HARARE – A Chikurubi Maximum Prison inmate who could not wait for his term to run its full course escaped from the country’s biggest jail Wednesday with just four months of his sentence left to serve.
But in later comments, prison officials issued a strange explanation as the motivating factor behind the escape.
In a statement shared Friday via their social media handles, police said they were “appealing for information which may lead to the arrest of Danaishe Chinyama (24) for escaping from Chikurubi Maximum Prison on 07/12/22”.
“The suspect was serving 12 months imprisonment for malicious damage to property and had served eight months,” police said, while appealing for information that could lead to the arrest of the escapee.
Commenting on the incident, Zimbabwe Prison and Correctional Service spokesperson Superintendent Meya Khanyezi told ZimLive Friday Chinyama’s escape was ironically an attempt by the fugitive to elongate life inside the walls of the country’s most resented institution.
“Danaishe Chinyama sneaked out and did not escape prison because he believed society would not accept him back from his previous crime after finishing the remaining months of his sentence,” Khanyez said.
‘Cases like Danaishe’s are common, in which inmates with only a few months left on their sentence deliberately flee because they want their sentence to be increased because they believe their family, friends, and society as a whole will not accept them back.
“We are not treating Danaishe’s case as a criminal offence but rather as a psychological issue in which he feels he is receiving all of his love and affection from correctional facilities that he views as his new found family and does not want to return to society because of the stigma.
“As Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service, we are appealing to society to accept former inmates as rehabilitated and corrected individuals seeking to reintegrate into society.
“It won’t be long before we find Danaishe, a person who had been properly rehabilitated and had earned our trust to work at the nursery.”