A Buhera man will spend the next nine years in jail after being found in possession of 274 pangolin skins.
Thirty-four-year-old Munduna Marayiti of Deure Business Centre in Buhera was apprehended last week after police had received a tip-off of his dealings.
Marayiti appeared before Chipinge magistrate, Mr Poterai Gwezhira, last week on Friday. He was convicted on his own guilty plea and sentenced to nine years for contravening Section 45 of the Parks and Wildlife Management Act. When asked why he committed the offence, Marayiti told the court that he inherited the skins from his late grandfather.
“Your Worship, I was given these skins after the death of my grandfather, who was a traditional healer in Mozambique. I am not a poacher, I am pleading for forgiveness,” he said.
Prosecuting, Mr Gift Bikita said Marayiti was selling the pangolin skins without a licence.
“On July 27, detectives received a tip-off that Marayiti was selling pangolin skins at Deure Business Centre. They reacted to the information and presented themselves to Marayiti as potential buyers.
“Marayiti allegedly took the 274 pangolin skins from his black satchel and showed the detectives. He was subsequently arrested,” said Mr Bikita.
— Manica Post