TWO Bulawayo men have been slapped with a nine-year jail term each for illegal possession of pangolin skins.
Freeman Nonjerai and Simplisiyo Manzunza, both from Nkulumane, pleaded not guilty to the charge when they appeared before regional magistrate Joseph Mabeza to answer to the charge last Friday.
Prosecutor Naison Chivayo told the court that on August 4, 2021, Nonjerai and Manzunza were spotted by police officers carrying a white sack with pangolin skins weighing 1,163kg.
A police detective told the court that on August 4, they received an anonymous call stating that the pair was illegally in possession of pangolin skins at Munyoro shops in Nkulumane.
In his defence, Manzunza said he met Nonjerai who was carrying a sack at the shops.
Manzunza said he advised Nonjerai to get a face mask as the police were in patrol. Nonjerai then handed him the sack as he rushed back home to get the face mask.
Manzunza said that was when they were approached by police detectives who arrested them for possession of pangolin skins.