Peter Matika, Senior Reporter
FOUR people, among them a 78-year-old man, a self styled traditional healer have been arrested for possessing a pangolin.
The quartet, comprising 78-year-old Stephen Moyo, who walks with the aid of a walking stick, Sipho Mbulawa (42), Fundile Moyo (33) and Mehluli Ngwenya (32), appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Miss Sithembile Ncube last week and were remanded in custody to 13 September for trial.
They are facing charges if contravening section 45 (1) (b) ARW section 128 (b) of the Parks and Wildlife Act chapter 20; 14, as amended in section11 of general law amendment number 5/2011 – found in possession of or keeping a specially protected animal without a permit.
On 28 August this year detectives from Minerals and Border Control Unit and members of the Parks and Wildlife Authority, laid surveillance at Moyo’s house in Nkulumane 12, following a tip-off about the animal.
At around 3pm a Grey Toyota Hilux driven by one Nduna Moyo arrived at the house, where detectives and members of the Parks and Wildlife Authority intercepted it.
It was stated in court records that Mbulawa, Fundile and Ngwenya were seated in the back of the truck, while Moyo was seated in the front passenger seat carrying a box containing the pangolin.
Upon interrogation Moyo told the detectives that the animal was brought to his house by Fundile and Ngwenya, who are from Binga on 24 August this year.
He claimed that Fundile, a self styled traditional healer wanted to use the animal to conduct rituals to cure the three of an unknown spiritual ailment.
The animal was taken to the Veterinary Services, where it was weighed and certified as a female pangolin.
The animal weighed four kilogrammes and was taken to the Parks and Wildlife Authority.
The animal has a street value of $5 000.
Mr Nkathazo Dlodlo presented the case for the State.