By A Correspondent- A Hwange based mine worker has been sentenced to a mandatory nine years in jail after he was found in possession of a pangolin’s skin.
Edmond Zulu (45) of C83 Lwendulu in Hwange was convicted on his own plea of guilty when he appeared before Matabeleland North magistrate-in-charge Mr Tomupei Zhou.
He was sentenced to a mandatory nine years in jail.
A pangolin is an endangered species according to the country’s laws and possessing it attract a mandatory nine-year jail term.
Shelton Sibanda, who had also been charged together with Zulu, was lucky to have charges withdrawn before plea as there was no evidence linking him to the offence.
Zulu, who was represented by Miss Charity Manyeza of Mashindi and Associates, was employed by R Davis Company as a mine blast technician.
Prosecuting, Ms Jamesina Makanza said Zulu violated sections of the Parks and Wildlife Act.
“On the 17th day of August 2021 at 6pm detectives received information to the effect that the accused person was in possession of a pangolin skin which he was selling in Mbizha area near Victoria Falls. Acting on the information, the detectives teamed up with Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority rangers and proceeded to the place along the Hwange-Victoria Falls road,” said Ms Makanza.
Upon arrival, the team saw Zulu standing by the roadside carrying a blue bag, and his clothes matched the description that had been given by the information.
The detectives approached Zulu and introduced themselves and asked to search his bag. They found pangolin skin with 319 scales in the bag.
Zulu was arrested after he failed to produce a permit allowing him to possess the pangolin scales.
The scales weighed three kilogrammes and were forfeited to the State.
A live pangolin is valued at US$5 000.