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Prison officers in dock over convict escape

by Staff reporter
25 Feb 2022 at 07:35hrs | Views
THREE Bulawayo prisons officers are in the dock for helping a dangerous prisoner serving 53 years in jail for armed robbery escape from a maximum-security prison in broad daylight.

Talent Bhekinhlanhla Ndlovu (21), Tatenda Madzivadondo (28) and Musawenkosi Sibanda (32) from Khami Prison Camp in Bulawayo appeared in court on Tuesday for aiding and abetting Jabson Shonhe to pull off a daring prison break which is straight out of a Hollywood script.

They are charged with assisting a prisoner escape from custody as defined in Section 185 (2) as read with section 198 (D) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform Act) Chapter 9:23.

They are also accused of criminal abuse of office as defined in section 174 of the Criminal (Codification and Reform Act) Chapter 9:23.

The three allegedly gave Shonhe, a class D prisoner, a cellphone to plan his escape and to arrange a getaway car with his friends.

It was not stated what motivated them to assist Shonhe.

The court heard that on February 19, 2022, around 11am, the accused officers unlawfully opened the gate for Shonhe and Ndlovu gave him a mobile phone to call his friends who had arranged a getaway vehicle.

Madzivadondo, the guard in charge of opening and locking up the gates for inmates and prison officers, opened the gate for Shonhe to walk away from the prison.  

He was the only officer deployed at the gate on the said day.

Sibanda is said to have walked Shonhe out of the prison. Earlier he had been seen moving around the prison complex with Shonhe.

The three officers were denied bail and remanded in custody to 28 February by Western Commonage Court magistrate Shepherd Munjanja after the State argued that they were a flight risk since they were facing a capital offence which could see them imprisoned for a long time.

The State also argued that the three accused persons could interfere with witnesses if they were granted bail since they stay in the same neighbourhood.

The other reasons for opposing bail were that investigations were not yet complete and evidence linking the accused to the crime was overwhelming.

Source - B-Metro