Zimbabwean man sentenced 9 years behind bars for possessing pangolin

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A Harare man was yesterday slapped with a mandatory nine-year jail term for possessing a pangolin valued at $5 000.

Friday Osman (43) from Dzivaresekwa was convicted after a full trial by magistrate Mr Elijah Makomo.chief-sigola

His accomplice Chengetai Masunda (37) is on the run after being granted bail by the High Court.

Mr Makomo evoked the nine-year prison term after ruling that there were no special circumstances. The offence carries a mandatory sentence of nine years, which can only be departed from if there are special circumstances provided.

In Osman’s case, the magistrate found none.

Osman was arrested by police detectives who posed as buyers.

On October 22, detectives from CID Braeside received information that Osman and Masunda were selling a pangolin.

Posing as buyers, they proceeded to Osman’s house where they met Masunda.

Masunda took them inside the house and showed them the pangolin which was in a bucket.

The pair was advised by the detectives to take the pangolin to their vehicle. They were also told to get in the car on the pretext they were going to collect the money at Sanganai Inn Service Station.

Upon arrival at Sanganai Inn, the detectives identified themselves leading to the pair’s arrest.

The pangolin was handed over to Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority.

Ms Sharon Mashavira prosecuted.