NINE inmates at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison, suspected of organising the fatal food riots that occurred at the correctional centre last week, appeared at the Harare Magistrates’ Court yesterday on charges of attempting to escape from lawful custody, malicious damage to property and negligence.
BY STAFF REPORTER
They included rapist pastor Robert Martin Gumbura and notorious armed robbers Lucky Matambanadzo and Lucky Mhungu, among others.
The State alleges that in February this year, Gumbura incited inmates in B Cell, urging them to revolt against prison authorities for feeding them on a poor diet. After his address, the prisoners allegedly spent the night singing in protest.
On March 13, Matambanadzo, Mhungu and their alleged accomplices addressed inmates in C and D cells, influencing them to join the protests.
All hell broke loose the following day, when the prisoners went wild, climbing up the walls, breaking asbestos sheets, windows and water pipes, among other infrastructure.
Prison officers then opened fire on the riotous prisoners which resulted in the death of five of the inmates, while several guards were left injured in the skirmishes. The suspects were remanded to mid-April for trial.