Three years in prison for being found with endangered pangolin
A court in Malawi’s capital Lilongwe has convicted and sentenced two people to three years imprisonment with hard labour for being found in possession of a live pangolin.
MALAWI: A court in Malawi’s capital Lilongwe has convicted and sentenced Godfrey Haward, 30, and Modester Makoka, 34, to three years imprisonment with hard labour for being found in possession of a live pangolin, which is regarded as an endangered animal in the country.
The Lilongwe Senior Resident Magistrate's Court heard through Kanengo Police Station Prosecution Officer, Inspector Grace Mafosha, that on December 22, 2021, Kanengo Police detectives received a tip that Haward and Makoka were offering for sale a live pangolin at Mgona location.
Upon receipt of the information, they immediately rushed to the location where they caught them red-handed near Lilongwe Teachers Training College (LTTC).
The two were arrested and then charged with an offence of being found in possession of a specimen of listed species contrary to section 110 (b) of the National Parks and Wildlife Act.
Appearing in court, both suspects pleaded guilty to the charge that led to their conviction.
In mitigation, the duo pleaded for the court's leniency, saying they were first offenders and breadwinners to their families.
In her submission, Inspector Mafosha asked the court for stiffer punishment as a warning to other offenders, saying wild animals need to be protected since they attract tourists who bring forex into the country.
When passing her sentence, Senior Resident Magistrate Florence Nsekandiana concurred with the state and went on to sentence Haward and Makoka to three years imprisonment with hard labour (IHL).
Haward comes from Masantchi Village, while Makoka comes from Sinyala Village, both in the Area of Traditional Authority Masumbankhunda in Lilongwe district.