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Zambia politician demands $3m over corruption claims

Zambia’s main opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema has demanded $3m (£2.3m) from former finance minister Edith Nawakwi after accusing her of falsely linking him to corruption during the privatisation of state agencies in the 1990s.

Ms Nawakwi, now an opposition politician, alleged that Mr Hichilema had used his position as a consultant during the privatisation programme to amass wealth.

Mr Hichilema has denied any wrongdoing.

His lawyers have written to Ms Nawakwi to demand an apology and a retraction by Thursday, failing which they will go to court.

The lawyers said the allegations had damaged Mr Hichilema’s reputation as a businessman and as someone who aspires to be Zambia’s president.

“Our client is amenable to receiving reasonable proposals as to how you intend to settle the said sum,” their letter to Ms Nawakwi said.Ms Nawakwi has not yet responded to the demand.

She previously vowed to continue talking about Mr Hichilema’s role in the privatisation exercise.

Information minister and government spokesperson Dora Siliya has said the government was “disturbed” by the allegations and was “studying” the matter.

 

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