Sunday, 6 January 2019

PRISONER KILLED IN JAILBREAK IN GWERU

THREE dangerous prisoners yesterday staged a daring escape as they were being driven to WhaWha Prison on the outskirts of Gweru.

One of the hardcore criminals died on the spot, another was seriously injured and a third escaped after reportedly beating up two prison officers escorting them before they jumped off a moving truck. The three were all D class prisoners — meaning they were considered extremely dangerous.

They were each serving 30 years, one for murder and the other two for armed robbery.

The Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) confirmed the incident which occurred around 1AM along the Mvuma-Gweru highway, near Lalapansi.

ZPCS national spokesperson, Chief Correctional Officer Simon Kawondo said: “We have information to the effect that some inmates on their way to WhaWha, connived and overpowered our officers before they tried to escape by jumping off a moving truck resulting in a fatality. I don’t have full facts at the moment since I am not at work but if you can send your questions to our e-mail, I will be able to give you full details by tomorrow (today).”

ZPCS Midlands provincial spokesperson, Chief Correctional Officer Jere Ruzive could not shed more light on the matter saying he has been on leave.

Sources close to the incident said the trio was being relocated to WhaWha when they beat up two officers escorting them.

“All this happened without the knowledge of the truck driver. The prison officers tried to raise alarm when they realised they were being overpowered by the inmates, unfortunately the truck’s emergency sirens were not functional,” said the source.

The source said the driver only got to know of the incident after reducing speed while preparing to stop at a tollgate.

“One of the prison officers, Madzivanzira who was at the back of the truck only managed to disembark at the tollgate near WhaWha prison to inform the driver that they had endured hell and the inmates had escaped.

“They then made a U-turn and discovered that one of the inmates had died on the spot after jumping off the moving truck and his colleague was badly injured and still at the spot,” said the source.

The source said one of the prison officers, only identified as Muroyi was badly injured during the scuffle.

“He is receiving treatment at WhaWha as we speak. These were high risk inmates and under the law, there were supposed to be two officers per inmate. We don’t know why there were only two officers escorting three very dangerous prisoners,” said the source. Chronicle

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