GAMATOX TOP PRISON OFFICER TRIGGERED RIOTS

The trial of the 9 Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison complex inmates facing charges of attempting to escape and damaging prison property continued on Tuesday with the inmates giving their defence outline.

Among the last to testify was Jacob Sibanda who made startling claims that the complainant in the matter Superintendant Jealous Dumbura is responsible for the riot that took place at the prison as he had been politicising inmates since the expulsion of the politicians aligned to the 'Gamatox' faction.

He added that he would accuse the inmates of having contributed to the expulsion of the 'Gamatox' which had been feeding them and threatened that they will die of hunger or would get milk from their father as they had been getting it in 2004.

Jacob said after they were isolated in the FB1 cells Dumbura approached him and threatened him not to spill the beans saying even the magistrate who was in charge of the case was afraid of losing his job as had happened to a Principal Prison Officer known as Kadengu who was fired for pursuing the truth.

Elijah Vhumbunu also made claims that they were being used as sacrificial lambs.

He said they were severely assaulted and had to sleep naked in cells full of water without any blankets for more than 3 days.

He singled out one officer Pambayi as being very aggressive and insensitive to their plight when they complained about the deplorable conditions in the food, the presence of lice and the shortage of blankets that he openly told them these were the ideal prison conditions.

He also claimed that the inmates who are alleged to have been shot on the roof attempting to escape, according to the state papers who include Titus Mandikodza, Dennis Aruma and Zuze who grabbed the gun in the afternoon of the riots, had all been alive after the incident as they had slept with them contrary to what emerged in the papers.

He accused the police of not doing their job as they were just given their names by the prison officials and advised to charge the group.

The matter will continue next Monday where the state will call upon its witnesses to testify.

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