‘Thieving’ prison guards court case in false start

The matter in which four prison officers stand accused of stealing thousands of kilograms of food stuff meant for consumption by prison officers has been postponed as the complainants were in no show and trial could not commence.

The matter was postponed to July 3 before a Harare magistrate.

Rukudzo Konje (42), Rhoda Mawadze (37), Avellino Muchawa (42) and Margaret Chikwature (30) are facing charges of theft.

The State led by prosecutor Idah  Marufu, alleges that Konje who is employed as a principal correctional officer at Harare Central Prison and was in charge of the rations office while the other three were attached under her.

On several occasions during the period extending from August to December last year, the quartet would steal various prisoners’ rations and share loot.

The happenings were allegedly witnessed by inmates as they did not try to hide it.

It is alleged that Assistant Commissioner Never Kambiza the officer in charge got information to the effect that prisoners’ rations were being stolen by the four.

During the process of investigation, the four allegedly connived and stage- managed an unlawful entry into the premises committed under aggravated circumstances to the effect that the ration store room had been broken into all in a bid to cover up their offence.

The officer in charge Kambizi made a police report to the effect that the prison facility had been broken into.

He however went on to request an internal audit for the kitchen.

It was later discovered that 1 447.8 kgs of sugar, 166.8kgs of salt, 217.58kgs chicken and 3 023.3 kgs beans were missing.