A man accused of being Zimbabwe’s most prolific serial r_apist escaped from prison on October 1, online tabloid ZimLive reported Wednesday.
Sam Muropa, 31, was arrested in August and charged with 19 counts of robbery, six counts of r_ape, one count of aggravated indecent assault, three counts of indecent assault, one count of money laundering and one count of impersonating an officer after allegedly posing as a soldier to commit a spate of crimes in Harare.
Prison sources said that Muropa escaped from Harare Remand Prison after scaling the security wall by using a chair and three concrete pillars.
Authorities believe he was assisted by prison officers in the escape.
A source at the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) said: “Muropa was a category D prisoner and was occupying Cell 12. He was reported missing at about 4.30PM on October 1.
“As far as I know, it was not until October 3 that a report was made to the police. I suspect someone within prisons wanted a cover-up because clearly he had inside help. But knowing the kind of crimes Muropa is accused of, you would think the prison service would have issued an immediate alert to inform the country that a dangerous prisoner accused of raping up to 21 women was on the loose.”
Muropa was reportedly wearing a green tracksuit and khakhi prison shirt when he escaped. The prison shirt was found hanging from a razor wire on the prison wall where he allegedly jumped over.
In August, a court heard how Muropa, of Kuwadzana, drove around Harare in an unmarked Toyota Wish picking up women looking for transport before robbing and r_aping some.
Three victims were robbed of their Covid-19 vaccination cards, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) charged.
Prosecutors said police were following other leads and the list of his crimes is likely to grow beyond the 21 victims so far identified. All were attacked between July and August this year.
Magistrate David Mangosi ordered Muropa held without bail.
Anesu Chirenje, for the NPA, told the court that Muropa – acting in connivance with two other suspects still at large – took advantage of public transport shortages and lured nearly two-dozen women into their pirate taxi pretending to offer them a lift to their intended destinations.
Instead, the silver Toyota Wish with registration AFM5235 would deviate from the route, and the women were all robbed, and sometimes r_aped.