JUST IN: Two men jailed nine years each for poaching pangolin

Lingani Nyika, Chronicle Reporter

TWO men from Madumabisa outside Hwange town have been sentenced to nine years in jail after they were caught in a bush in Matetsi with a live pangolin.

It was not stated what Give Dube (28) and Cleopas Mlalazi (25) both of Village 3 Madumabisa wanted to do with the pangolin, but it is believed they poached it as they were found by game scouts with the pangolin wrapped in a jacket.

The two failed to produce a permit allowing them to possess a live pangolin after being asked to do so and were immediately arrested.

The two were armed with an axe and spear when they were caught in Matetsi, about 30km away from their area.

A pangolin is an endangered species and has a live value of US$5 000.

Dube and Mlalazi pleaded guilty to a charge of possessing a protected species when they appeared before provincial magistrate in charge of Matabeleland North Mr Toindepi Zhou at the Hwange Magistrates’ Courts.

Each was sentenced to nine years in jail with nothing being suspended.

Prosecuting, Ms Jamesina Makanza said

“On the 8th day of July, 2021, game scouts from Matetsi Eastern Block received information that there were some poachers inside the farm. The team reacted to the information and proceeded to the area where they saw footprints. The team tracked the footprints and caught up with the two accused,” said Ms Makanza.

The court was told that upon seeing that they were being followed, the duo tried to flee, but were apprehended by the scouts.

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