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Court dismisses Mutsvangwa driver application

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Provincial magistrate Archie Wochiunga on Tuesday dismissed an application by Prince Muusha, the driver to former Zimbabwe ambassador to China Christopher Mutsvangwa and his accomplice Stephen Chizema who wanted their charges of being in illegal possession of a pangolin combined.

Muusha and Chizema are facing a charge of unlawful possession of a specially protected animal and another one of cruelty or unnecessarily tying up or confining an animal.

The two were arrested over the weekend for possessing a pangolin, which is a protected species, and allegedly attempting to sell it in central Harare.

They were not asked to plead on Monday and remanded out of custody to July 25 on $100 bail each.

It was not clear in State papers where Muusha obtained the endangered animal from.

The two were arrested near the Vehicle Inspection Depot by police detectives from the Border Control and Minerals Unit who had trailed them along Robert Mugabe Road after receiving a tip-off from an undisclosed informant.

It is alleged the two were travelling in a Nissan Almera heading towards Eastlea suburb, to look for a buyer when the detectives pounced on them and searched the vehicle, leading to the recovery of the pangolin.

The pair was nabbed after failing to produce a licence or permit authorising them to possess an endangered species.

If one is found guilty of possessing such an animal in Zimbabwe, they may be sentenced to three years in jail among other punitive measures.

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