A Filabusi miner and two accomplices have been fined $300 each or seven months in prison after they were found in possession of a live pangolin which they wanted to use for ritual purposes.
Esrom Mudzingwa Maramba, Patrick Dube and Greshem Manyora had been duped to believe if they bathed with water that the animal would have been dipped in, gold production at their mine would surge.
They were arrested at a “prophet’s” house in Bulawayo before the ritual was conducted.
Pangolins are an endangered species and possession of the animal without a licence attracts a jail term.
Maramba (64) of Famona in Bulawayo and his accomplices, Manyora (35) and Dube (35) pleaded guilty to possessing an endangered species in contravention of Section 271 of the Parks and Wildlife Act when they appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Shepherd Mjanja at the Western Commonage Magistrates’ Courts on Friday.
Maramba told the court he did not want to kill the animal, but had been advised by a “prophet” that if he bathed with water in which the animal would have been dipped, luck will come to him and gold output at his mine would rise.
Charges against the trio are that on October 24, Manyora received the pangolin from one Chandawengerwa Zwananani in Harare for safekeeping at his garage.
Zwananani had been asked by Maramba to look for the animal and had allegedly brought it from Rusape.
Zwananani then arranged with Maramba for the pangolin to be transported from Harare to his mine in Filabusi for the ritual.
Three days later, Manyora and Dube transported the pangolin to Bulawayo in a car that had been organised by Maramba.
They were, however arrested in Pumula South last week at the “prophet’s” house before the ritual had been conducted.
The pangolin, valued at $500, was confiscated and forfeited to the State.