Former Lilongwe City mayor Desmond Bikoko faced mixed fortunes on Wednesday as he was arrested for two counts of abuse of office before being granted court bail later in the day.
The Lilongwe Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court has since set December 11 2019 as the date the former mayor will take his plea.
Bikoko, who was arrested in the morning after appearing at the Anti-Corruption Bureau(ACB) offices for questioning, is accused of flouting Section 25B(1) of Corrupt Practices Act (CPA) by offering plots to beneficiaries without following procedures.
The former mayor is being accused alongside two other officers at Lilongwe City Council, namely Alex Chimphanda 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.
In an interview outside the court, lawyer representing ACB, Benjamin Mandala, indicated that the bureau will now apply for consent from the office of Director of Public Prosecutions(DPP) to proceed with prosecution.
Lawyer representing Bikoko, Gilbert Khonyongwa, said he is looking forward to the date of the trial.
The former mayor was summoned to ACB offices where he was questioned for about two hours.
The court granted Bikoko 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.