© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: MP Aboubakar Soumahoro sits within the decrease home of parliament throughout the first voting session to elect the brand new speaker in Rome, Italy, October 13, 2022. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane/File Photograph
By Crispian Balmer
ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s solely Black lawmaker suspended himself from his left-wing occasion on Thursday after his household was accused of mismanaging funds and exploiting employees at two associations meant to assist immigrants.
The rising scandal has dealt a extreme political blow to Aboubakar Soumahoro, Italy’s best-known activist for migrants’ rights who solely entered parliament final month after profitable a seat in a nationwide election for his Inexperienced and Left occasion.
Soumahoro has denied any private wrongdoing and neither his spouse nor his mother-in-law have been formally charged over allegations that they didn’t pay employees and siphoned off funds at two cooperatives they managed.
However following two days of talks with occasion leaders, and in opposition to a background of widespread unfavorable media protection, Soumahoro introduced he would droop himself from his occasion.
“We hope that all the pieces might be clarified as quickly as potential,” Nicola Fratoianni, a co-leader of the Inexperienced and Left group, instructed RAI radio.
“Soumahoro considers himself extraneous to this affair and is set to reply all questions in regards to the matter.”
Soumahoro didn’t himself instantly touch upon his choice to face apart.
His spouse Liliane Murekatete and mother-in-law Marie Terese Mukamitsindo have promised to clear their names within the ongoing authorized investigation.
Magistrates are trying into accusations that their cooperatives didn’t pay employees, gave irregular contracts to employees, issued false invoices and mistreated migrants positioned of their care.
“I would not have put canine in that centre,” Elena Fattori, a former Inexperienced and Left lawmaker, stated after visiting one of many residencies managed by the Karibu affiliation exterior Rome.
Born within the Ivory Coast, Soumahoro slept tough when he got here to Italy as a migrant in 1999. Over time he laboured within the fields and labored at a gasoline station, earlier than gaining Italian citizenship and changing into a distinguished commerce unionist.
His profile rose nonetheless additional when he was elected to parliament in September, coming into the chamber on his first day as a lawmaker carrying muddy Wellington boots, saying they have been “an emblem of the struggling and hopes of the actual Italy”.
A tearful Soumahoro posted a video on Fb (NASDAQ:) on the weekend defending his report. “My life has been devoted to preventing in opposition to all types of exploitation. You need me useless. I am a clear individual,” he stated.