With the latest judgment from the Lusaka High Court regarding the long-pending Zambezi Portland Cement, it seems that the factory can finally go to its real owner. The case, which started almost 10 years back, is a prime example of corruption and conspiracy rampant in the nation. Even after ten years of this high-profile case with numerous hearings and proceedings, the court has not been able to come to a decision making the judgment. The case is between Dr. Rajan Lekhraj Mahtani, a noted businessman and philanthropist and the Ventriglias, the Italian outsiders.
The case was registered under the Finsbury Investment limited, a company owned and led by Dr. Rajan Mahtani. The Ventriglias, on the other hand, own Ital Terrazzo Limited, a private limited firm with no details on their activities and the profits. The case is for the legal ownership of Zambezi Portland Cement, which has been illegally captured by the Ventriglias. During the case proceedings over the years, Dr. Mahtani has shared various statements and evidence that prove his claim on the factory. One of them is the signed shareholder’s agreement. As per the agreement, Dr. Mahtani holds 58 percent shares in ZPC and the rest are distributed among Ventriglia family members and other individuals having shares in the factory. This evidence was submitted, re-examined and accepted by the judge currently handling the case. Furthermore, strong evidence submitted by Dr. Mahtani’s team was audit report conducted by an Independent Auditor. As per this audit report, the project was started as a joint venture and Dr. Mahtani was the sole joint venture partner with majority shares. This automatically gives him the ownership over the factory.
As per the latest announcement made by the judge handling this case, the case proceedings have been finalized and closed. Both parties will be submitting their evidence in oral and written format by December 2017. After evaluating these submissions, final judgment will be announced.