MUTARE – A Mozambican national and his local counterpart arrested for illegal possession of a live pangolin left the court in roars of laughter as they somersaulted from a guilty plea to not guilty after having been informed that their crime carried a nine-year minimum mandatory jail term.
Kheni Gimo Barai, 29, of Nyahangare Village under Chief Mambura in Katandika, Mozambique and Tafadzwa Ncube, 20, of 24 Mandava, Zvishavane will now go through a full trial beginning this Friday.
The duo settled for a not guilty plea after they were informed before a formal plea recording by magistrate Tracy Muzondo of the nine-year minimum mandatory sentence.
It is the State’s case that the duo were in possession of a live pangolin when they were arrested on June 5.
The court heard how on the day detective constable Mhuru, acting on a tip-off, intercepted the two who were in a Toyota Ipsum registration number ADD 1955 that was parked at Meikles Park at around 0930 hours.
Mhuru was accompanied by detective assistant inspector Mpofu and detective sergeants Mucharuona and Musora.
The four cops searched the vehicle discovering the live pangolin which they allege the duo wanted to sell.
Fletcher Karombe was prosecuting.