Two convicted armed robbers have escaped from Chikurubi Maximum Prison – just months before their expected releases, police said.

Ibrahim Mayeha and Mikia Pikirisi vanished at around 2PM on Sunday while herding cattle at the Chikurubi farm, close to the concrete fortress.

Police said the escaped duo were considered ‘A Class’ prisoners – a designation for convicts serving short sentences or those about to be released who are assessed as not dangerous.

An internal police memo on the incident said a report was filed with Highlands police at 1.20AM on Monday, several hours after the two prisoners “escaped from lawful custody.”

Mayeha and Pikirisi were serving eight years and six years for armed robbery. They were due for release in January and March next year respectively.

“Circumstances are that Mayeha and Pikirisi sneaked away from others whilst they were herding cattle at Chikurubi satellite farm,” the police memo says.

“At around 4PM, prison authorities received a call from an informer to the effect that the prisoners were drinking beer at Chamboko, Gletwin area.

Upon receiving the information, the prison officers decided to wait for their return thinking they will come back but to no avail.”

The Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) says that between January 2021 and October of this year, at least 126 inmates escaped from prison custody.

Class A and B prisoners are more likely escape as they are allowed to go outside the prison walls to work at the nearby farm.

ZPCS said it was installing closed circuit television systems at maximum security prisons and arming its officers as part of efforts to curb prison escapes.