A 35-YEAR-OLD man from Binga has demanded to be sent to jail along with his two wives saying he was afraid that they would move on with their lives without him.Mike Mpande of Siabuwa area was arrested on Sunday after he was found in possession of a pangolin skin. Binga magistrate Aeline Munamati convicted him of possessing a pangolin skin and sentenced him to nine years in prison.
Mpande pleaded with the court to allow his family to spend jail time with him because he feared that his wives might move on while he serves his jail term. He also said without a breadwinner, they would starve while he was in jail.
“Please, let me take my family along with me to prison because they will starve while I’m in jail. At least inside I know they can get food. I have two wives and seven children and I’m scared I will find them dead or even with other husbands when I come out of jail,” said Mpande who appeared in court with his accomplice Moses Mwinde, 35, also of Siabuwa area.
Mwinde was charged for possessing pangolin and python skins. He was convicted and will serve an effective nine years in prison. When quizzed why he committed the crime, Mwinde told the court that the python skin was like a flower to him and that is why he kept it.
“I found the python dead and I liked the skin as it appeared like a beautiful flower. I kept it in my room as I loved admiring it,” he told the court.
Prosecuting, Bruce Maphosa said on Sunday at Siabuwa Business Centre, police officers were patrolling along with Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management officials.
“They received a tip-off that there were people in possession of python and pangolin skins. In a bid to entice the accused, they purported to be buyers of the skins. The detectives offered to give the accused five 50 kilogrammes of maize in exchange for the skins,” the prosecutor said.
The court heard that the detectives later identified themselves and Mpande and Mwinde were arrested. The value of the skins, which were all recovered, was $7,500.