Rabson Mkandawire aka Dr Simbazako this morning visited Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) offices to follow-up on discussions for his certificate domesticate a snake.
Dr Simbazako, a traditional health practitioner, who arrived at the ZAWA just after 11:00 hours in the company of a friend, seemed high spirited and cooperative. He explained that the reptile is nothing but his grand father’s spirit.
“I could not come with the snake here, but as you know ‘spirits’ need to treated with the respect they deserve,” he said.
He said that since he took the snake to Chingwere Cemetery over the weekend, he has faced challenges in convincing the spirits to be brought to ZAWA for the certification and they have since given ZAWA 21 days approve his request.
“Mudzimu wa ambuya wa kamba at ni ba pase 21 days. Ni bo kalipa maningi. [My grandfather’s spirit is still very annoyed, so I need to give then 21 days].
Rabson was last week arrested by Kabwata Police who later handed him to ZAWA for being in possession of wildlife similar to a brown house snake. The snake is docile and Rabson claims is harmless even if stamped upon.
When the story broke, it attracted heavy media attention as it brought an interesting angle of the thin line between science and superstition.
ZAWA is making efforts to help him with a license to posses the reptile and give him handling guidelines so that in future the snake does not lead to public panic.