The Phalombe District Council has elected a theft suspect as Chairperson.
Councilor Kalepa Mawere is answering criminal charges at the First Grade Magistrate’s Court in the district.
He was arrested in the year 2015 on suspicion that he stole bags of cement meant for the construction of an office building at Saidi Police Unit, while serving as Ward Councillor for Khongoloni Ward.
Construction works of the office block have since stalled.
According to court records, Mawere was charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit a felony and theft by public servant, which is contrary to sections 404 and 278 of Malawi's penal code respectively.
The District Commissioner for Phalombe, Harry Phiri feels there is nothing barring the Councillor as he was only accused and has not yet been convicted.
The DC adds that it was up to his fellow Councillors and Members of Parliament who were voting, to stop him from contesting or not elect him if they saw that he had a problem.
On his part, Mawere says Councillors had the right to vote for him as he is innocent until proven guilty.
He further explains that his case at the court had stalled because there is a lack of evidence to support the accusations levelled against him.