Chikurubi Jail Break Trial Paused As Spy Is Hospitalised


The trial in which nine Chikurubi maximum prison inmates who are accused of attempting to break from incarceration has been deferred to next year after the chief witness in the matter was hospitalised.

Court heard Tuesday that Claudius Mutizwa has undergone hernia surgery and is currently recovering at Parirenyatwa hospital.

Mutizwa is the first witness and 24 more witnesses are yet to testify against the accused inmates who include the rapist serving 40 years, Robert Martin Gumbura.

Mutizwa had complained about his health since he started giving evidence three months ago.

He alleged that the state was negligent over his condition and wanted him to die as he implicated senior government officials in his evidence.

However, news of his hospitalisation sparked fresh arguments from some of the inmates Mutizwa is testifying against.

Blessing Chiduke, 28, demanded an explanation why his own medical concerns were ignored yet he was the first one to complain about his health.

“I feel I’m being let down because I’m one of the accused inmates. I sought assistance from the same handlers but nothing has materialised since March this year,” he complained.

Blessing initially told the court that he suffered from severe backache and, on Tuesday, revealed he was also suffering from hernia.

However, the prisons doctor told court that his illness was not life-threatening, adding that he should be strong as a “young man.”

His accomplice, Lucky Mhungu also told the court that he was suffering from hernia and requested that they appear in court before next year to air their grievances as “something was happening to them”.

“I request that we be brought to court before trial continuation because something is happening to us and we don’t know what will be the outcome.

“So coming to court may give us an opportunity to disclose what is happening,” he said.

However, presiding magistrate Francis Mapfumo said the inmates should present their ailments to the prison doctors as the court was not a hospital.

The nine inmates are being accused of resisting and beating up law officers, damaging jail property and inciting a food riot which left five inmates dead in March this year.

They all deny the charges.


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