AN AXE wielding robber who unleashed a reign of terror in Bulawayo's Pumula suburb after waylaying his victims on different occasions and axing them on the same spot has been arrested.
Aleck Mpofu, 38, who acted with accomplices who are on the run, terrorised residents in the suburb by targeting their heads with an axe before robbing them.
Yesterday, he appeared before Western Commonage magistrate Tancy Dube, Mpofu facing 13 counts of robbery. Mpofu denied the charges and was remanded in custody to August 13.
Prosecuting, Kenneth Shava said Mpofu robbed his victims from the same bushy spot using the same method.
"All of Mpofu's victims were axed on the same spot. It seems as if he had turned that bushy area into his attacking spot. He was armed with an axe and Okapi knife," said Shava.
The court heard that between July 13 and 23 this year, Mpofu robbed Brighton Dube, 43, Leviticus Dzvatsva, 57, Abraham Mudziwa, 46, Wonderful Mapfumo, 45, Jephius Masendeke, 58, Xolisani Khumalo, 23, Vitalis Garanewako, 33, Nkosana Mkandla, 43, Allan Makwaru, 21, Nhlanhla Mwanza, 40, Benjamin Dube, 30, and Perphael Ndlovu, 28 and Innocent Gumbo whose age was not given.
He would axe them on their heads leaving them with the same mark.
Shava said Mpofu would pounce on his unsuspecting victims on a footpath between Pumula South and Pumula East and rob them before disappearing into the bush.
His victims yesterday thronged the court accompanied by their relatives and friends. They scrambled to narrate their ordeal to the news crew outside the gallery.
Mwanza said Mpofu and his accomplices stripped him before striking him on the head with an axe.
"He (Mpofu) attacked me on July 23 at around 4PM and took my cellphone and everything I had. They stripped me and struck my head with an axe and disappeared into the bush," he said.
Vitalis Garanewako said he suspected Mpofu was a homeless man who lived in the bush and survived on robbery.
"I suspect this criminal lives in the bush because when he attacked me I saw him carrying pots, blankets and clothes before he disappeared," he said showing the news crew a scar on his head.
The last victim, Perphael Ndlovu, said he overpowered Mpofu when he tried to strike him with the axe and rob him.
"I overpowered him and chased him until I called for help. I attracted the attention of passersby and they caught him leading to his arrest. He had attacked 12 people and I was his last victim," he said.
Mpofu pleaded innocence before the magistrate.
"I didn't attack anyone with an axe. The police assaulted me for no reason and now my arms are swollen. I can die anytime because of the beating I got," he said.