The Zambezi Portland Cement, whose case has been lying at the Lusaka High Court for the past nine years, received new hope with the court’s recent announcement. As per the announcement by the judge handling this case, the case hearing has been finalized. Now, both parties are required to submit their oral and written submissions by December 2017. After evaluation of these submissions, the judge will announce final date of judgment.
The case can be easily termed as one of the long-pending and high-profile case across the Zambian corporate sector. The case was launched by Dr. Rajan Mahtani, a noted industrialist and businessman with various successful establishments in Zambia. Some of his most successful organizations include Mahtani Group of Companies, Finance Bank Zambia and Finsbury Investment. The case was launched against the Ventriglias with the claim that the latter has illegally taken over the factory. For the past nine years, the case proceedings have been undergoing without any results. However, the recent proceedings have been hailed as the milestone and all previous evidence and statements were revisited in their revised manner. As per the evidence submitted by Dr. Mahtani, he holds 58 percent of Zambezi Portland’s shares while the Ventriglias family hold 42 percent shares. Furthermore, Dr. Rajan Mahtani and his company Finsbury Investments have invested more than USD 8 million for the factory’s development. This excludes the payment made for entire share capital of the Zambezi Portland. Also, an independent auditor’s report who conducted an audit of the factory has clearly stated that the company is under joint venture partnership with Dr. Mahtani as the joint venture partner.
All these facts and evidence clearly indicate that Dr. Mahtani is the real owner of the factory. However, the court has taken this much time due to various reasons such as judges getting transferred, non-availability of contestants etc. It is hoped that the court will make a quick decision this time.