Malawi: Ex-Mayor Bikoko Fails to Take Plea On Corruption Charges

11 December 2019

Former Lilongwe City mayor Desmond Bikoko on Wednesday failed to take plea on two counts of abuse of office when he appeared before Lilongwe magistrates' court due to a technical hitch.

Bikoko: The former mayor is being accused alongside two other officers at Lilongwe City Council, namely Alex Chimphanda and Alexander Phodogoma

Bikoko was arrested by the graft busting body, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) last week week on allegations of abuse of office for allegedly selling off public land without following proper procedures.

Lawyer for ACB, who is prosecuting the case, Benjamin Mandala failed to bring a consent approval document from the director of public prosecutions when Bikoko appeared before the chief resident magistrate Florence Msekandiana.

"The consent letter is ready but I could not bring it to the court today due to some processes which need to be followed first," said Mandala.

Msekandiana then adjourned the case to Wednesday, December 18 2019.

Bikoko was arrested along with two city council officers Alex Chiphande and Alexander Phodogoma.

Particulars of the charge indicate that on September 7 2017 they allegedly abused their public offices by offering plots at Area 43/13 to Jimmy Bowman Partners and other beneficiaries.

The other count is also contrary to Section 25B (1)of CPA and relates to the three officers abusing their public offices by illegally offering plot number LC21/496 situated at Area 21 in the city of Lilongwe to Gibson Nyirenda.

Lawyer representing Bikoko, Gilbert Khonyongwa, said his clients denies any wrong doing.

The former mayor was granted court bail on condition that he paid K20 000 cash bail bond, two sureties of K1 million each, surrender travel documents and report to ACB offices in Lilongwe fortnightly.

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