Ventriglias to set up own cement plant from looted ZPC funds
By Joel Ngo
Following the successful appeal by Finsbury Investments Limited in the Court of Appeal regarding shares in Zambezi Portland Cement, the Ventriglias family namely Antonio, Manuela Sebastiani, Danielle, Valerio and Claudio have hinted at setting up their own cement plant.
In the meantime, stripping ZPC Limited assets and externalizing funds abroad has intensified at the plant.
A source familiar with the impending move says the family intends to sale their shares in ZPC Limited once the court interprets how much Finsbury Investments Limited is obliged to pay for its shares following the latter’s success in the Court of Appeal.
“Danielle one of Antonio Ventriglia’s sons has made it clear that the protracted legal battle with Finsbury Investments Limited has drained the family emotionally and financially and the moment the court decides on the correct figure Finsbury should pay them, they will exit ZPC Ltd and set up their own. They are tired of fighting Dr. Mathani,” a source said yesterday.
“They want to do business without spending so much time in litigation. It seems Finsbury Investments Limited has stretched them to the limit. They just want Finsbury to take over everything these Italians are fatigued fighting Dr. Rajan Mathani.”
The family also fears that following a successful appeal, Finsbury Investments Limited Chairman Dr. Mathani will retaliate through damages and defamation or any relief he would seek.
The source says there is more evidence of gross financial abuse by the Ventriglia family with salaries of up to US$50,000 per month per family member being paid.
Over K3 million to service the credit of Antonio Ventriglia at Access Bank Zambia Ltd in Lusaka was effected without explanation.
One source says forex worth thousands of dollars is being channelled to a bank in Italy called Baco di Napoli whose transfer costs are debited to Zambezi Portland Cement USD account.
“Several millions of dollars owed and probably paid to ZPC from transactions abroad cannot be accounted for and there is need for a forensic audit,” a source said.
In 2015, then Home Affairs Minister Edgar Lungu issued a deportation order for the Ventriglia’s saying their staying in the country was illegal.
Lungu said the Ventriglia’s were expelled from Zambia as their conduct was found to be a danger to peace and good order of Zambia contrary to section 34 (1) (E) of the immigration deportation Act, number 18 of 2010
This matter has been dragging for the past 11 years leading to frustrations from both parties.
The Court of Appeal had ruled that Finsbury Investments Limited be required to pay the Ventriglias K580,000 (Five Hundred and Eighty Thousand Kwacha) rebased and *NOT* K580,000,000 (Five Hundred and Eighty Million Kwacha) for the shares that Finsbury Investments Limited owns in Zambezi Portland Cement Limited.
The Italian shareholders have since appealed this ruling to the Supreme Court.