Inmate gets DeMbare call-up

HARARE - A Harare Central Prison inmate, who was prepared to strut it out barefoot before a well-wisher lent him a pair of cleats ahead of a social match against his idolised Dynamos side, is now on cloud nine.

Agrippa Guti, who is serving a two-year sentence for extortion, made the most of his chance for redemption when he starred in a losing cause for the prisoners’ side against Dynamos in a charity match at Gwanzura Stadium on Saturday.

The inmates received no mercy in a 5-0 hiding by a predominantly third string DeMbare side to mark the Africa Prisons and Correctional Services Day.

There, however, appeared to be a bright spark in the form of attacking midfielder, Guti, who won the praises of Dynamos manager Richard Chihoro. The 21-year-old will only finish his sentence next March and in the meantime, DeMbare will approach the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) requesting for Guti to be allowed to train with the Harare giants.

“When I heard about this game I knew it could be an opportunity for me. I always wanted to try out for Dynamos but when I was outside I hardly had money for bus fare,” he said.

Far from the result, Saturday’s contest was punctuated with light-hearted moments led by Dynamos striker Roderick Mutuma who sealed victory with a brace.

Mutuma signed off his last goal by removing his soccer boots to perform his trademark phone call celebration.

The loop-sided score jolted one lady supporter to sarcastically enquire if the inmates had had anything to eat given growing concern that local prisons are struggling to feed their growing population.

The carnage was only halted when DeMbare coaches Lloyd Mutasa, Murape Murape and Gift Muzadzi entered the fray in the second half.

Murape then stole the show by proving he made the best decision to retire after he was let through on goal only to scoop his weak effort way off target with only the goalkeeper to beat.

Off the field, some prisoners made the most of the bumper crowd by recording brisk business selling CDs of convict testimonials.

ZPCS is currently providing empowerment programmes including inmates receiving educational and professional qualifications as well as various rehabilitation activities.

One of the rehabilitation centres is Connemara Open Prison which houses male inmates who are allowed to go on home leave during their prison terms.

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