Court revelations that police killed 5 prison inmates puts Mnangagwa in spotlight

LUCKY Mhungu, one of the prisoners accused of inciting and masterminding the attempted jailbreak at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison earlier this year, told Harare magistrate Francis Mapfumo yesterday that riots broke out after members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police’s Support Unit shot and killed more than five inmates, who were complaining over a poor diet and deteriorating living conditions.

\n

PAIDAMOYO MUZULU

\n

mnangagwa

\n

Mhungu made the allegations while giving his defence outline on charges of inciting and masterminding the foiled jailbreak at the prison in March this year.

\n

Mhungu is being jointly charged with RMG End Time Message leader Robert Martin Gumbura, Blessing Chiduke, Luckmore Matambanadzo, Taurai Dodzo, Thomas Chacha, Thulani Chizema, Jacob Sibanda and Elijah Vhumbunu.

\n

Gumbura on Wednesday denied any involvement in the matter.

\n

“I saw an officer from Support Unit and tried to explain to him that there were injured inmates in the library, but as we stood in the exercise yard he fired several shots into the air and ordered everyone to lie down,” Mhungu said.

\n

\n

“He also told his colleagues to stop firing at the inmates.”

\n

Mhungu denied all the three counts levelled against him and said it was the prison officials, who deliberately shot at inmates that were complaining peacefully about the quality of food.

\n

“What prompted the disturbances were the deteriorating health conditions of inmates and particularly that we had lost three [fellow inmates] on anti-retroviral drugs inside two months because of the poor diet,” he said.

\n

Mhungu said the inmates tried to make a call using a smuggled mobile phone belonging to one of the inmates to let the outside world know about the shootings, but there was no network at the time.

\n

Matambanadzo had earlier told the court that the prison officers were spoiling for a fight with the inmates, particularly the ones in D Hall.

\n

“They indicated to us that they were going to ‘D Hall’ to fight their war and asked whether we would join in on the side of other inmates but we remained quiet. After a short while we started hearing gunshots and screaming from inmates,” he said.

\n

Matambanadzo said tension had been building up for some time, as inmates sometimes had no access to clean drinking water.

\n

“I had also complained about the drinking water because for four days we had no water at the C Section of the prison,” he said.

\n

The trial continues on Monday.

\n

Michael Reza is prosecuting the matter.

\n

The post Court revelations that police killed 5 prison inmates puts Mnangagwa in spotlight appeared first on The Zimbabwe Mail.