There was pandemonium on Tuesday morning at Western Commonage Magistrates’ Courts when a prisoner bolted out of a prison truck and dashed for freedom, before he was shot by a prison guard and taken back into custody.
The scene, which was witnessed by NewsDay, took place just after 9am when the prison truck carrying prisoners from Khami Prison Complex arrived at the courts to drop off those who were supposed to face trial at the Western Commonage Courts, en route to Bulawayo Magistrates’ Courts in the city centre.
As soon as the vehicle stopped to drop off prisoners in the courtyard the suspect, who was later identified as Michael Moyo, bolted out onto the street.
Moyo, who was clad in prison garb, was neither handcuffed nor in leg irons.
He ran towards Iminyela suburb hoping to evade eight prison guards who were in hot pursuit.
His luck however ran out after one of the armed guards opened fire with his AK 47 rifle and hit him in the left hand.
Realising that he could not run fast with his hand injured, he stopped and was apprehended.
He was taken back to the court’s holding cells and was later taken into court for his routine remand and was remanded in custody to January 18.
By lunch time Moyo had been taken to Mpilo Central Hospital for treatment and probably to have the bullet lodged in his hand removed.
A perusal of his Criminal Record Book revealed that he first appeared in court in September last year facing charges of physical abuse.
It was also discovered that Moyo (20) of Njube had not been formally charged when he initially appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Shepherd Munjanja.
He was remanded in custody and was supposed to be examined by two doctors after the court suspected that he could be a mental patient in accordance with the Mental Health Act.
He has been in custody since then. Charges against him are that in September last year, Moyo’s grandmother Daina Ngwenya borrowed his bag while going for a church meeting.
On her return on September 12, the zip of the bag had been damaged and she apologised to Moyo, but he did not respond.
However, at around 9pm, Moyo started insulting her accusing her of being a thief.
He allegedly picked up the bag and assaulted his grandmother with the bag in the face. She reported the matter to police, leading to Moyo’s arrest.