Zimbabwe's Prison Officer Jailed For Assisting Alleged Coup Plotters

Two of the seven years were suspended for good behaviour.

The jailed prison officer identified as Donald Tapera Gwekwerere (26) is being held by the police’s law and order department and sources said he was being quizzed on his relationship with Defence Minister, Emmerson Mnangagwa.

It is strongly believed that Gwekwerere had been sent by Mnangagwa to set free the coup suspects who have been in remand since May 2007. Magistrate William Bhila heard that Gwekwerere had accepted a USD 6200 bribe and a car from the alleged coup plotters and had also been promised a luxurious life in the United Kingdom.

Albert Matapo allegedly attempted to escape from the country’s Maximum Security Prison on the 5th of April 2010 when he was found in
possession of hacksaw blades, a hammer, glass cutters and a 15meter long rope among other materials which the prison officials term
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Matapo was arrested in 2007 together with six other suspects namely Nyasha Zivuku, Oncemore Mazivahona, Emmanuel Marara, Patson Mupfure, Shingirai Mutemachani, and Rangarirai Maziofa on allegations of plotting to replace President Mugabe with a senior ZANU-PF official Emerson Munangagwa.

Most of the suspects are however ex-army officials who have close links with top Zanu PF officials.