Former energy and power development deputy minister Hubert Nyanhongo was on Saturday arrested after being found in possession of a live pangolin in his Jeep Cherokee vehicle, according to reports Wednesday.
Nyanhongo, who is also Nyanga North legislator for the ruling Zanu PF party, appeared before a Chipinge Magistrates’ Court on Monday along with three other alleged accomplices – Samuel Samson, 42, Misheck Satuku, 47, and Positive Mutenda, 29.
Magistrate Noah Gwatidzo remanded the quartet in custody to April 20 and advised them to apply for bail at the high court.
They were charged with contravening Section 45(1) of the Parks and Wildlife Act (Chapter 20:14).
The prosecution alleged Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority officials arrested the 60-year-old legislator in Birchenough Bridge after they had been tipped off by a Save Conservancy worker, who had disguised himself as a potential buyer of the endangered animal.
Under Zimbabwean law, a conviction for illegal possession of a pangolin carries a minimum mandatory sentence of nine years.