Manhunt for escaped Hwange prison inmate

Police and prison officers have launched a manhunt for a Gokwe man who allegedly escaped from Hwange Prison recently.

Desire Mpofu aged 19 years and originally from Muketiwa village in Gokwe, was serving a 12-month jail term for a series of housebreaking crimes he committed in Lupane.

He appeared on 17 August 2022 at the Hwange Magistrates’ Courts for a charge of aggravated unlawful entry and was sentenced to 12 months in prison.

He allegedly escaped last week while on routine work with 24 other inmates near the prison premises.

In a statement, police confirmed the escape and that no arrest had been made.

“On 7 September at around 6 am the accused and 24 other inmates were escorted to a brick moulding site about 1km away from the prison premises. At around 8 am while the prisoners were busy moulding bricks, Simon Siathalo, a prison officer noticed that Mpofu was no longer among the other prisoners and efforts to locate him were made but to no avail,” said the police.

The prison authorities formed a search party to locate him in nearby communities but to no avail.

A report was then made to the police in the afternoon of the same day.

Hwange Prison is located in a hilly place southeast of Hwange town between two Zimbabwe National Army 1.2 Infantry Battalion barracks.

This is not the first time prisoners have escaped from the same prison.

In 2018, a self-proclaimed inyanga Masimpe Muleya escaped from Hwange Prison with Maxwell Musariri, a police constable who had been arrested for breaking into colleagues’ houses and stealing various kinds of goods.

Muleya and Musariri used a piece of steel from a combat boot to drill a hole in the wooden section of the prison cell wall before escaping.

Both were re-arrested days later and transferred to Khami Maximum prison.

In Victoria Falls a few years ago a prisoner Noel Mwembe who was serving a 15-month jail term for disposing toxic substances into the environment, escaped while he and other inmates were working at a nearby park after telling prison officers that he wanted to relieve himself and disappeared.

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