By Lusekero Mhango

KARONGA-(MaraviPost)-Karonga First Grade Magistrate Julius Kalambo Thursday released on bail three councilors who have since been charged with three counts of, abuse of office, fraud and theft over MK2.4 million they collected from 80 vendors in Karonga.

Councilor Steve Simsokwe on bail for public theft

The three are Ngasalayumo Mwangonde of Kaoporo Ward, Smart Mwakayira of Rukuru Ward and Steven Simsokwe of Chilanga Ward in Karonga District, who were nubbed by Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on September 13, 2022 on alligations that they illegally and unprocedurally sold public land at the Karonga Boma.

The accused who have denied all the charges, allegedly collected the money on pretext that they would allocate the vendors market space at the town in 2019, without the knowledge of Karonga District Council.

ACB prosecutor Chikumbutso Harawa asked the court for an adjournment for the Bureau to parade the vendors from whom the money was solicited as witnesses.

Legal Aid Bureau senior legal advocate Temwanani Mposi who is representing the three councilors applied for bail which Magistrate Kalambo granted on condition that each accused pay MK150 000 cash surety and MK150 000 non cash surety by their respective witness.

He also ordered the councilors not to interfere with witnesses and to report to police every fortnight starting Monday next week.

Meanwhile ACB has requested for time to propose date for next court appearance.

The Maravi Post has over one billion views since its inception in December of 2009. Viewed in over 100 countries Follow US: Twitter @maravipost Facebook Page : maravipost Instagram: maravipost