Elias Mahiya Chauke was one of the 4 prisoners who escaped from Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison on the morning of 18 August 1997. He escaped along with Stephen Chidhumo, Pedzisayi Musariri and Mariko Ngulube. He was serving time for murder and a spate of armed robberies. When they escaped, Chauke and his colleagues shot and killed a prison officer.
In the process of escaping, Mariko Ngulube broke his leg and was later apprehended. He later died the same day apparently from the injuries. After escaping, Pedzisayi Musariri was shot and killed by prison officers and Zimbabwe Republic Police support unit officers near the prison.
Chauke was apprehended in the late afternoon of the same day while hiding in a tree. Chauke, Chidhumo, and Edmund Masendeke were sentenced to death. He was eventually hanged in 2003.
Chakue was a trained military man.