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Zanu-PF MP acquitted in pangolin case

by Staff reporter
13 Sep 2017 at 15:52hrs | Views
Nyanga North legislator, Hubert Nyanhongo and three other accomplices, who were facing charges of dealing in specially protected animals after they were allegedly found in possession of a live pangolin, have been acquitted after the state failed to provide enough evidence to incriminate the four.

Nyanhongo was arrested at Birchenough Bridge last April together with Samuel Samson, Misheck Satuku and Positive Mutenda and were charged for contravening section 45 (1) of the Parks and Wildlife Act (chapter 20:14) of 2001.

Handing over the judgment on the case this afternoon, Chipinge Senior Magistrate, Mr Noah Gwatidzo said the state completely disregarded the law on exhibits as provided by the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act that required the pangolin to be presented at a trial for the purposes of evidence.

Mr Gwatidzo dismissed the case, stating that lack of exhibit or any legally binding evidence on the existence of the pangolin makes it difficult for the court to ascertain whether or not the pangolin existed, while a number of contradictions by state witnesses showed that they cannot be taken as reliable sources of information.

The witnesses are said to have issued a number of contradictions that included where the pangolin is, while the key witness is said to have lied that he was a national parks worker after revelations showed that he could not represent the authority.

After the ruling Nyanhongo hailed the court for delivering justice, saying the finalisation of the case will give him enough time to focus on constituency development programmes in Nyanga North.

Mr Langton Mhungu of Matutu and Kwirira Associates represented Nyanhongo and three others.

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Source - zbc
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