Court News

Defaulting tenant causes laughter

By KAPALA CHISUNKA
LAUGHTER broke out in the Chawama local court when a young man of John Howard Township seemed to have a hard time comprehending why his landlord wanted him out of his house.
Ronald Simbeye 24 seemed disoriented that his landlord Mwetumwa Mwetumwa, 39, was no longer interested in having him as the tenant because of his endless excuses whenever rentals were due.
Simbeye told senior court magistrates Gaston Kalala and Mubukwanu Matakala that Mwetumwa should suggest where he (Simbeye) should relocate to since he is the one who wanted him to move out.
Simbeye was dragged to court by Mwetumwa, 39, of Chawama Township for payment of house rental arrears amounting to K750.
“I have been a good tenant why would he want to evict me? I had a flourishing business the time I moved into his house but unfortunately the business went under. I immediately informed him that I had financial challenges and I thought he understood my position,” he said.
Simbeye who admitted that he owed Mwetumwa K750 said he would not be able to find that money to pay him as well as look for extra cash for his new landlord if he moved. He said no landlord would accept a new tenant to move into their home without paying the money upfront.
“So where would I go if I move out. I don’t have money to start paying other landlords, he should just be patient or find me a place to go otherwise I don’t understand what is going on,” he said.
This prompted the court to explain to Simbeye that Mwetumwa as the landlord had the right to decide who should live in his house. Simbeye was told to move out as Mwetumwa demanded.
“But where would I go, I do not have money to pay him or any other landlord. Why won’t he allow me to continue living there? I will be paying him instalments when my business picks up,” he said to the amusement of the packed court room.
Mwetumwa told the court that he had no problems with Simbeye in the beginning.
“He started giving me problems this year but this is my livelihood, I cannot continue tolerating this sort of behaviour. That is the reason I gave him a month’s notice to find another place. I have actually been a very understanding landlord,” he said.
Passing judgment, the court upheld the claim and ordered Simbeye to pay the K750 this month end and vacate Mwetumwa’s house as per eviction notice. Simbeye was also advised to find cheaper accommodation while he is still sorting out his financial problems or move in with his relatives if any.

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