HARARE – A snake intrusion forced the evacuation of MDC Alliance activists Joana Mamombe and Cecelia Chimbiri from a Chikurubi Maximum Prison cell, it has emerged.
The mystery serpent was spotted dangling from the roof by an inmate sharing the quarters with the female politicians who are in custody for breaching Covid-19 protocols – the latest of several charges in as many months.
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“They screamed until the prison officials came and opened the doors about 2 hours later as the keys are taken by someone who is not ordinarily resident at the prison. I think hearing the noise the snake retreated into the roof,” said Mamombe’s mother Kudzayi Chiwanza.
The close call occurred around 8PM on Friday. The uninvited intruder, which was described as having had a “huge brown head”, was still on the loose Sunday.
Chiwanza said Mamombe, a lawmaker for Harare West, and her fellow inmates “were moved that evening to another cell”, and that wildlife officers were “called in but by Sunday they had not come.”
“The girls are now fearing for their lives and don’t understand how a snake ended up in the roof,” she added.
Reached for comment, Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) spokesperson Tinashe Farawo told ZimLive he would “need to check” on the incident but did respond to a follow-up inquiry for an update.
Chikurubi prison officials were not available.