|FILE: Former Minister of
Three former ministers in the MMD government have been
swindled out of US$12,000 in a fake gold purchase deal.
spokesperson Elizabeth Kanjela and sources confirmed the trio's misfortune in
the failed transaction.
The three involved are former minister of labour
former deputy minister of defence Joseph Mulyata and former minister of Western
Province Richard Mwapela.
Kanjela said the gold purchase transaction
happened around November 15, 2011 at Marble Inn Lodge in
"It involves the three former ministers Richard Mwapela,
Mr Mulyata and Mr Liato. They were swindled of about US$12,000 which is almost
K60 million. The suspects were actually arrested," Kanjela said.
suspects were six and the police managed to arrest four."
the suspects as Brian David, Mwaka Mui Mahopo, Wasamunu, Elias Ng'andwe, Walubi
Situmbeko and the other one only known as Humphrey.
"Apparently, it was
resolved that they sort this amicably outside court and a down payment of K45
million was recovered. Since it was agreed that it should be sorted outside the
police, the police now can't continue following it up," Kanjela
"Something fake was involved and the amount that was upfront paid
was US$12,000 and this arrangement happened at Marble Inn Lodge in Rhodes Park
Sources said Liato, Mulyata and Mwapela had asked the Zambia
Police to help them recover their money from the suspects.
these former ministers wanted this matter to be handled secretly; they didn't
want the media to get wind of it. But we can confirm that our officers handled
this embarrassing case involving three former ministers," the source
However, Liato angrily denied being swindled despite being told the
police had confirmed.
"Who did I complain to? Is that what the police
have told you?" Liato retorted. "It's surprising me, you don't just phone
somebody and say, 'I am trying to get confirmation' as though there was a
complaint from me in that regard. That is a very serious allegation which you
cannot just casualise like that. You can't just phone me from nowhere and say,
'you were trying to buy gold, this kind of money...'."
information about him buying fake gold was speculation.
"If you don't
have facts, it's pointless even to ask somebody. What are you going to pursue?
If you have evidence go ahead and write that story; if you don't have evidence
don't write it because I am not going to take that kind of writings. You can't
just pick up a pen and start writing things which are not authentic and say I
have facts. What facts?" Liato said.
"If you think that someone was
buying gold, find who was buying the gold but if you are going to attribute that
story to me and say I was trying to buy gold, you better have your facts right.
Dont just call me. You are speculating."
When reminded that the police
had confirmed that Mulyata, Mwapela and himself had been swindled, Liato
maintained his arguments.
"If you have facts about what you are talking
about, you write. If you are just speculating or you are fishing in the dark,
don't do it because I am not going to sit here and allow you take a pen and mess
up my name," said Liato.
When contacted, Mulyata laughed about the fake
"Aaah, where is that story from? (laughs). I am not
even aware about what you are talking about. Who is creating such stories kansi?
That is not true; I don't know anything about that. That is news to me. I don't
know," said Mulyata.
Meanwhile, Mwapela said he had no information about
the fake gold transaction, saying Liato or Mulyata might know something about
"I am not aware about that. I am in Kalabo in Western
Province. Where did you get that information?" said Mwapela, but when told that
the police had confirmed, he responded: "No! No! No! I am not aware about that
information, maybe Honourable' Mulyata or Liato, me I am in Kalabo."
reminded about the date when the swindlers conned him and his colleagues,
Mwapela responded: "15th November? I am not aware about that. No one has told me
about that, sure. Otherwise I would have told you."