Officer Helps Prisoner Escape

Prison Inmates sit in the yard at the Chikurubi Maximum security prison in Harare, Zimbabwe on May 20, 2015 during a tour by a parliamentary committee to assess the state of the nation's prisons where inmates widely complained of food shortages, over-crowding and inadequate food rations and diet. AFP PHOTO/Jekesai Njikizana (Photo credit should read JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP/Getty Images)

HARARE – A prisoner was allegedly assisted by a senior prison officer to escape from Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison in Harare, Zimbabwe.

The prisoner was in a bid to hide potentially incriminating information known by the prisoner and he has been sent back to jail for an effective three years.

Tawanda Chikonyora (35), who was arrested for theft, only had 39 days left to serve from his four year prison sentence when he escaped this year. In recent reports, he revealed that he was assisted by a senior prison officer, who was identified as Gandiwa. Chikonyora told the court that Officer Gandiwa gave him clothes to wear as well as transport fare for after he escaped, without any hassle.

The magistrate, Ms Victoria Mashamba said that Chikonyora committed a serious offence of escaping from lawful custody before sentencing him to four years behind bars. He was given a year less with a condition that he does not commit a crime similar to this offence  The court was shocked as to why the prison officers involved acted in such a way.

“He was assisted by prison officers and the court is surprised why they conducted themselves in such a manner. The court will pass a harsh sentence on the convicted person to deter would-be offenders so that other prisoners and prison officers wouldn’t conduct in corruptions,” she said.

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