A 34-YEAR-OLD woman from Gokwe has been slapped with a nine-year jail term after she was found in possession of a pangolin skin. Letwin Chari from Mufunguri Village under Chief Chireya in Gokwe was found guilty of possessing a specially protected animal without a permit by Gokwe Magistrate Sithabile Zungula.
In passing sentence, Magistrate Zungula said the charge attracted a custodial sentence. “Matters of this nature attract a custodial sentence and you could’ve killed the specially protected pangolin to get the skin,” she said.
Prosecuting, Maxwell Tapfira told the court that on March 25, Constable Paul Rundariro of the Minerals and Border Control Unit in Gokwe was tipped by an informer that Chari had a live pangolin in her possession.
Police teamed up with members of the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and went to Chari’s homestead. “Upon arrival, they found her and asked her to produce a live pangolin which she had and she told them she was in possession of the skin,” said Tapfira.
Chari then produced the skin but failed to produce a permit authorising her to keep it. She was immediately arrested.