A Chihota man was arrested on Sunday at a roadblock in Harare after he was found in possession of a Black Mamba believed to have been used for witchcraft. Grey Mapunganjira was arrested at a roadblock near the intersection of Chiremba and Alexander roads.
The snake was in his laptop bag. Mapunganjira was on his way from Hwedza. An alert traffic police noticed movements in the man’s laptop bag leading to his arrest. Chief police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba confirmed the arrest. She said Mapunganjira was still in custody.
“He was arrested during an operation being conducted by police. The officers had noticed some movements in his bag,” she said. Mapunganjira told the police that he wanted to get rid of the snake as it had brought him problems in his life. He claimed to have inherited the snake from his late mother.
Mapunganjira said he used the reptile for witchcraft purposes. Police handed over the snake to officials from the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority.
He boasted the snake would return to him. Snr Asst Comm Charamba said Mapunganjira claimed that four other Black Mambas had been taken back to Malawi where his father stays. “The man is currently at Hatfield Police Station and is expected to appear in court soon,” she said.
The black mamba is a venomous snake and it takes its common name not from the colour of its scales, but from the interior of its mouth, which is inky-black. It is the longest species of venomous snakes on the African continent with a length typically ranging from 2 metres to 4.5 metres.