Prison Officers Locked Up For Assisting Prisoner To Escape

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By Mary Taruvinga

TWO members of the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) will spend the weekend behind bars after they were arrested for allegedly assisting a suspected serial rapist to escape from Harare Remand Prison.

Ngonidzashe Munhuuripi (43) and Simbarashe Machekera (24) are accused of assisting Sam Muropa, who was arrested two months ago on allegations of robbing and raping at least 21 women, to escape from lawful custody last week.

They were not asked to plead when they appeared before Harare Magistrate Dennis Mangosi.

The duo is back in court Monday for bail ruling.

They are being charged with aiding a prisoner to escape from lawful custody as defined in section 185 of the Criminal Law Act.

According to court papers, on October 1, Munhuuripi and Machekera were on duty at Harare Remand Prison when they approached Muropa, a prisoner who was in D Class, Cell C12.

It is alleged Munhuuripi advised Muropa  he had come to assist him to escape  from the prison since it was going to be very difficult for him to secure his bail.

The court heard during lock-up time on the same day, Munhuuripi and Machekera hid Muropa in a bathroom in the yard and later took him to the reception where they sourced for his clothes on the pretext that he had been granted bail.

It is alleged they further briefed him on the security set-up of the premises and advised him of the route which he was going to take in order to avoid being spotted by other prison officers on patrol duties.

Munhuuripi allegedly assisted Muropa to lay concrete pillars against the pre-cast wall and from which Muropa escaped from the prison premises.

Machekera later facilitated for a taxi which came to collect Sam Muropa along Enterprise road.

On October 5, Muropa was re-arrested by CID Homicide Harare and he narrated how he had escaped from the remand prison and implicated the two wardens as the facilitators of his escape.