By Romio Takundwa
Police in Mashonaland Central have arrested a 38 year old Mukumbura man on allegations of unlawful possession of a pangolin, which is an endangered specie in the country.
Acting Provincial Spokesperson for Mashonaland Central, Assistant Inspector Dhliwayo told this publication that on September 11 this year, the suspect Moses Mabhande was arrested by a team of officers who had received a tip off to the effect that he was looking for the animal buyer.
Tawanda Gangarabwe of Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management together with his colleague contacted the accused purpoting to be prospective buyers of the pangolin.
They agreed to meet at Copacabana in Harare to discuss the transaction before settling for US$2000.
After their meeting in Harare, they then made another arrangement to meet in Mukumbura at Gomo’s village to finalize the transaction.
Mabhande was arrested thereafter he had demanded payment upfront before bringing the pangolin but the joint team of police officers from flora and fauna Mt Darwin together with those from the National Parks and Wildlife Management insisted on seeing the animal first.
He later bowed to their demands before producing the pangolin leading to his arrest.
The suspect risks a 9 year prison sentence once convicted as the convict carries a mandatory sentence of nine years.
“Police would like to thank members of the public for the information leading to the arrest of the accused person and the recovery of the pangolin.
“We want to emphasize to members of the public that it is prohibited to hunt, possess, sell or buy a live specially protected animals and a pangolin is one of those by virtue of its scarcity. The hunting, possession, sell or purchase thereof requires special permits ,” said the police.