loves both chiefdoms adding that in two weeks time he will return to grace the Likumbi-Lyamize ceremony of the Luvale speaking people of senior Chief Ndungu.

President Lungu says there is no tribe that is bigger than Zambia hence the need for different tribes to co-exist.

The President is later expected to officiate at the Lunda-Lubanza ceremony before returning to Lusaka.

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23 COMMENTS

  1. Yes, the man did a lot; but Zambian Taxpayers also paid him a lot while he was MP and Minister.

    He was paid not to steal from the public.

    The NRC need to find another reason for pleading with the Head of State.

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    • How can you even contemplate pardoning Liato…truly laughable…but if the other fellas were pardoned anything is possible under this lazy empty tin in State House!!

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    • Don’t underrate Lungu’s eccentric nature. He may just pardon Liato to appease westerners in a bid to gain their vote. Of coarse that will be an action done for the wrong selfish reason and not in national interest.

      The struggle continues-Viva HH

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    • Dont have unprotected sex with anyone! unless you know them for sure!!! oh,, so they say. Its pay back time. PF used our nkoya people to fight our baroste kingdom,,, so it time for Nkoyas to use PF to protect their tax payer Austin Liato,,,,, Liato was the only tax payer to the nkoya council,,, dont say i didnt tell you.. signed uncle ndobo

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    • The funny thing is, there was no proof given that the money was stolen. And there was no complainant who came forward to claim the money was stolen from this account or that account. Not that I’m trying to exonerate Liato, I’m not. Just wondering, isn’t there something wrong with the system if we can jail a man for a suspicion that has not been proven???

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  2. Just pardon everyone in prisons as this executive power is now in the hands of a lazy drunkard bum called Edgar….its an utter joke…corruption is no longer a crime its the norm.

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  3. There are many people in jail who might have led exemplary lives before falling foul of the law… It would be nice to stop throwing away the key and bringing more deserving cases to public attention.

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  4. Is it that the president wil now be a tool to be used for personal interests? or is a jail meant for unpopular people?why i ask is that of late prominate people hav been released from jail but not any poor person. My caution is lungu stop the nosense you are abusing your authority of office

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  5. PARDON EVERYONE IN PRISON AS WE HAVE SEEN REAL THIEVES BEING PARDONED AND THOSE WHO ARE HARDCORE THIEVES ACQUITTED. EVERYONE IN PRISON MUST BE PARDONED AND WE START AFRESH ON A NEW SLATE. AFTER ALL THERE ARE MANY THIEVES IN GOVERNMENT AND PRIVATE INSTITUTIONS IN ZAMBIA AND THEREFORE, ZAMBIA WILL NEVER RUN SHORT OF WHO TO JAIL. VERY SOON THE CLEAN SLATE WILL BE FULL, BUT HOPEFULLY NOT WITH PETTY CHICKEN DRUM-STICK THIEVES.

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  6. hmmmm, ninshi nomba you are going to parson every one. its just two years please, let the thief rot. And masumba should be taken back to jail. these id!ots need to rot in there.

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  7. Don’t , let him languish to hell with him, let his money serve him , RB, knows a lot , they shared the money, go to hell Liato

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  8. Well the President set a stoopid precedent by pardoning a paedophile called Kanene so why shouldn’t he pardon other criminals with lesser offences?

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    • Wow, this is brilliant he can actually be the ambassador of kleptomania and steal within 48hrs of his pardon/release like his friend the ambassador of gbv and defilement but we would have to bring in Emmanuel Mwamba for damage control and bookings at lodges.

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  9. Ba LT What are you doing with your website kanshi? You are messing everything up. If it aint broke dont attempt to fix it. If you cant fix it just resort to your old design. There was nothing wrong with it.

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  10. Pardon our thief because he belongs to our tribe. The irony of the Zambian perception. Anyone is a thief but your tribes mate. A good MP, my foot, this guy was dishing out ma 500k whilst he was MP, I personally asked him to consider using that money for something else. He didn’t take heed. The chickens have come to roost.

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  11. Lets pardon every one and convert prisons into hotels, lodges and conference centres to boost tourism. Then when pardoned convicts repeat their offenses (rape, defilement, theft, murder, sodomy, burglary, assault, etc) the same NRC can appeal for additional pardons.

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  12. This is all such a big shame. Why should these fat cats enjoy presidential pardons when many ordinary Zambians languish in prison for minor offenses? The crimes of such criminals like Kafupi and Bwezani and all the accomplices have had a profound negative impact on this country. They should be the last to deserve any pardon.

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  13. Am happy that the nkoya has spoken for liato. He did a lot for kaoma.

    Liato having dociled in mankoya is a nkoya as a result. His father is mbunda amd mother is a mukwamwenyi. He is fsther was a teacher who was teansfered to kaoma and settled there upon retirement

    If the nkoya chiefdom is calling all people i their land as their children then i can only say…..hands up….for iteans even i have been qualified as a nkoya .

    This is the barotse spirit i should expect the chiefdom to promote

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  14. We are not serious people! So Liato should be pardoned because he did a lot for the people in Western Province? Sad that these traditional leaders don’t see anything wrong in a leader stealing tax payers’ money or receiving bribes? Where did all that property come from? His salary? Don’t mock us. He should be punished for theft by public servant.
    Has this royal council asked itself how Government officials accumulate wealth in a short time?

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  15. Typical wako ni wako style. I have always argued that thieving is across the tribal divide, though some in their idiocy pride in being called a thieving tribe, though it is only because most who steal use their language. Also, the number of people a thief shares loot with should not be criteria for Presidential pardon.

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