A 21-YEAR-OLD Malawian man yesterday appeared in court after he was caught with a snake in Harare’s CBD intending to take it to a traditional healer in South Africa.
Jafali M’Mbwana of Mangitshi Township, Malombe District, was charged for contravening the Immigration Act and the Parks and Wildlife Act when he appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Elijah Makomo.
He pleaded guilty to the charges saying he intended to take the snake to South Africa.
Mr Makomo found M’Mbwana guilty of the first count and sentenced him to 20 days imprisonment before suspending the sentence on condition that he be immediately deported.
He also slapped him with a one month jail term on the second count before suspending it for three years on condition that he does not commit a similar offence in the next three years.
Allegations were that on May 1, at around 4pm, a police officer from Harare Central was on patrol at Road Port near Fourth Street Bus Terminus when he saw people gathering around M’Mbwana.
The court heard that the police officer went to investigate why people were gathering around M’Mbwana and found that he had a cobra in his bag.
The police officer arrested M’Mbwana and took him to Harare Central Police Station. Upon arrival, the controller asked M’Mbwana to open the bag and he showed him the snake.
It is the State’s case that the police officers also discovered that M’Mbwana had no valid passport.
The court heard that the snake was handed over to the Department of National Parks and Wildlife who valued it at $100.