via ‘Gumbura behind foiled jailbreak’ | The Herald March 19, 2015
Jailed RMG Independent End Time Message leader Robert Martin Gumbura masterminded a foiled escape bid by prisoners at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison, leading to the death of five inmates who were shot after ignoring warning shots by security details, Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa said yesterday.
Responding to questions from legislators in the National Assembly, Cde Mnangagwa said the inmates, most of them dangerous, initially thought that prison warders and other security details were not armed and proceeded to climb ceilings in a bid to escape.
When reinforcements fired warning shots, he said, the inmates thought the guns had no bullets resulting in shots being directed at them to stop the escape.
“They conspired to break away from prison. A group of a hundred were involved in this conspiracy, surprisingly also, Gumbura was chairing that conspiracy. They went into the kitchen and caused damage, breaking pipes, attacked prison warders and eight of them were injured. While that was happening the core group was climbing into the ceiling trying to escape. When reinforcement came they thought they had no bullets and attacked the officers.
“They (security teams) then fired into the air but they (inmates) said there is nothing in the guns. They then fired straight at them, that was when they retreated and order was restored. We have now enhanced security.”
Harare West MP Ms Jessie Majome (MDC-T) asked why Cde Mnangagwa’s version was different from spokesperson of the Zimbabwe Prison and Correctional Services, Elizabeth Banda-Karinda’s, who was quoted in the media saying inmates died during an ensuing stampede.
“It is true that I read what you said. But I am giving you a report I got. I have no doubt that the report is authentic and a formal report. I believe that what I said represents what happened,” said Cde Mnangagwa.
On relish, he said the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority had since given prison authorities cooking oil confiscated at border posts for violating entry requirements to feed the inmates.