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61 inmates spend 3 nights naked

Notorious robber Lucky Matambanadzo today told a Harare Magistrate’s Court that he was part of the 61 inmates who were forced to be naked for three nights.

Matambanadzo, one of Martin Gumbura’s eight co-accused in the failed prison break and violence trials, said this while giving his defence outline before Harare magistrate Francis Mapfumo.

The notorious robber, took the entire morning session narrating the heart-rending life that subsist in Zimbabwe’s maximum security prison where he highlighted that prison officers ill-treat inmates.

“We were forced to go for three nights without clothing as we were suspected of inciting violence and master-minding the failed prison break.

“We were locked in a room without blankets. The room was also wet as buckets of water were poured all over the floor,” said Matambanadzo.

He also said that inmates were victimised for complaining about the relish that was being served.


“At one point I was assaulted for failing to finish sadza as my jaws were in pain after the beatings,” he said.

Matambanadzo pleaded not guilty to all the charges leveled against him.

“I never intended to run away from jail and I never mentioned to anyone that I want to run away,” said Matambanadzo, adding that he never broke any prison property.

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Lucky Mhungu, one of the other co-accused also refuted state allegations that they provoked violence at Chikurubi Maximum Prison.

“We were only concerned with the deterioration of inmates’ health since we had lost three clients in three months,” he said.

Gumbura who is at the forefront of the case yesterday claimed that he never enflamed other convicts to rebel against the poor relish that they were being served with on a daily basis.
Six other accused are expected to give their defence outline on Monday

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Journalist based in Harare

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