By Codelia Mondela
Two inmates who escaped from Bulawayo Prison last Saturday have each been sentenced to 24 months in prison.
Peace Mapfumo (22) and Lloyd Hurukuru (22) were arrested the following day at Makado roadblock along the Bulawayo-Beitbridge Highway after prison officers, with the assistance of the police, tracked them down
. A court heard that after running away from prison, the two convicts went to Hurukuru’s cousin, Dzingai Chademana (26) and his sister Anna Mpofu (36) in Selbourne Park suburb where they got assistance.
Mapfumo was serving a six-month sentence for assault while Hurukuru was serving 21 months for unlawful entry and theft. The duo pleaded guilty to charges of escaping from lawful custody before Bulawayo magistrate Mr Franklin Mkhwananzi.
Chademana and Mpofu were not asked to plead to the same charges. They were granted $50 bail each and remanded to Thursday for trial.
The magistrate said Hurukuru and Mapfumo had committed a serious offence which deserved a custodial sentence.
“Despite pleading guilty to the charges, the two of you committed a serious offence of escaping from lawful custody. The prison officials were also wrong. How could they assign you work to clean cars near a place where there was a gate. I also would have been tempted to escape,” he said.
Mr Mkhwananzi sentenced them to 24 months each in prison and suspended six months from each sentence on condition that they do not commit a similar offence in the next four years.
Hurukuru pleaded with the court to transfer them to another prison saying officers at Bulawayo prison would make their life unbearable.
The two have since been transferred to Khami Prison.
Prosecuting, Mr Nkathazo Dlodlo alleged that the duo sneaked out of the prison complex through a small gate last Saturday.
“At around 6PM, they were assigned to clean cars at the car wash within the prison complex.
“They took advantage of the prison officers who were at a distance and tiptoed through a small gate leading to the Officer-in-Charge’s house,” he said.
“The two prisoners hired a taxi, went to Mpofu’s house and the taxi fare was paid by Chademana.
“They requested for a cellphone and civilian clothes so that they could not be identified. They also asked for transport money to travel out of Bulawayo to evade arrest.
“Chademana allegedly gave Hurukuru the cellphone and $4 while Mpofu gave them clothes and burnt their prison uniforms. The Chronicle