Ten Zimbabwean nationals who are currently facing a charge of malicious damage to government property have pleaded with the court to speed up the order in laying a charge against the Police for torture.
One of the suspects, Surprise Phiri, told Francistown Magistrate, Kenneth Obeng, last week that despite an order by the court during their last mention in court that they should be assisted by the prison officials to launch a case against the Police, nothing has ever been done.
“We also pled with the Prison Officers to assist us with medical help, but it seems the prison officers and the prosecution does not want us to see a medical officer because the medical records will turn out as evidence that we were subjected to torture by the police.”
The accused went on to state that the charge they are facing is confusing. He established that although they are facing a charge of malicious damage to property, in prison they were charged with an attempt to escape. According to the charge sheet, the accused, Surprise Phiri, Lawrence Mlaladzi, Nkosinathi Dube, George, Themba Bhebe, Emmanuel Ncube, Kudakwashe Mpofu, Thomas Phiri, Akim Ncube Bhekilizwe Ndlovu acting together, on the 15th of April this year, allegedly destroyed the roofs of two cells in Francistown State Prison where they are currently imprisoned. It is alleged they cut the ceilings of two the two cells.
The prosecutor in the matter told court that he observes the rights of every suspect as everyone is equal before the law. He pointed out that he has observed the order that was granted by the magistrate in the previous mention and pointed a finger at the prison officials for not following the order.
The court ordered that the senior prison officers should be summoned to court to explain why the order had not been observed.
However the first accused, Surprise Phiri, is alleged to be a high profile criminal who is facing another matter in South Africa, which involves armed robbery and murder.
Last year he appeared for another matter in the Francistown court in which he and other four Zimbabwean nationals were arrested after being found in possession of 23 rounds of ammunition and four firearms, which were suspected to be arms of war.
The other four suspects were later discharged and acquitted after the state failed to prove its case against them.