Councillor Sauka accused of stealing iron sheets worth 1.3 million kwacha

Nkhonde Ward Councillor Michael Sauka Jnr and a security guard identified as Raphael Chauma are alleged to have stolen 59 iron sheets worth 1.3 million kwacha meant for a house which Balaka District Council is refurbishing for the District Commissioner.

The two are facing charges of theft by public servant contrary to Section 283 as read with Section 273 of the Penal Code.

On Thursday, they appeared before Balaka Second Grade Magistrate Peter Nkuzi where they  pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Balaka Police Station Prosecution Officer Bodwin Msukwa told Malawi News Agency that the state will parade four witnesses.

“The state is not ready with witnesses. We don’t object to the accused asking for bail but we just plead with the court to use its discretion to granting bail because although it’s a Constitutional right it is not absolute,” he said.

Both accused persons were granted bail and told asked to pay a surety of K100000 each, surrender traveling documents, report to the police every fortnight apart from their  witnesses paying a non-cash surety of K500000 each.

Michael Sauka Junior recently served as Balaka District Council Chairperson between October last year and June this year.

Sauka was elected on a Democratic Progressive Party ticket but in 2020, it was reported that he had joined the ruling Malawi Congress Party. It was not immediately clear if he is still a member of the MCP.