Zimbabwe prisoner died in stampede - report

2015-03-14 12:44
(File, Supplied)

(File, Supplied)

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Harare - The prisoner who died in a riot over poor food at a maximum security prison in Harare was not shot but crushed in a stampede, the official Herald said Saturday.

"Unfortunately one prisoner died. He was caught up in the stampede and he wasn't shot," Elizabeth Banda-Karinda, a spokesperson for the state prison services told the paper.

Eleven people, eight of them prisoners, are now known to have been seriously injured in the three-hour long riot Friday at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison on the outskirts of the Zimbabwean capital.

There are reports of other less serious injuries.

Reports earlier said that police were forced to open fire on the prisoners, although the prison spokesperson claimed the ammunition used was blank.

Wouldn’t eat vegetables

Banda-Karinda said the prisoners did not like the vegetables they were being served along with their sadza porridge, according to the Herald.

The paper, seen as the voice of President Robert Mugabe's cash-strapped government, said a "large number" of inmates were suffering from scurvy and pellagra, both linked to bad diet.

Some prisoners at Chikurubi tried to go on a hunger strike two weeks ago over the lack of food.

The seriously injured prisoners are being treated in hospital.

A commentator calling himself Zvakaoma wrote online: "They have the full right to protest. There are no blankets, no water and nothing at all."

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  southern africa  |  prisons

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