Home » Legal and Judicial Affairs » No Toiletries for Jailbreakers – Court

A Harare magistrate yesterday dismissed an application by eight suspects accused of masterminding the foiled jailbreak at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison in which they wanted the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services to provide them with basic toiletries that they claimed were confiscated.

The suspects – 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) – claimed their items had been confiscated by the ZPCS officials after their alleged escape bid in February this year.

Through their lawyer, Mr David Hofisi, they argued that ZPCS confiscated their towels, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soaps, slops and jerseys in a bid to fix them hence the application to have their items returned to them.

However, Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison officer-in-charge Chief Prison Officer Desire Mutsindiri denied confiscating the items, saying instead the prisoners burnt their items during skirmishes.

Testifying in court on Tuesday before Harare magistrate Mr Tendai Mahwe, CPO Mutsindiri said ZPCS did not have adequate funds to buy toiletries for the inmates.

CPO Mutsindiri said he aised all the affected inmates, including the suspects, to get toiletries from their relatives.

In his ruling Mr Mahwe said what the gang was asking from ZPCS was impossible considering that the items were destroyed two months ago during the melee.

“The defence is asking the prison authorities to do the impossible. The items they are referring to were destroyed on March 13 and they want these returned to them in May almost two months later, that is impossible. It is not these accused persons only who lost their staff, but other inmates as well.

“The ZPCS has done well by allowing the accused person’s relatives and friends to supply them since they have indicated that they do not have the financial capacity to supply. The application is therefore dismissed.” He said.

Mr Mahwe also said that the ZPCS did not wilfully disobey a court order when they failed to give the accused persons their toiletries.

The suspects together with their alleged accomplice Robert Martin Gumbura, who was not part of the application, were further remanded to June 5.

Through his lawyer Mr Tapson Dzvetero, Gumbura told the court that he got the basic toiletries from his relatives, hence he had no complaints.

The prisoners are facing charges of attempting to escape from lawful custody, incitement or alternatively conspiracy.

Source : The Herald

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