AN armed robber who was subjected to mob justice at the hands of Beitbridge residents this week is a hardened criminal who broke out from Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison in November last year.
Mhikia Pirikisi of Farm 159 Dewure Small Scale Farms near Tirizi School in Gutu, was serving a four-and-half year term for armed robbery when he escaped from prison three months ago.
When he was arrested in Beitbridge, Pirikisi misled the police into believing he was Hendrik Nyathi, but an investigation by this publication helped police confirm he was a jail breaker.
As of yesterday, Pirikisi had been at large for 97 days with just 167 days left of his jail term following his conviction in Harare for case number CRB R156/18.
Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) spokesperson Chief Superintendent Meya Khanyezi yesterday confirmed Pirikisi was a jail breaker.
“It is the duty of ZPCS to ensure that inmates awaiting trial and convicted do not escape from lawful custody. Nonetheless some offenders sometimes employ various methods to find themselves out of confinement before finalisation of their sentences or other circumstances requiring them to be detained,” Khanyezi said.
“We would like to assure society that as a correctional institution, we remain committed to our mandate as provided by the Constitution of Zimbabwe to ensure that those behind the walls are incarcerated, rehabilitated and are reintegrated into respective communities,.”
Pirikisi yesterday appeared before Beitbridge regional magistrate Innocent Bepura, where he pleaded guilty to charges of robbing Nigel Mazhanara of Beitbridge US$30 000 and R50 000.
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He also faces attempted murder charges.
He is expected back in court on Monday when prosecutor Tsitsi Mutukwa will produce Mazhanara’s medical affidavit.