Zim man demands court give back his 'inherited' snake

2015-09-16 16:31

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Harare – A Zimbabwean man who was arrested over the weekend for possessing a live snake reportedly told a magistrate in Harare on Tuesday that he had inherited the reptile from his mother and said he wanted it back.

News24 reported earlier that police in Zimbabwe had got a little more than they bargained for at a roadblock, when they opened a laptop bag and found a deadly - and very alive - black mamba.

It was later revealed that the snake was in fact an Egyptian cobra.

The bag was "moving" slightly when police stopped Grey Mpinganjira, 32, at the checkpoint in Harare on Sunday, and demanded that he open it.

Mpinganjira was immediately arrested and the snake handed over to the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Authority.

'My mother got the snake from Malawi'

According to the state-owned Herald newspaper, Mpinganjira, who appeared before a magistrate on Tuesday, claimed ownership of the snake, saying he had inherited it from his mother and therefore it did not belong to the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Authority.

"It is true that I was found in possession of the snake but I do not understand why it was taken away from me... I inherited it from my mother.

"My mother got the snake from Malawi but now I do not have evidence to prove that because she is no longer alive," Mpinganjira was quoted as saying.

The report said Mpinganjira was accused of contravening section 59 (2) (b) of the Parks and Wildlife Act Chapter 20,14 which prohibits removing any animal or any part part of any animal from any land without a permit.

The magistrate described the matter as "a bizarre incident" and suggested that Mpinganjira be examined by mental health doctors.

Mpinganjira, however, insisted that he did not suffer from any mental disorder.

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  southern africa  |  animals

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