A ZIMUNYA businessman, Archwell Maramba, has been jailed nine years for illegal possession of python meat after it was found stashed in his house.
Maramba (58) was convicted on his own plea of guilty to contravening Section 45 of the Parks and Wildlife Act when he appeared before Mutare magistrate Sharon Chipanga on Wednesday.
The crime attracts a minimum mandatory jail term of nine years as pythons are classified as a protected species.
In mitigation, Maramba told the court that his friends had brought him the dead reptile and he wanted to eat it as it is believed to have some medicinal properties.
“I wanted to eat the python to cure my spine and since I ate my first python I have seen remarkable improvements. I only eat pythons and I was introduced to that by artisanal diamond miners (makorokoza) in Chiadzwa a few years back,” he said.
Prosecutor Andrew Motsi told the court that police pounced on Maramba on January 23 this year following a tip-off and found him drying the reptile’s skin with some of the meat stashed in his house, leading to his arrest.