The case concerning Zambezi Portland Cement has been going on for a long time now. It has been more than nine years since the case was launched by Dr. Rajan Mahtani, the owner of the Finsbury Investments Limited. It was launched against the Ventriglias who were charged for illegally taking over the Zambezi Portland Cement factory. The case was taken to the Lusaka High Court.
After initial filing of the case, the Ventriglias then filed counter-claim to defame the claims of Dr. Rajan Mahtani. However, the latest information on the case proceedings as well as the availability of facts and evidence point that Dr. Rajan Mahtani’s claims are much stronger and factual compared to the defendants’. As per Dr. Rajan Mahtani, 58 percent shares of the Zambezi factory is owned by Dr. Mahtani and the rest is held by the Ventriglias. To support this claim, Dr. Mahtani has shared various exhibits and also a shareholder agreement that was signed in the year 2007 by all involved parties. Furthermore, the initial share capital investments were made entirely by Dr. Mahtani with no monetary support from the Ventriglias whatsoever. The overall investments made by Finsbury Investments in the Zambezi factory are also higher compared to its court rival Ital Terrazzo. These claims and evidence are clearly indicating that Dr. Rajan Mahtani is the real owner of the factory.
Then why did the case take so long and why it is still pending. Various reasons can be attributed to this. Since the case was registered, there have been many transfers of the High Court judges which resulted in postponing of dates for case hearing. Furthermore, the court proceedings in Zambia have always been slow and tedious. However, the real loss in such situation is of the factory and its employees who have been suffering as a result of the dispute.