Possession of a dead pangolin proved costly for a Harare man after he was yesterday slapped with a mandatory nine-year jail term.
Moses Magetsi was charged with contravening the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority Act when he appeared before magistrate Mr Tendai Mahwe.
In passing sentence, Mr Mahwe said although Magetsi was a first offender, his offence was serious and a deterrent sentence was called for.
“This is a serious offence, which is now prevalent nowadays and a deterrent sentence is called for, if we are to prevent the extinction of pangolin s.
“You are therefore sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment,” he said.
In mitigation, Magetsi told the court that he was taking care of his child and two brothers since their parents passed on.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge, saying he was not even involved in the deal.
Sometime in February this year, police detectives received information to the effect that Magetsi intended to sell a pangolin.
The court heard that while making a follow-up, the detectives proceeded to Harare Main Post Office purporting to be buyers and they picked up Magetsi at around 9:30pm. It is alleged that the detectives proceeded to Highfield in the company of Magetsi.
As they were in Highfield, Magetsi went on to collect the dead pangolin and brought it to them.
It is alleged that the detectives requested to see a permit which authorised Magetsi to possess the pangolin and he failed to do so, leading to his arrest.
The pangolin was valued at $5 000.