Mangochi Senior Resident’s Magistrate Court has sentenced Alex Jumbe, 50, to nine years imprisonment with hard labour (IHL) after being found guilty of possessing a live pangolin without license, contrary to Section 86 (1) as read with section 110B (b) of the National Parks and Wildlife Act.
The Court learnt through the Eastern Region Police Prosecution Officer, Assistant Superintendent Charles Panyani that Jumbe, a herbalist, was found with a live pangolin on March 15, 2022 at Mwambajira Trading Centre in Mangochi where he claimed that uses the scales of the pangolin to make concoctions.
“Jumbe was caught on March 15, 2022 at Mwambajira Trading Centre after he was found in possession of specimen of listed species namely; a live pangolin without license,” he told the court.
Jumbe pleaded not guilty and denied the charges which prompted the state to parade five witnesses that testified beyond reasonable doubt that the herbalist possessed the live pangolin
In submission, the state prayed for stiffer penalty on the basis that cases of such nature were rampant in the district and that Jumbe committed a serious offence.
“The court should consider the gravity of the offence and the punishment should not be lesser than 12 years,” Panyani pleaded.
In Mitigation, Jumbe asked for court’s leniency, saying he was a bread-winner of his family and o asked the court for non-custodial sentence.
Senior Resident Magistrate, Rodrick Michongwe said pangolins are listed as endangered species to prevent them from extinction.
“Time has come that we should start to protect the animals otherwise if we tolerate such malpractices then our game reserves will have no animal species in future,” he added.
Michongwe sentenced Jumbe to nine years imprisonment with hard labour to act as a deterrent to other would-be offenders.