Italy's only Black MP mired in family embezzlement 'scandal'

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The mother in law of Aboubakar Soumahoro Italy's only black MP has agreed to pay one of her workers two years of unpaid wages as part of a case that has seen her probed for fraud and embezzlement.

Marie Terese Mukamitsindo, who runs the Karibu and Consorzio Aid cooperatives, agreed in a legal deal to pay a woman all owed wages and extras from 2021 to 2022 for her work at two migrant farm cooperatives south of Rome meant to help immigrants.

Soumahoro, a hero to many, became Italy's only current black MP after the September 25 general election.The growing scandal has dealt a severe political blow to the MP, Italy's best-known activist for migrants' rights who only entered parliament last month after winning a seat for his Green and Left party. It prompted his self-suspension from parliament Thursday November 24.

Italian police have said they were almost done with investigations into Marie Terese Mukamitsindo's accounts. Although he himself is not under investigation, on Sunday, cooperative workers said they had been "fooled" by the 42-year-old Ivorian-born activist Soumahoro, and his wife, believed to have had a role in the case. 

After pictures of her wearing designer clothes and accessories came out, Soumahoro said that the woman, Liliane Murekatete, enjoyed "the right to fashion".

Born in Ivory Coast, Soumahoro arrived in Italy as a migrant in 1999 and laboured in the fields, worked at a gas station, before gaining Italian citizenship. He soon became a prominent trade unionist after that and now Italy's only Black lawmaker.

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