- AG working on extraditing the criminals
- 6 still at large; suspected in neighbouring countries
The Botswana Prisons Service is slowly but surely turning the tide in the pursuit of 15 Zimbabwean jailbirds who escaped at the Francistown Centre for Illegal Immigrants (FCII) last January.
Recently Innocent Nyoni, Bruce Masuku and Thabani Ncube who were initially arrested for murder- were all nabbed in Zimbabwe, their home country.
“The prisoners are currently in the hands of the Zimbabwean authorities while the Attorney General is still in the process of extraditing them to Botswana,” revealed the Prisons Commissioner Alicious Sisikwe who said the trio were arrested following combined efforts of stakeholders, especially Interpol.
Sisikwe says they are still searching for the other six escapees who are also suspected to be hiding in Zimbabwe and neighbouring countries. The three arrested will be charged for escaping from custody, facing a possible additional 2-year imprisonment.
The 15 escape artists breached the facility’s security fence using a manhole lid before ducking in the bush during the weekend they escaped. At the time of their escape, the prisoners wer e arrested for committing crimes in Botswana that include murder, robbery, possession of ivory, housebreaking and theft.
Meanwhile the prison escape is reported to have cost jobs of some jail guards who were on duty at the time and caused others to be demoted. Immediately after the escape, the Prisons department instituted a robust investigation and The Botswana Gazette understands that heads rolled as a result.
It also surfaced immediately after the prison escape that guards at the FCII were miffed about their poor working conditions and the unwillingness of their top brass to improve the ‘bleak’ conditions.
Employees of the Prisons services have always complained that while the Botswana Defense Force and Botswana Police Service have advocacy bodies like the Defense Council and Police Association they have no place to voice their concerns