By Pamela Shumba
Police in Botswana have launched a manhunt for 15 Zimbabwean prisoners, some of them dangerous, who escaped from a jail in Francistown after cutting the security fence.
Three of the inmates have since been arrested following their escape from Gerald Estates Centre for illegal immigrants on Saturday afternoon.
Francistown deputy police spokesperson Senior Superintendent Dipheko Motube confirmed the incident yesterday.
He said they had launched a manhunt for 12 Zimbabweans who remain unaccounted for following the escape.
“We’ve launched a manhunt for the prisoners. Police officers, soldiers and intelligence officers have been deployed in and around Francistown, including the country’s borders,” said Snr Supt Motube.
Botswana Prisons Services northern regional commander Senior Assistant Commissioner Sekano Sekano said the prisoners used the lid of a manhole to cut the security fence.
He said three inmates were arrested on Sunday and they are Mlindeli Moyo, Sicelo Sibanda and Methuli Sibanda.
Moyo and Sicelo, Snr Asst Comm Sekano said, were on remand awaiting trial for murder while Methuli was awaiting trial on charges of illegally possessing ivory.
They were arrested at Tati Siding village near Francistown.
He named those still on the run as Rowland Moyo, Godwin Mapunga Nyika, Elvis Ndlovu, Zikhamani Ndebele, Edwin Ncube, Thabani Ncube, Sunganai Batiraushe, Brilliant Thabani, Innocent Nyoni and Charlotte Ndlovu.
The names of two others who also escaped were not immediately available.
“The 15 prisoners destroyed the security fence using a manhole lid before running into the bush at the weekend. We’ve notified the police in Botswana and the security forces in Zimbabwe.
“The escapees were arrested for different crimes in Botswana, which include murder, robbery, possession of ivory, housebreaking and theft,” said Snr Asst Comm Sekano.
Police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba could not immediately comment on the matter. The Herald