via Bulawayo24 NEWS | Lawyer ‘bashes’ client after being told he is dull 22 July 2014 by Auxilia Katongomara
A BULAWAYO lawyer allegedly bashed a client after she said he was “dull” for what she said was his failure to expeditiously process her estate papers.
Tonderai Muchongwe of Majoko and Majoko legal practitioners appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Tawanda Muchemwa yesterday facing assault charges.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Comfort Dzuda had approached the law firm in a bid to legalise her late father’s estate.
She had sold one of her father’s houses and the lawyer was to handle the transfer of the property to the buyer.
Prosecuting, Busani Moyo told the court that on July 4, at around 0930AM, Dzuda went to consult Muchongwe at his office.
She handed him some papers which she had brought from the magistrate’s court requiring the law firm to give her money which is in their trust fund account.
Muchongwe then allegedly told her that he suspected that the papers were fake, said Moyo.
The court heard that as Dzuda tried to explain, the lawyer allegedly became emotional and punched her several times with fists on her back, before hitting her against the wall.
“She managed to get away and was assisted by her husband and the receptionist and she proceeded to Bulawayo Central Police Station where she filed a report against Muchongwe,” said the prosecutor.
Police later arrested the lawyer.
During cross examination, Dzuda said she verbally insulted the legal practitioner after he questioned the authenticity of documents she had tendered.
“When I brought out the documents he had told me to produce, he began asking me if they were indeed from the magistrate and I then asked how he could question that when he was seeing a stamp and signature from the magistrate,” said Dzuda.
“I then said he was either insulting my intelligence or he was dull since he was looking at a document with a magistrate’s signature.”
She said that after uttering the words Muchongwe poked her on the face from across the table.
He allegedly stood up and lifted her by the shoulder from behind at the same time hitting her with fists, Dzuda added.
“At that time I tried to wrestle him and grabbed him by the collar before I head butted him as a way of protecting myself. He then opened the door to which I immediately called out for my husband who was at the reception,” she told the court.
She said after the altercation, she reported the incident to one of the senior lawyers at the firm, Vonani Majoko who apologised to her.
Majoko is representing Muchongwe in the matter before the court.
In his defence, Muchongwe through Majoko said at the time of the sale of the estate, the property was not registered as no one had been appointed executor of the estate.
“It was agreed with Dzuda that no further monies would be disbursed until letters of administration had been issued and consent to the transfer of the property by the master,” said Majoko.
He told the court that Dzuda, without obtaining the master’s estate release certificate on July 4, demanded to be paid the balance of the purchase price.