Food riots: Court to inspect Chikurubi Maximum Prison

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By Court Reporter

A HARARE court will next Monday inspect Chikurubi Maximum Prison as prosecutors seek to prove how nine convicts charged with inciting food riot tried to escape.

The accused include former church leader Martin Gumbura who was jailed 40 years for rape as well as Lucky Mhungu, a notorious armed robber serving a 12-year sentence.

They are accused of inciting food riots which left some inmates and prison officers dead.

However, the suspects are denying the charges saying prison guards were responsible as they engaged in running battles with inmates.

They told a Harare magistrate Francis Mapfumo that the officers blamed them for the fracas in order cover up for their offences which were politically-motivated.

According to the nine, prison wardens killed innocent inmates who were locked in their cell, but the public was made to believe that the deceased were trying to escape from lawful custody.

It is also their defence that they were implicated for expressing themselves over food shortages at the penal facility.

Charges against them include attempting to escape from jail, malicious damage to property and assaulting or resisting law officers.

Prosecutor Michael Reza alleges that the nine incited food riot which left many injured while the unfortunate succumbed.