Jail me with my wives: Man begs Magistrate

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Adelaide Moyo, Chronicle Reporter
A 35-YEAR-OLD man from Binga has demanded to be sent to jail along with his two wives saying he was afraid that they would move on with their lives without him.

Mike Mpande of Siabuwa area was arrested on Sunday after he was found in possession of a pangolin skin. Binga magistrate Aeline Munamati convicted him of possessing a pangolin skin and sentenced him to nine years in prison.

Mpande pleaded with the court to allow his family to spend jail time with him because he feared that his wives might move on while he serves his jail term. He also said without a breadwinner, they would starve while he was in jail.

“Please, let me take my family along with me to prison because they will starve while I’m in jail. At least inside I know they can get food. I have two wives and seven children and I’m scared I will find them dead or even with other husbands when I come out of jail,” said Mpande who appeared in court with his accomplice Moses Mwinde, 35, also of Siabuwa area.

Mwinde was charged for possessing pangolin and python skins. He was convicted and will serve an effective nine years in prison. When quizzed why he committed the crime, Mwinde told the court that the python skin was like a flower to him and that is why he kept it.

“I found the python dead and I liked the skin as it appeared like a beautiful flower. I kept it in my room as I loved admiring it,” he told the court.
Prosecuting, Bruce Maphosa said on Sunday at Siabuwa Business Centre, police officers were patrolling along with Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management officials.

“They received a tip-off that there were people in possession of python and pangolin skins. In a bid to entice the accused, they purported to be buyers of the skins. The detectives offered to give the accused five 50 kilogrammes of maize in exchange for the skins,” the prosecutor said.

The court heard that the detectives later identified themselves and Mpande and Mwinde were arrested. The value of the skins, which were all recovered, was $7,500.

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  • chirandu_mukuru

    9 years for a pangolin skin while real criminals roam the streets?

  • Gatsheni kaGatsheni

    9 years for possession of a dead animal’s skin? This is utter madness

  • maqhawe ka zulu

    Unbelievable…. this is justice gone crazy. What about the herds of live elephants sold to China, surely that is a serous crime than possessing a skin from a dead animal.

  • blarazonke

    Pangolin and python skin worth $7500? My foot, you buy a gud fortuner with that kind of money. LOL!!!How do they make such evaluations?

  • Jotham

    Thanks Jojo for reminding the Ghost that Jotham is a common name among people of this country – may be not among ghosts.

  • Legal Eagle

    “The minimum sentence for poaching a Rhino USD 120 000, 17 years in jail and no bail. The maximum sentence for poaching a Pangolin is 9 years in jail. .There are certain animals that are classified as endangered and Zimbabwe is Partie to CITES and as such the Law concerning endangered species are subject to guidelines. The problem is that in Zimbabwe not much has been done to educate rural people about these Laws. Because of this if he had a lawyer he might have argued of Extenuating Circumstances. As it stands with the python skins as well the Magistrate would say he got off lightly.

  • Lunga

    Welcome back mpisi!!!

  • Ghost of Sparta

    You think!!!

  • Ghost of Sparta

    Its a free world but not a free Zimbabwe.

  • Kc

    Whatever but he found these animals dead …..please have mercy on this family man.

  • Nsindamanzi

    Crazy sentencing inherited from our colonial past. Our Judicial system questionable once again. Oscar Prestorius in SA was in jail only for 10 months for having shot his girl friend. This poor Binga man is getting 9 years for having skiined a dean python. Come on gus be serious why cause so much hate and suffering in our communtities.

  • Kc

    I agree Legal eagle…also the discretion lies solely with the judge .Who would have really questioned this judge if this man was discharged on the reasons given..the person of the judge concerned is wicked.He should have fully considered what it means to have 2 wife’s and 7 children in rural area and what it means to feed these …picking up dead wild animals would not result in someone being hammered 9 years….God will surely judge these judges for the sufferings that they inflicted and deepened for these poor souls…it would be enough to listen to argument brought forward….rather than trying to figure out what could have happened…the man was ready to get an offer of 50kg meal – mill.The values of those dead corpses is known by those in the know.What does this tell any rationalizing human???.

  • OkaS’lwane

    Lafa elihle sibhekile!!! Even the police understood that he is a poor starving man hence they dangled a 50kg bag of maize, instead of the touted $7 500. We are a sick nation with the police and the courts so pumped up to bash even the poorest of the poor already lying prostrate