AN ARMED robber who escaped from Khami Prison in March yesterday told a Bulawayo magistrate that a prison officer gave him $10 to travel to Beitbridge.
Bigboy Chauke (27) who is being charged alongside Calisto Dube (34), told Western Commonage magistrate Maphios Moyo that a prison officer only identified as Mangwiro aided their escape.
Chauke was due for release next year while Dube who was jailed for possession of an unlicensed gun, still had two more years to serve.
Chauke told the court that on March 4 he and other inmates went to work at the prison farm escorted by prison officers.
“At around 12 noon officer Mangwiro took me away to the main gate,” he said.
“He gave me $10 and his cellphone number so that I could call him when I had gone.
“We then climbed over the fence and went away. He said the money he gave me was for transport to Beitbridge.”
Chauke said as they made good their escape they met an elderly man between Robert Sinyoka and St Peter’s villages.
Dube allegedly asked if he could assist them with clothes but the man did not respond.
“I asked the old man to assist us and he took off some clothes and gave them to me and he remained naked,” Chauke said.
“Accused One asked what the old man would wear and we left him with the prison clothes we were wearing which he put on.”
The State will call Mangwiro to testify in the case.
Last week Chauke had told the court that Mangwiro had assigned him to steal irrigation pipes for him from the prison garden and told them to leave in appreciation of the theft.
Dube said they escaped because prison guards were threatening them.
The two told the court that they wanted to test life outside prison. Prosecutor Kingstone Mkanganwa told the court that after their escape, Dube and Chauke met one Oliver Ncube in a bushy area between Robert Sinyoka and St Peter’s where they robbed him of his two trousers and a shirt.
Ncube was left naked after the two threatened to attack him with an axe if he did not comply.
Dube and Chauke were arrested while trying to board a train to Chikwalakwala.
Mkanganwa said on the day in question the two were working in the fields with 53 other inmates before they were asked to go and fetch water by a senior prisoner officer about 200m from their work place.
It was the last time the two were seen.