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Bikoko pleads not guilty

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Former Lilongwe City mayor, Desmond Bikoko, has pleaded not guilty to all two counts the State leveled against him following his arrest on land related matters.

He is out on bail after being charged with abuse of public office and failure to disclose interest of public officer.

Lawyer for the State, Benjamin Mandala, said the alleged act by the former mayor of appropriating land within Lilongwe City to himself and other beneficiaries was contrary to the law since the beneficiaries did not apply for the plots.

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“They were made to apply for the plots after the plots were already offered to them. Lilongwe City Council secretariat gave a caution against the procedure but Bikoko went ahead to allocate the plots to himself and others,” said Mandala who has since asked for adjournment of the case for the State to file disclosures.

Lawyers for the State intend to discuss with defence lawyers on what evidence needs to be brought before the courts.

Lawyer representing Bikoko, Gilbert Khonyogwa, has since agreed with the State on the proposed terms.

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Bikoko, who was arrested last week, is out on bail after he fulfilled bail conditions for the case in which he is suspected to have ordered the sale of land in Area 46 without following proper procedures.

Bikoko’s arrest came days after reports that most land in the city of Lilongwe was sold without following procedures.

Senior Resident Magistrate, Florence Msekandiana, has since adjourned the matter to next month for hearing.

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