Seven of the eighteen Francistown jail birds who escaped from the Gerald Centre for Illegal immigrants on the 14th of January this year were this week sentenced to six months in prison.
On Wednesday morning, Mulindeli Moyo, Sixelo Sibanda, Roland Moyo, Gaomodimo Molosiwa, Givemore Chaloba and Musa Willy were convicted upon their plea of guilty on a single count of escaping from lawful custody.
Before sentencing them Magistrate Ishmael Molobe said the offence they committed generated a lot of public interest with people wondering how a large number of prisoners could escape in broad day light under tight security.
“It brought more questions than answers. I am tempted to believe that some prison waders maybe have been involved. The sentence I will give must show that a door open is not always a door to use to go out,” the magistrate said.
Molobe also said that the court had considered the reasons stated by the escapees in mitigation. Most of them had claimed in mitigation that they were assisted by prison waders to escape.
The prison escapes pleaded with the court to be lenient when sentencing them and most of them claimed they were tempted by the opening that was made on the fence.
Another prison escapee Godwin Mapunganyika was sentenced last month after he pleaded guilty before other escapees.
Eight other escapees are still at large.