Liato fails to take plea

Mr Daniel Munkombwe (Southern Province Minister); Christopher Tett (Managing Director Bushtracks Africa Limited) with the award that was presented by His Excellency Mr RB Banda, The President of The Republic of Zambia; Honourable Austin Liato, Minister of Labour and Social Security (RIGHT)
FORMER Labour minister Austin Liato on Wednesday failed to take plea
in a matter in which he is charged with abuse of authority because the
consent order was not ready.

This is in a matter in which Liato is charged with two separate charges of abuse of authority of office, contrary to the law.
Liato, who had been appearing in court on similar charges, had his case withdrawn two weeks ago after the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) entered a nolle prosequi, but his freedom was shortlived as he was re-arrested and slapped with the two counts of abuse of authority.
In the first count, Liato, being a Member of Parliament for Kaoma
Central Constituency and Labour minister, in June, 2010, facilitated the
sinking of two boreholes meant for his constituency at his farm in
Liato is in the second count alleged to have facilitated the diversion of two hammer mills between May 14, 2010 and May 19, the same year meant for the people of Kaoma District.
When the matter was called up before principal resident magistrate Obsiter Musukwa on Wednesday for allocation and possible taking of plea, Liato was informed that he could not take plea because the consent order was not ready.
The matter comes up today for allocation and plea.