Sunday 16 October 2022


One hundred and sixteen inmates escaped from correctional facilities between January 2021 and October this year, the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) has confirmed.

Most of the fugitives were B class inmates, who were allowed to be outside for work duties while serving their terms at medium-security prisons.

In an interview, ZPCS national public relations officer, Chief Superintendent Meya Khanyezi, said Harare Central and Chikurubi Farm prisons had high incidences of prison escapes.

“In 2021, 64 inmates escaped from our prisons, and 52 inmates in 2022 up to date, making a total of 116,” she said.

“Harare Central and Chikurubi Farm prisons have a high incidence of escapes since these stations have more B class inmates, who go out of prison to work.”

Police, however, recaptured 40 escapees during the same period. After escaping, 40 inmates were recaptured — 18 in 2021 and 22 in 2022,” added Chief Supt Khanyezi.

Most fugitives, she said, sneak away after asking for permission to answer the call of nature.

“Some A class inmates also abscond since they will no longer be under escort of a prison officer, given that they are of less risk and would have exhibited good behaviour.”

ZPCS is installing closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems at maximum prisons, arming its officers and reinforcing the canine section to avert future prison breaks.

In March, a convicted armed robber was recaptured by police after escaping from Harare Central Prison. He spent four months on the run. Richard Sasumba (40) was subsequently charged with attempting to escape from lawful custody.

It was alleged that on October 7 last year, Sasumba, who was serving his sentence at Harare Central Prison after having been convicted at the Bindura Magistrates’ Court of armed robbery, escaped from custody.

On March 9, 2022, police received a tip-off that Sasumba was seen loitering at a shopping centre in Epworth. Police proceeded to the shopping centre and arrested him. Sunday Mail


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