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Prison Officer set 5 inmates free!: Gweru

by Byo24 Midlands correspondent
06 Jan 2011 at 03:10hrs | Views
A Chief Prison Officer has been suspended from work following an incident that occurred on the 24th of December 2010. The prison officer, only identified as Chief Prison Officer Chanakidzwa, allegedly let out 15 inmates from their area of confinement in the C section as a Christmas treat, but soon rued his adventurism when the inmates began fleeing in different directions.

On seeing he had been overwhelmed by the inmates who were all over the complex searching for exit points, Chanakidzwa reportedly fired warning shots into the air as he shouted for help from his colleagues.

His colleagues, with the help of inmates in for lighter crimes, rushed to his aid in a bid to contain the situation but by then some inmates had made good their escape. "The 15 prisoners had suddenly gone wild the moment they were released and took to their heels in different directions. However, the prison officers finally managed to capture 10 prisoners while five managed to escape," a source close to the development said.

The source said it could not be established what drove Chanakidzwa to release the prisoners from their usual confinement. Chanakidzwa was promptly arrested and suspended from duty for his troubles.

"The whole incident was like a Hollywood movie script. You could hear Chief Prison Officer Chanakidzwa shouting, Ndibatsirei vanhuwe! Huyai mundibatsire vasungwa votiza (Help me please, come and help the prisoners are escaping)," said the source.

A source said there was an anomaly on that fateful day because according to regulations, the prisoners under Chief Prison Officer Chanakidzwa were too many for one guard. The ratio must be one prison officer to four prisoners.

This is why he was immediately arrested for releasing those 15 inmates alone.

Zimbabwe Prison Service provincial public relations officer, Chief Superintendent Jere Ruzive yesterday confirmed the escape of the five inmates and the suspension of Chief Prison Officer Chanakidzwa yesterday.

He, however, declined to give further details. "I can confirm that there were some prisoners who escaped from custody at Wha Wha Medium Prison and the suspension of Chief Prison Officer Chanakidzwa. You can contact our national offices for further details," he said.

Source - Byo24News