By Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu
A Botswana national who escaped from a prison in the neighbouring country has been arrested in Zimbabwe for illegal migration.
Givemore Chaloba (26) from Francistown last month fled from Gerald Estates Centre in the neighbouring country together with two other Botswana nationals and 15 Zimbabweans.
Chaloba allegedly entered Zimbabwe through an illegal entry point at Maitengwe Border Post and started living with his relatives in Bulilima District.
He was convicted on his own plea of guilty to illegal migration by Plumtree magistrate Mr Joshua Mawere.
Chaloba was fined $200 or two months imprisonment in case of default.
He told the court that he was arrested after his relatives, who had been promised a reward by Botswana authorities, sold him out.
“I fled from a prison in Botswana where I was being held for theft and I went to my mother’s homestead in Bambadzi area in Bulilima District.
My cousins who are in Botswana learnt that I was on the run and they informed my relatives in Zimbabwe.
My uncle informed the police who arrested me while I was in Bambadzi.
“On the day that I fled from prison, I saw some of my inmates escaping during lunchtime and I joined them. I was not involved in planning the escape,” he said.
Prosecuting, Mrs Rose Sibanda said Chaloba was arrested on February 8 at around 4PM.
She said police officers were on patrol in Maitengwe when they received information that Chaloba, who was an illegal immigrant, was at a homestead in Nsuluba Village in Bambadzi Ward.
Mrs Sibanda said police officers went to the area and asked Chaloba to produce his identification documents but he failed to do so, leading to his arrest.
Botswana Prison Service Northern Regional Commander Senior Assistant Commissioner Sekano Sekano said they would apply for Ndlovu’s extradition.
Eighteen inmates among them three Botswana nationals last month escaped from Gerald Estates Centre in Francistown during lunchtime.
They used the lid of a manhole to cut a security fence at the prison and escaped.
Three of them were arrested a day after escaping from custody.
The escapees were arrested for different crimes in Botswana which include murder, robbery, and possession of ivory, housebreaking and theft.
A Zimbabwean man who also escaped from the prison was recently jailed for 18 months for unlawful entry and theft in Plumtree.
Thembelani Ndlovu (27) stole property valued at R3 600 from Mr Brian Sibanda of Makuzeze Village who had offered him a place to sleep for the night on January 16.
Five other Zimbabweans who escaped from prison in Botswana were said to have been arrested last month. The Chronicle