The Dedza first Grade Magistrate Court has sentenced Wisiki Magombo aged 39 to six years in jail for being found in possession of a pangolin.
Cassim Manda, Dedza police Deputy spokesperson, said Magombo was arrested in December 2019 after being found in possession of the said protected animal.
The state prosecutor, Sub Inspector Mariot Kamaliza, told the court that police officers at Njonja police post received a tip that Magombo was keeping a live pangolin at his house and was looking for the buyers.
According to Kamaliza, upon receiving such a tip, police officers at Njonja instituted an investigation leading to the arrest of Magombo.
He further told the court that Magombo had been keeping the pangolin for many days and this resulted into its death due to poor diet.
In mitigation, Magombo said he takes care of his wife, kids and a very old mother and pleaded for a lenient sentence.
However, Kamaliza objected to Magombo’s request saying when he was committing the offence, Magombo was well aware of his family obligations. Kamaliza then prayed for stiff penalty to be mated on Magombo.
Concurring with the state prosecutor, presiding first Grade Magistrate Symon Mwambo agreed that the offence Magombo committed is serious in nature. He then sentenced him to 6 years imprisonment with hard labour.
Being found in possession of protected species, pangolin in particular, attracts maximum sentence of 30 years without option of fine under section 86 sub section (1) as read with section 110 B subsection (b) of the National parks and wildlife act of 2017.
The convict hails from Chamber village in the area of Traditional Authority Kachere in Dedza district.