Eight prisoners are expected to nail Independent End Time Message leader Robert Martin Gumbura and eight others accused of masterminding a foiled jailbreak at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison. The eight will testify against Gumbura, armed robber Lucky Matambanadzo (39), Blessing Chauke (25), Lucky Mhungu (38), Taurai Dodzo (47), Thomas Chacha (37), Thulani Chizema (32), Jacob Sibanda (28) and, Elijah Vhumbunu (38).
The accused are serving various sentences ranging from 12 to 40 years.
They are facing charges of attempting to escape from lawful custody, malicious damage to property among other charges.
Gumbura is represented by Mr Tapson Dzvetero.
The lawyer for the other eight, Mr David Hofisi, was said to be indecisive on whether to represent the group or not.
Prosecutor Mr Michael Reza told the court that he would proceed to trial today whether Mr Hofisi comes or not.
Mr Reza alleged that during the morning of February 13 in B Hall, Gumbura allegedly incited other inmates to protest over alleged infringement of their rights because of the type of food they were being given, in a bid to create chaos so that he and his accomplices could escape during the commotion.
With the intention to escape, Chauke, Matambanadzo, Mhungu, Dodzo, Chacha and Chizema allegedly gathered and addressed inmates in C Hall and influenced them to refuse food on that day and protest over poor food quality.
It is alleged that at the same time Sibanda, Vhumbunu and the other three inmates who are now deceased were addressing inmates in D Hall to act similarly.
At around 9am, the inmates refused to eat the porridge which had no sugar and demanded to see the officer-in-charge, Chief Superintendent Marange who then sent his deputy, Superintendent Dumbura who addressed them.
Supt Dumbura left C Hall and went to D Hall where he ordered food to be brought in so as to be served to those who wanted to eat.
Before the food was served, Titus Mandikodza, who is now late, went on top of the roof through a hole in the asbestos sheets, which they had already drilled, the court heard.
Vhumbunu and Sibanda allegedly took sadza and dried vegetables and threw them at Supt Dumbura.
Violence erupted, with prisoners vandalising property whose value is estimated at $450 000.