Harare City Council’s principal engineer for road maintenance, Albert Madanha, found himself spending the Easter holiday behind bars after allegations surfaced accusing him of assaulting Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) officers and forging documents to illicitly obtain land. The bail ruling for Madanha has been deferred until tomorrow, prolonging his stay in custody.

The altercation with ZACC officers occurred when they arrived at Madanha’s office to apprehend him for purportedly forging documents in favor of Southern Plan Energy Private Limited, allowing them to acquire land through fraudulent means.

Opposition to granting bail stemmed from concerns regarding Madanha’s potential to flee the country, raised by the State.

Madanha faces charges of criminal abuse of duty related to the illegal land acquisition and assaulting law enforcement officers. These charges were presented before Harare magistrate Mr. Donald Ndirowei last week.

The State’s case alleges that Madanha advised Southern Plan Energy to select a vacant stand at the corner of Wilson Road and Piers Road in Borrowdale, which is council land. Without proper authorization, Madanha allegedly facilitated the company’s construction of a cylinder filling station for liquefied petroleum gas on this land.

Using forged documents, Madanha purportedly instructed Southern Plan Energy to proceed with improvements on the land, evading procedures mandated by the Urban Councils Act.

Furthermore, Madanha is accused of failing to remit a land development levy of US$2,084 to the City of Harare, collected under false pretenses.

The court heard that Madanha abused his position as principal engineer (roads) by engaging in activities outside his official duties, disregarding council regulations and standard operating procedures for the roads division.

Regarding the assault charge, it was recounted that when ZACC officials attempted to arrest Madanha at his residence, he resisted by physically assaulting them. Despite their identification and announcement of his arrest, Madanha allegedly initiated a physical altercation before being subdued and taken into custody.

The altercation left two ZACC officers with injuries, highlighting the severity of the situation.

Madanha’s case underscores the challenges of corruption and abuse of power within municipal authorities, shedding light on the need for stringent measures to uphold accountability and integrity in public service.