HARARE – Nine Chikurubi Maximum Prison inmates, who are suspected of having masterminded the riot at the country’s maximum security jail, have appeared in court.

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Robert Martin Gumbura

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The nine are facing charges of attempting to escape from lawful custody, malicious damage to property and negligence.

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Among the nine is notorious armed robber, Lucky Matambanadzo, Lucky Mhungu and rapist pastor, Robert Martin Gumbura.

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The state represented by Leonella Chitanda and Sharon Mashavira alleges that in February this year, the first accused Gumbura incited inmates in B Cell, urging them to revolt against prison authorities for giving them food which they believed was not good.

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Gumbura is alleged to have successfully incited all the inmates to refuse to eat and urged them to sing the whole night in protest of the food offered in prison.

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The state further alleges that on the 13th of March, Matambanadzo, Mhungu and others addressed inmates in C and D cells, influencing them to reject the food given to them.

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It is believed that on the second day in the morning, porridge was served and the inmates in D Cell refused to eat and later on refused to eat lunch and a superintendent identified as Dumbura wanted to address them but they refused.

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Some of the inmates allegedly took the food and smeared it on Superintendent Dumbura while others were climbing up the walls breaking asbestos, window pens and water pipes, among other infrastructure.

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Some of the prison officers were injured in the process while some inmates were shot after they refused to get off the roof in their quest to escape from the prison.

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ZBC