TWO serving prisoners who bolted out of Chikurubi Farm Prison early last month were last Friday slapped with an effective 12-month jail term each.
SENIOR COURT REPORTER
Success Chavhakaira (32) and Nelson Mlambo (21) pleaded guilty to the offence when they appeared before Harare magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti.
The pair escaped from lawful custody on August 4 this year together with two other accomplices, still at large, after being assigned to cut trees at the prison farm.
In passing sentence, the magistrate said she also considered that the prisoners were severely assaulted and tortured by prison officials following their re-arrest “The assault was another form of punishment although it is unlawful,” Muchuchuti said.
“The Zimbabwe Prison and Correctional Services officials are to ensure that the pair gets medical treatment.”
In aggravation, prosecutor Desire Chidanire had urged the court to impose a custodial sentence, arguing that any other form of punishment would not suit justice of the case.
“Community service is not good enough for the two accused persons, taking into account that they ran away from prison. What more if they are to be allowed to go outside? The offence was premeditated and a prison term would be a lesson to would-be offenders,” Chidanire said.
Chidanire said Chavhakaira and Mlambo were already serving another jail term for theft of a motor vehicle.
The court heard that the quartet escaped after they pounced on a prison officer who was escorting them and tied his legs and arms together before threatening to kill him if he screamed.
They later robbed him of his service uniform and made good their escape.
However, their luck quickly ran out after other prisoners officers gave chase and apprehended Chavhakaira and Mlambo, while their two other colleagues managed to flee.