CHEGUTU Four men from Mupondi village under Chief Ngezi in Mhondoro killed a 2, 5-metre-long python before sharing the meat which they cooked and ate with their families, a development described by a traditional leader as taboo.
The four, Simba Nduviwa (28), Tinotenda Shiri (23), Jide Chiwire (25) and Tatenda Panda (22), on Tuesday appeared before Chegutu magistrate Fabian Feshete for contravening Section 45 of the Parks and Wildlife Act after killing the specially-protected reptile.
The accused persons were convicted on their own plea of guilt and subsequently sentenced to 30 days imprisonment or alternatively pay $200 fine each by April 30.
In mitigation, the accused said they were drunk when they committed the offence and only realised they had killed an endangered specie the following morning. Asked what they wanted to use the python skin for, the accused said they had agreed to make belts.
The State case is that on New Years eve, the accused were at Bhasvi business centre drinking beer. On their way home, the four encountered the giant reptile and killed it by striking it with logs and stones.
They then took the snake to the village where they skinned it before sharing the meat, which they later cooked and ate at their respective homes.
Following a tip-off, the village headman Killian Nduviwa confronted the four and found them in possession of left-over meat in pots. A report was made at ZRP Neuso Base leading to their arrest.
Headman Nduviwa (59) told the court: This is taboo. In my entire life, I have not seen such. God is punishing us with droughts due to such acts, its not raining because of them. Solomon Kanyoka prosecuted.