Under Zimbabwe’s strict wildlife laws, killing or being found in possession of a protected animal carries a mandatory nine-year jail term.

29 year-old Kingstone Gwenzi was arrested last month in Harare’s Budiriro suburb by detectives.

He has been jailed for nine years for trying to sell a belt made from python skin worth $2 000, a newspaper reported on Tuesday.

“Police officers spotted Gwenzi at Budiriro 1 shops where he was looking for buyers,” the paper said.

Offenders found in possession of poached ivory or live pangolins are routinely sent to jail for lengthy periods.

Gwenzi pleaded guilty to the charge of possessing a python skin without a permit and was sentenced by Harare Magistrate Nomsa Sabarauta.

Last year, a 46-year old villager in western Lupane district was jailed for nine years after police officers acting on a tip-off found a four-metre long python skin hanging on his dining room wall.