Zimbabwe: Man in Court Over U.S.$1,500 Crocodile Skin

15 April 2021

A Harman appeared in court after being found in possession of a crocodile skin worth US$1 500 he allegedly intended to trade at a soccer betting shop in Harare's Central Business District.

Tafadzwa Joseph Zuze of Ruwa, denied the charges when he appeared before magistrate Mrs Barbra Mateko for violating the Parks and Wildlife Act.

Zuze, who was being represented by lawyer Mr Zorodzai Dumbura, told the court that the crocodile skin belonged to his father and was only arrested in the process of delivering it to him.

He also told the court that the crocodile skin was processed making it no offence to possess it.

"Accused will state that indeed he had a processed crocodile skin on the particular day and never intended to sell it because it was not his to sell, but his father's. His father had told him to bring the crocodile skin to him, whatever he wanted to do with it, the accused person didn't know.

"He will tell the court that this is a processed skin, it was not raw and unprocessed and cannot be described as a trophy and as such, it is not covered by Section 53(3) of the said Act," he said.

In his defence, Zuze told the court that it was not against any law to possess a processed skin, as most people wear belts, shoes and other items made from processed animal skins.

"In any event the State has no proof that accused wanted to sell the crocodile skin," he said.

The State led by Mrs Francesca Mukumbiri alleges that on September 18, 2019 at around 2pm, detectives who were on "Operation No to Illegal Trade in Wildlife Products", received information to the effect that Zuze was in possession of a crocodile skin.

Detectives confronted him as he stood in front of a soccer betting shop along Robert Mugabe Way while holding the bag containing the skin.

He then allegedly failed to produce a license that authorises him to deal in wildlife products.

Zuze was then arrested and taken to court where he was tried on charges of violating the Parks and Wildlife Act.

He is expected back in court on Friday.

More From: The Herald

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