A 54-YEAR-OLD convict, who has been on the run for two years after escaping from Khami Medium Prison, has been caught and arraigned before the courts facing charges of escaping from lawful custody.
Lameck Nyathi (54) appeared before Western Commonage magistrate Singandu Jele, where he was charged for contravening Section 62 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
Although he pleaded guilty to the charge, he claimed he had struck a deal with a prison officer who was in charge on that day to let him escape.
He was remanded in custody to tomorrow.
In his defence, Nyathi said he had struck a deal with a prison officer to release him and offered him $200 in return.
“We agreed that he let me go on condition that I give him $200 the next day,” he said. “If we had not agreed, why didn’t he shoot me as he was carrying a rifle?”
Prosecutor Tony Kamudyariwa told the court that on June 24 2013, the prison officer, Silent Makapa, requested five “B-class prisoners” who included Nyathi, who was serving a 36-month jail term for stocktheft.
Makapa tasked the prisoners to go and fetch firewood in a nearby bush and they were all monitored.
When the tractor they were using was full, Nyathi closed the drop sides of the vehicle, but he then alighted, claiming he wanted to pick up logs to fill up the tractor.
“I allowed him to go fetch the logs to fill up the gaps and he headed in the direction where other prisoners were fetching firewood, but disappeared in the woods,” Makapa said.
“I called him once and he responded. However, when I called the second time, there was no response meaning he had escaped.”
Elvis Chigendu, another prison officer who was present, said he only got to know that there was a prisoner who escaped when he called for a routine check-up.
“When I called everyone for the routine check, Makapa approached me to tell me there was one prisoner who had disappeared into the woods,”Chigendu said.
“We immediately launched a manhunt into the nearest villages, but we did not find him.”
Nyathi was arrested recently when he was found in possession of meat that he failed to account for.