By Cynthia Dube/Auxilia Katongomara
A suspected serial killer from Bulawayo, who allegedly shot dead his friend and a neighbour before burying their bodies in shallow graves in Burnside suburb, has submitted an application of release of his car which is in the hands of the State as an exhibit.
Rodney Tongai Jindu (26) of Glengarry told magistrate Mr Tinashe Tashaya that he wants the State to release his Nissan Gloria Sedan so that his mother, Ms Engelina Mawaro, can use it to bring him better food at Khami remand prison.
He said he cannot stand prison food and therefore required regular and better cooked meals from home. Jindu is facing two counts of killing his neighbour Mboneli Joko Ncube (30) and childhood friend Cyprian Kudzurunga (28). Yesterday he appeared before Mr Tashaya for further remand in connection with the murders.
“May this court release my vehicle so that my mother can bring me special well cooked meals in prison. I have ulcers and l need proper meals for my condition. This car, is a family car, it will also transport my younger brother to and from school as well as transporting him to do his extra curriculum activities,” reads the application.
“I request this honourable court to release my car which was impounded by the police during my arrest on February 3, 2017 to the custody of my mother because it is not safe in the hands of the State. The vehicle is currently stationed in a position that is prone to vandalism and increased depreciation due to direct exposure to the sun.”
Last month Jindu refused to confirm his statements, telling the magistrate that he did not write them freely and voluntarily.
Prosecutor, Ms Leanne Nkomo said the car is an exhibit but the State will consider his letter.
Mr Tashaya further remanded Jindu in custody to June 20.
Jindu was arrested on February 3 for allegedly killing Kudzurunga of Queens Park East. Further investigations linked him to an earlier murder of Ncube on January 29.
Meanwhile, inmates at Khami Prison are reportedly pleading with their relatives to bring them better clothing and food, which they say are in serious shortage at the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) Complex.
They are asking for tennis shoes, work suits, jerseys as well as sugar and matemba, saying the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services is failing to cope with the high numbers of prisoners.
Relatives of inmates who visited The Chronicle on Sunday said the situation is so dire that prison officers are advising them to buy prison garb.
“Imagine visiting your relative in this cold winter and find him wearing tattered garments and slippers. It’s heart breaking. We expect the Government to provide necessities. Yes, they wronged the community by committing crimes but that cannot be a licence to treat them like slaves,” said Mr Thabani Ndlovu.
The relatives feared that the neglect by the prisons could trigger illnesses among the inmates particularly during the harsh winter.
“The inmates are also complaining of an unbalanced diet and as relatives we are forced to set up a budget to cater for them.
“You have to buy things like matemba for protein, tinned foods and sugar. They said clothing provided was not adequate hence some do not have jerseys, work suits and tennis shoes,” said Mr Ndlovu.
The relatives said they were told that if they wished to assist they have to conform to the standards of clothing at the prisons, that is, a red and white jersey, white tennis shoes and white work suits. “Those who are forgotten by their relatives will die of cold this winter, as the jerseys are tattered. One has to do something if they have a jailed relative.
“The situation is the same for both males and females. They are also humans they feel the cold,” said a woman who identified herself as Mrs Sibanda.
The concerned relatives said the red and white jerseys were being sold on order in the city centre for $27.
A prisons official said the situation was the same countrywide due to budgetary constraints.
“Relatives have to chip in because as the prisons, we can’t provide everything due to the harsh economic situation. There is nothing we can do except to let the relatives assist,” said the official.
ZPCS public relations officer Superintendent Priscilla Mthembo promised to respond to questions from Chronicle after lunch on Monday but her mobile phone has not been reachable until the time of going to print last night. The Chronicle