Saturday, 16 November 2019

LANDLORD BEATS UP PREGNANT TENANT IN EVICTION ROW


A LANDLORD from Bulawayo has been fined $2 000 for assaulting a pregnant tenant for refusing to vacate his shop.

Mgcini Tobela (36) of Cowdray Park suburb, who is the owner of Room 11, Highgate Complex along Fort Street between 10th and 11th Avenues, pushed Ms Veronica Gumbo (28) of Montrose suburb against a glass door and it shattered causing her to suffer a deep cut on her right hand.

Ms Gumbo was a beauty therapist at Tobela’s shop.The beauty therapist appeared in court with her injured hand strapped in bandages. Tobela pleaded not guilty to assault when he appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Mr Tinashe Tashaya but was convicted.

The magistrate fined him $2 000 or six months imprisonment in case of default. “The accused person has been sentenced to pay a $2 000 fine or six months in prison. In addition, six months imprisonment wholly suspended for five years on condition that accused person does not commit any offence involving assaulting someone within that period,” said Mr Tashaya.

He said Tobela’s inconsistency in his defence exposed him as a liar.

“In his defence, the accused person agreed that he had used force in closing the door to his shop with the complainant standing in between trying to stop him. However, when he was cornered by the State in cross examination, the accused person denied ever using force, stating that he pushed the door with his left hand while his other hand was holding a phone,” Mr Tashaya said. 

Judging by Ms Gumbo’s injuries, he, said, Tobela had exerted force in closing the door.

Prosecuting, Mr Leonard Chile said on November 2 at around 11AM, Ms Gumbo was at the complex when she was approached by Tobela.

He then demanded her keys, saying she must vacate the premises together with her employees.

“An altercation broke out between them and the accused person pushed the complainant once on the chest,” Mr Chile said.

Ms Gumbo was saved from falling by one of the tenants who entered the shop during the altercation.

Tobela went on to forcibly close the shop door with Ms Gumbo standing in the doorway thereby hitting her with the door on the right hand. 

As a result of the force that was exerted, the glass section of the door broke and cut Ms Gumbo on the hand causing her to bleed profusely.

The matter was reported at Bulawayo Central Police Station leading to Tobela’s arrest. Ms Gumbo was referred to United Bulawayo Hospital for medical treatment.

A medical report was compiled and presented in court stating that Ms Gumbo suffered serious injuries. Chronicle

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