NINE inmates at Chikurubi Maximum Prison, suspected of organising the fatal food riots that occurred at the correctional centre last week, appeared at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts yesterday on charges of attempting to escape from lawful custody, malicious damage to property and negligence.
They included rapist pastor Robert Martin Gumbura and notorious armed robbers Lucky Matambanadzo and Lucky Mhungu, among others.
The State alleges that in February this year, Gumbura incited inmates in B Cell, urging them to revolt against prison authorities for giving them a poor diet. After his address, the prisoners allegedly spent the night singing in protest.
On March 13, Matambanadzo, Mhungu and their alleged accomplices addressed inmates in C and D cells, influencing them to join the protests.
Hell broke loose the following day, when the prisoners went wild, climbing up the walls, breaking asbestos sheets, windows and water pipes, among other infrastructure.
Prison officers opened fire on the striking inmates, killing five of them while several wardens were left injured in the skirmishes.
The suspects were remanded to mid-April for trial.