Police in Bulawayo are hunting for a suspect who escaped from the holding cells at Western Commonage court allegedly with the assistance of his brother.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube said the incident happened on Saturday and they have since arrested the brother Cylivestar Ncube who is now facing a charge of being an accessory to the crime of escaping from lawful custody.
The suspect Mandlakayise Ncube who had been arrested in connection with a robbery case is still on the run.
“Circumstances are that the accused was one of the relatives who attended a court hearing of the escapee, Mandlakayise Ncube (elder brother) who is a suspect in connection with a robbery case,” said Inspector Ncube.
“The escapee was remanded in custody. Whilst the prison officers were escorting the prisoners who were 21 to the holding cell at Western Commonage Court, the escapee bolted out of the court after he had removed the leg irons which were used to cuff him. The prison officers tried to give chase but he had already disappeared.”
Inspector Ncube said the security officers used the address provided in the docket to track down the suspect.
“The prison officers raided the house and Cylivestar was located, after questioning him he revealed that he is the one who assisted the escapee by taking him from a certain house in Mpopoma to an unknown destination and they arrested him,” said Inspector Ncube.
However, Cylivestar’s lawyer, Marygold Nomthandazo Sibanda of Vundhla-Phulu and partners said her client was heavily assaulted by the prison officers.
“Cylivestar was also around during the court case and he only asked the prosecutor when his brother will reappear in court for the hearing and he was advised that on the 7th of April. He proceeded home and he says after hours his brother called him to come to pick him up at someplace. After picking him up they went home and his brother only stayed with him for a short while,” said Sibanda.
“Later on during the day, some uniformed men visited Cylivestar and inquired about his brother’s whereabouts and he indicated that he wasn’t aware of his whereabouts and they left.”
Sibanda said around 12 midnight the prison officers came back and heavily assaulted her client.
“They started assaulting him from 12 midnight until 5 am, they were very careful not to attack him in the face, they beat him around his body and feet, one toe has been bleeding ever since,” said the lawyer.
She said the prison officers continued with the torture until Sunday.
“They also beat up some neighbours and smashed some people’s windows. I am yet to try to locate these other people,” said Sibanda.
She added that Cylivestar was arrested while trying to make a report at Entumbane Police Station.
“Now we are trying to appeal against the officer in charge at Entumbane police station to give us all the information provided by our client. We need to have proper identification of the people who assaulted him,” she said.
Sibanda added that a docket has not been opened against her client and he is yet to receive medical assistance.