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Real estate owner acquitted

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Gabriel Real Estate owner, Vivien Nigel Gabriel, was yesterday acquitted on charges of defrauding a former tenant of $26 000 worth of property in an effort to recover unpaid rent in the sum of
$2 100.

by PAIDAMOYO MUZULU

Wooden justice gavel and block with brass
Wooden justice gavel and block with brass

Gabriel and his three co-accused, Gabriel Real Estate, Rosemary Munyukwi and Kudzai Eric Kadzere, were acquitted by magistrate Tafadzwa Muvhami at the close of the State case after the court ruled that “evidence led was manifestly unreliable that no reasonable court could safely act on it”.

The magistrate’s ruling followed the accused persons’ lawyer, Musindo Hungwe’s application for discharge at the close of the State case in which he argued the State had “pathetically failed” to prove its case against his clients.

“The State having failed to establish a prima facie case against the accused, the court grants the application and returns a verdict of not guilty,” Muvhami ruled.

It was the State’s case that the complainant, Memory Mutasa, who leased a flat from Gabriel Real Estate had been defrauded of her property by the accused, who caused it to be auctioned, despite having received assurance from the latter that the sale would not proceed if she paid the rental arrears.

In its ruling the court said: “There is no evidence on record showing that the accused had assured the complainant that if she paid $1 500, the sale in execution would be stopped.”
Michael Reza appeared for the case.

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