Leonard Ncube Victoria Falls Reporter
A Binga man, who was caught while trying to sell a pangolin for US$1 000, must now do 620 hours of community service at Binga Police Station.
Cleopas Dube (38) of Bazingili Village under Chief Siabuwa had pleaded not guilty to possessing a pangolin when he appeared before Binga magistrate Mrs Portia Mhlanga-Moyo.
Through his lawyer, Mr Knowledge Dingani of Mvhiringi and Associates, Dube told the court that the pangolin was brought to him by the anti-poaching team of Zimparks rangers and police.
But the magistrate instead found Dube guilty and sentenced him to two years in jail before suspending six months on condition of good behaviour in the next five years and then the remaining 18 months if he did the 620 hours of community service.
Prosecuting, Mr Quiet Mpofu said: “On 24 September 2019, Mr Tarisayi Kwembeya, a ranger from Zimparks received a tip-off to the effect that the accused was in possession of a live pangolin which he was selling for US$1 000.
“Rangers teamed up with police and called Dube on his cellphone pretending to be buyers.”
Mr Mpofu said Dube, who was in the company of an accomplice, directed the anti-poaching team to a place along the Siabuwa-Mujeri road in Bhombodube Village.
Dube and his alleged accomplice, who is still at large, brought the pangolin in a cardboard box and handed it over to Mr Kwembeya whom they assumed was the buyer.
However, Dube and his alleged accomplice became suspicious and fled from the scene before they could be given the money, the court was told.
The two left the pangolin behind.
Dube was finally arrested in February while his alleged accomplice is still on the run.