Home » Legal and Judicial Affairs » Foiled Jailbreak – Bid to Access Medical Records Flops

An attempt by a lawyer representing eight suspects accused of masterminding a foiled jailbreak at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison to access his clients’ medical records from prison officials yesterday hit a snag.

The lawyer, Mr David Hofisi, was seeking a court order giving him access to his clients’ medical records from the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS).

In his application, Mr Hofisi said he wanted to use the records to support his Constitutional Court application.

“I encountered an unforeseen snag in that the Officer-in-Charge, Assistant Commissioner Pambai, told me that the accused’s medical records can only be released via a court order,” said Mr Hofisi.

“I want the records released to me for purposes of request for referral to the ConCourt.

“The accused suffered several injuries and the medical reports will be attached as evidence to support the allegations.”

He added that his clients were detained prisoners without custody of their medical records.

“Some were taken to prison hospitals and others had X-rays conducted,” he said.

Prosecutor Mr Michael Reza told the court that he was surprised by the applica- tion.

“The accused when they first appeared in court made no application to be medically examined,” said Mr Reza.

“All they stated was that they were being ill-treated and that they were denied blankets. I can see the defence lawyer is on a fishing exercise.”

In his ruling, Harare magistrate Mr Tendai Mahwe said the accused persons reported of physical injuries on their initial appearance in court.

“The court then ordered the State to compile the medical reports,” said Mr Mahwe. “To order ZPCS to release the documents would be like telling them to produce something they don’t have. The court cannot give orders that cannot be fulfilled. The application is dis- missed.”

The eight are Lucky Matambanadzo (39), Blessing Chauke (25), Lucky Mhungu (38), Taurai Dodzo (47), Thomas Chacha (37), Thulani Chizema (32), Jacob Sibanda (28) and Elijah Vhumbunu (38).

Their alleged ringleader, Robert Martin Gumbura, was not part of the application.

Source : The Herald