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CHIPINGE: A Mozambican national resident in the area was last week slapped with a mandatory 9 years imprisonment for possessing a pangolin, one of the endangered wildlife species in Zimbabwe.
Blessing Aron, 33, who resides at Chimbanje village in Chipinge pleaded guilty of possessing the animal and told the court that he was not aware it is an offence in Zimbabwe as in his country it was legal to own one.
But magistrate Tafadzwa Mhlanga found the Mozambican guilty after prosecutors proved he had smuggled the animal for sale in Zimbabwe and there were no special circumstances warranting reduction of sentence.
“There are no special circumstances in your case, you tried to sell the animal meaning you brought it with a mission to make money but sold it to the wrong people,” magistrate Mhlanga said in passing judgment.
Prosecutor Liberty Hove told the court that on 9 August this year police detectives from Chiredzi received a tipoff that Aron was in possession of a live pangolin at Rimai village in Chechehche.
The court heard that the detectives went to Checheche and met Aron pretending to be potential buyers.
He then led them to the village where he kept the pangolin in a sack and was arrested as he handed over the animal to detectives. source-newzimbabwe