Female prisoners on Friday evening ran riot at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison, protesting against bad treatment by jail officials, according to an activist group, #Tajamaka.
Sylvanos Mudzvova, a member of the #Tajamuka publicity team, they learnt of the riot when they visited the prison where numerous protesters arrested and charged recently are being held.
He said anti-riot police had to be called in to quell the rebellion, with some of the female prisoners, among them Linda Masarira who has been languishing in prison for more than two months, being transferred to solitary confinement in a male section.
“We received a phone call on Friday evening about the disturbances and were at Chikurubi by 8am on Saturday.
We noticed that the female section was closed and got information from prison guards that female prisoners had rioted and were badly beaten up by riot police,” said Mudzvova.
As a result of the riot, he added, the prison could not process bail for protesters who had been granted freedom by the courts on Friday, among them Kerina Gweshe, another protester.
Most of the protesters were arrested recently during a march for electoral reforms.
Mudzvova said they were barred from seeing their colleagues.
The female prisoners reportedly sang revolutionary songs and denounced the judiciary for alleged bias against protesters.
#Tajamuka has since July been participating in demonstrations against President Robert Mugabe and his government, resulting in scores of its members being arrested and taken to court.