COULD some tenants be from hell?
This is a question a family in Victoria Falls is asking itself after it discovered that a tenant had been stealing money from its house for two years.
A heavily preg_nant Lenience Gambiza (21) and her husband Mr Moses Mathe, now staying at 8753 CBZ stands, started renting at Mr Charles Mandishara’s house in Mfelandawonye two years ago.
Mr Mandishara and his wife discovered on May 7 this year that Gambiza had been sneaking into their bedroom to steal money when she was caught red-handed with US$420 and ZWL$47 which she had hidden in her undergarment.
After being caught, Gambiza started screaming claiming she had seen a goblin in the landlord’s kitchen and pretended to have suffered seizure.
Mr Mandishara and his wife initially believed the story but after seeing that their money was missing, they suspected that Gambiza had stolen it and reported the matter to the police who searched and recovered the money in her pants.
Mr Mandishara told police that for two years, they would miss up to US$200 per month in the house but did not suspect their tenants.
Some of the money belonged to a club which Mr Mandishara’s wife is a member of while the other belonged to some property owners who the complainant had been collecting rentals for.
Mr Mandishara told police that he and his wife nearly divorced at some point as she suspected that he was spending the money on other women each time some money went missing.
Gambiza initially pleaded not guilty to theft when she appeared before Victoria Falls resident magistrate Ms Lindiwe Maphosa but later pleaded guilty on the advice of a lawyer, Mr Njabulo Ndlovu she had engaged.
Gambiza has her pregnancy to thank after the magistrate sentenced her to 12 months in jail which was wholly suspended on condition that she does not commit a similar offence involving dishonesty or theft within five years. The magistrate considered that she was pregnant in sentencing her.
The charge was in relation to theft of US$420 and ZWL$47 that she was caught with.
Prosecuting, Mr Asher Chindedza said Gambiza was a tenant at the complainant, Mr Mandishara’s house when she stole the money.
“On the 7th of May 2021 at 5pm, and at number 7845 in Mkhosana, the complainant was watering a garden outside when the accused entered the bedroom hut. Later, when the compliant entered the house, he discovered that someone had been in the house in his absence and he phoned his wife who was at the market,” said the prosecutor.
At the time, Gambiza was lying on the floor near the kitchen door screaming claiming she had seen some goblins.
The court was told that when the complainant’s wife arrived at home, they discovered that some money was missing from a wallet.
Only US$200 remained in the same wallet that was under a bed.
The couple suspected Gambiza as she was the only one in the house at the time and reported to the police.
Upon searching Gambiza, police recovered the money in her undergarment but she accused a female police officer who searched her of putting the money to implicate her.
The police officer was supposed to testify in court before Gambiza changed her plea.