TWO serial armed robbers from Mashonaland West province have been jailed a total of 132 years after being convicted of 14 counts of armed robbery involving property and cash valued at $1 200.
Report by Charles Laiton
Moses Mpofu (31) and Jorum Banda (23), who had terrorised the province, were jailed 60 and 72 years respectively by Chinhoyi regional magistrate Never Katiyo on Monday.
They will, however, serve effective 55 and 67 years respectively after the magistrate suspended part of their terms on condition of good behaviour.
During the attacks, Mpofu and Banda — who acted in cahoots with other accomplices still at large — were armed with a pistol and a shotgun each time they pounced on their victims, including adults and children.
They stripped some of their victims naked and assaulted them with the shotgun butt before robbing them.
Their luck ran out on April 14 when detectives received information about their whereabouts following which they tracked them down and arrested them at their respective residences in Kwekwe.
Mpofu and Banda openly admitted in court that they were only stopped by the police’s swift reaction, saying their real intention was to take notoriety to greater heights.
“I am not sure as to when we would have stopped had it not been for the swift reaction by the police,” Mpofu said.
“We started robbing people on February 28 this year at a mine in Kadoma and I was in the company of Banda and Justice Ndinabadhli, who is still at large. From there, we pounced on several other victims robbing them of cash and cellphones.”
In passing sentence, Katiyo lambasted the pair’s behaviour and warned would-be criminals that violent crimes would not be tolerated.
“The whole of the Mashonaland West province community was terrified and lived in fear of the two accused persons whose criminal enterprise cannot be tolerated by the courts,” Katiyo said.
“Cases of violence are on the increase and there is need for stiffer sentences against the perpetrators in order to deter other like-minded offenders.”