Jailbreak suspects allege torture

jailbreak1Court Reporter
Eight suspects accused of masterminding a foiled jailbreak at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison recently are accusing prison officers of gross torture.

They said one of them defecated as a result of the torture and was ordered to eat his excrement.

In the application of request for referral to the Constitutional Court filed at the Magistrates’ Court, Thulani Chizema said he was forced to eat his faeces.

The eight suspects through their lawyer Mr David Hofisi, are seeking permanent stay of proceedings at the Constitutional Court due to the torture.

The eight are Lucky Matambanadzo (39), Blessing Chauke (25), Lucky Mhungu (38), Taurai Dodzo (47), Thomas Chacha (37), Thulani Chizema (32), Jacob Sibanda (28) and Elijah Vhumbunu (38).

“The torture of the accused has a direct impact on the ability to hold a fair hearing,” said Mr Hofisi.

“Their rights as enunciated in Section 69 (1) of the Constitution are likely to be violated if prosecution is allowed to proceed.”

The eight said the State could not legitimately conduct a prosecution when it had violated their fundamental constitutional rights.

“Following the events of March 13 this year, all accused persons were moved to FB10, which is solitary confinement,” reads the application.

“They were only allowed access to two litres of water a day, which was later changed to just a bucket a day. “This same bucket contains water for purposes of drinking as well as cleaning after bowel movement.”

In their application, Mr Hofisi added that Chizema was beaten to the point of defecating and was ordered to eat his faeces.

“Thomas Chacha was also assaulted with open palms, fists and batons to the point of defecation,” he said. “Elijah Vhumbunu was kicked on the scrotum and passed out. This caused excruciating pain to his testicles which in fact receded.”

Mr Hofisi added that the accused were tortured to confess information relating to the events of the alleged jailbreak.

“Lucky Matambanadzo was ordered to run on a slippery floor, fell and injured his knee in the process,” he said.

“Taurai Dodzo was assaulted with batons, clenched fists and iron rods on the head, back and buttocks whilst handcuffed and in leg irons.”

Mr Hofisi said the attack was reckless, indiscriminate and sadistic.

The prosecutor Mr Michael Reza will respond on Friday this week.

The eight’s accomplice and alleged mastermind of the foiled jail break Robert Martin Gumbura was not part of the application.