Zimbabwe prison riot to be probed

2015-03-15 14:45
Jail bars. (File photo, AP)

Jail bars. (File photo, AP)

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Johannesburg - Inmates who took part in a riot in a Harare jail might face extended sentences, the official Sunday Mail reported.

Prison spokesperson Elizabeth Karinda-Banda told the newspaper: "After the investigation, a board will be set up... to try offenders. Those found guilty will be penalised accordingly.

"There is the possibility of having their sentences extended," she added.

Three prisoners are now known to have died of injuries sustained during the riot at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison on Friday. Five more are still in hospital in Harare, while 19 are being treated in the prison clinic.

There are conflicting reports as to whether police and army used live bullets to quell the uprising, which is now being presented as an attempted jail break.

The Sunday Mail reported that armed officers shot at prisoners who had climbed onto prison towers.

Teargas was also fired.

Around 900 inmates took part in the three-hour riot at the correctional facility.

It has now emerged that three inmates started the riot by demanding an end to "soup meals".

Prison authorities admit that they had been serving prisoners just sadza porridge and soup, fuelling tensions at the institution. They say they need $1.5 million to run Chikurubi a month.

But Zimbabwe's cash-trapped treasury can only spare $300 000.

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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