A 40-YEAR-OLD beneficiary of President Robert Mugabe’s recent amnesty for prisoners yesterday claimed he was now stranded in Harare without any means to travel back to his home in Plumtree.
Gift Chirwa, who had served six years of his 15-year jail term for the murder of his then seven-year-old son in 2008, said he had now turned into a street beggar following his release from St Thomas Prison in Marondera on February 12.
“I have been here since I was released and I am stranded because I have no means of going back home to Plumtree,” he said.
Chirwa said he did stints in Bulawayo and Harare Central prisons before he was relocated to Marondera.
“My wife and relatives used to visit when I was first jailed in Bulawayo, but since I was moved from there, they were not able to raise the bus fare,” he said, adding that he was not sure if he would be accepted by his family when he finally gets home.
Chirwa, who looked shaken by his jail experiences, recalled horrific prison conditions characterised by hunger, hard labour and the threat of homosexual abuse.
He said when he was released he wept with relief but was shocked to learn that the Zimbabwe dollar notes he had with him when he was arrested, which were returned to him upon release, had been rendered worthless during his stay behind bars.He said he spent his first night at Marondera bus terminus following his release in the evening before a Good Samaritan bought him some food the following morning and later gave him $2 which he used as transport fare to Harare.