THE Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) has reportedly launched a probe on nine Karoi Prison officers accused of facilitating the escape of three murder and robbery suspects in November last year.
By Nhau Mangirazi
Sources close to the investigations told NewsDay at the weekend that six junior and three commissioned officers had been summoned to give evidence before an investigating panel that will sit between August 17 and September 1.
The junior officers will be the first to give evidence on circumstances surrounding the trio’s escape through a hole dug in cell walls before they scaled a perimeter fence.
The commissioned officers, who include former officer-in-charge, a Superintendent Katsatsi, who was suspended late November over the matter, and his subordinates only identified as Madhuku and Mavhako, will be the last to give evidence.
“Currently, we are serving them with charge sheets over the case of three dangerous criminals Cover Warasi, Confidence Mutemachani and Anyway Mutukura, who escaped from cells in November 2016,” a ZPCS source, who declined to be named, said.
The jailbirds left behind their prison garb, including green shorts and red-and-white-striped jerseys before the prison break.
However, luck ran out for murder convict Warasi, who was rearrested at a nearby farm a few hours after bolting out of prison.
Mutemachani, an armed robbery convict, was arrested the following morning at Corner Store along the Harare-Chirundu highway.
“The convicts allegedly removed bricks from the wall during the night and, as usual, they were singing praise songs, making it impossible for officers on duty to suspect anything,” a prison source said.
According to some sources, there were four prisoners living in one of the condemned cells.
The fourth prisoner is suspected to be a psychiatric patient and was left behind when the trio made their way out by peeling off old walls to make a hole.
Acting ZPCS spokesperson, Priscilla Mthembo was unreachable at the time of going to print.