By Amelia Johnson|
A Zimbabwean court has ordered guards at Chikurubi maximum security prison to allow convicted rapist Robert Martin Gumbura, accused of masterminding a recent jailbreak attempt, access to basic sanitation.
Lawyers said Gumbura was placed in solitary confinement in March as punishment for his alleged role in the foiled prison break, in which several prisoners tried to escape and several were shot dead by guards and riot police.
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights spokesman Kumbirai Mafunda said it was shocking that it had taken the intervention of lawyers for the prisoners to be allowed to brush their teeth.
“A Zimbabwean magistrate has ordered Zimbabwe Prison and Correctional Services officers to allow nine detainees who are detained in solitary confinement access to toothbrushes, toothpaste and bathing soap,” Mafunda said on Facebook. “The detainees, who are accused of leading riots at Chikurubi Maximum Prison had been denied access to basic sanitary materials since they were arrested in March and detained in solitary confinement.”
ZPCS deputy commissioner-general Aggrey Huggins Machingauta claimed before a parliamentary committee on Monday that the prison escape bid was facilitated by rogue prison guards, police, army and the intelligence service members. He did not say what action had been taken against the serving members but claimed an unidentified woman from outside was part of the racket.
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