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Court to visit Gumbura’s foiled prison break scene

By Tarisai Machakaire

A Harare magistrate will on June 4 conduct an inspection in loco of the crime scene where jailed Independent End Time Message leader Martin Gumbura and other convicts were nabbed in a foiled prison break in 2015.

Convicted Independent End Time Message leader Robert Martin Gumbura

Those who witnessed the incident, will point out the scene to Harare magistrate Francis Mapfumo where Gumbura together with Blessing Chiduke, 25, Luckmore Matambanadzo, 39, Luck Mhungu, 38, Taurai Dodzo, 47, Thomas Chacha, 37, Thulani Chizema, 32, Jacob Sibanda, 28, and Elijah Vhumbunu, 38, allegedly attempted to escape from lawful custody.

The inspection in loco will be conducted at Chikurubi Maximum Prison on June 4.

Gumbura is jointly charged with his co-accused with incitement in aggravating circumstances in relation to malicious damage to property and incitement to assault or resist a peace officer.

The court has heard the evidence of two witnesses since 2015 when the crime was allegedly committed, with 14 more billed to testify in the matter.

Prosecutor Michael Reza alleged that Gumbura told inmates to protest for better quality food by singing throughout the night and the message was passed to inmates in C and D halls.

During that night, they sang until dawn, banging on cell iron bars.

On March 13, 2015, Chiduke, Matambanadzo, Mhungu, Dodzo, Chacha and Chizema advised inmates in C Hall to protest by rejecting food.

At the same time, Jacob Sibanda and three other inmates who are now deceased were addressing inmates in D Hall to also protest.

Around 9am, porridge was served but inmates reportedly refused to eat because it had no sugar and demanded to see the prison chief superintendent.

Towards lunch time, Chiduke, Matambanadzo, Mhungu, Dodzo, Chacha and Chizema allegedly demanded to see the officer-in-charge.

The officer-in-charge sent his subordinate, a Dumbura, who was told by the prisoners that they could not eat their food before pushing out the containers that had been brought for lunch.

Dumbura reportedly ordered for food to be brought in for inmates who wanted to eat.

The court heard that just before the food was served, the now-deceased Titus Mandikoza went on top of the roof through a hole that had already been created and started shouting that prisoners were not supposed to eat the food.

At that moment, Vhumbunu and Sibanda poured the food on the prison officer and violence subsequently erupted. Daily News

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