Pangolin sentence restored to 9 years


MASVINGO – Government has restored the 9-year-mandatory sentence for anyone found in possession of a pangolin which was quashed by Justice Mawadze at the High Court in Masvingo last year.

Justice Mawadze and Justice Joseph Mafusire dropped the nine-year mandatory sentence and replaced it with a three-year sentence after it was found out that somehow the pangolin had been left out of the specially protected animals listed under Section 128 of the Parks and Wild Life Act.

It is only animals listed under Section 128 that attracts a nine-year-mandatory sentence.

After realizing this oversight the Ministry of Environment then regularized the 9-year mandatory sentence for illegal possession of the pangolin by listing it in the appropriate section and this was done in March 2020.

The development is contained in the Statutory Instrument 71/20 in the Government Gazette of March 20, 2020.
Other specially protected animals not listed in Section 128 of the Act attract a three year jail term.

The aardwolf, bat eared fox, cheetah, gemsbok, litchtenstein’s, pangolin, rhinoceros (black and square lipped), roan and wild or hunting dogs are the specially protected animals listed in Section 128 of the Parks and Wild Life Act.
The same Statutory Instrument also repeals SI 80/2004 which allows the hunting and removal of wild dogs and has enlisted the wild dog as a specially protected animal.

“It is hereby notified that the Minister of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry has, in terms of section 43 of the Parks and Wild Life Act (Chapter 20:14), amended the sixth schedule to the Act as follows:-
“…Regulations may be cited as the Parks and Wild Life (specially protected animals), Regulations, 2020. The eighth schedule (problem animals) of the Act is amended by the deletion of the “Wild or hunting dog,” reads part of the gazette.

The enlistment is also contained in a memo from Judge president, George Chiweshe addressed to all High Court judges and stations.

The memo dated June 14, 2020 said that the sentence is with effect from March 2020 and for cases brought before and after March 2020.

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