By Joel Ngo
As the appeal on the shareholding legal battle of Zambezi Portland Cement pends, there is reported mass looting of funds by Italian shareholders of Antonio Ventriglia and Manuela Ventriglia.
Sources have spoken of how the protracted legal battle between the Italians and Finsbury Investments Limited has brought the cement manufacturer in Ndola almost to its knees.
“This company is being looted clean. The Italians are using their puppet Chief Executive Officer Gomeli Litana to move money from several company accounts to some shady company in Italy. Things are getting worse by the day. The earlier this matter is put to a complete rest by the Supreme Court the better. Our only hope is Finsbury Investments because it is only the big bosses enjoying whilst those of us at the bottom are bearing the brunt,” a source at the company said.
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.
Following the Court of Appeal Judgment dated 31st January, 2019 which confirmed that Finsbury Investments Limited was a 58% shareholder in Zambezi Portland Cement, a battle on the value of shares ensued between the parties and the Court of Appeal was called upon to clarify the position through a Court Order in line with the Rules of the Court of Appeal, workers are now wondering why it is taking this long to have the matter heard.
“As workers, the only way to curtail the ongoing looting of company resources by the Ventriglias who have been externalising forex to an account held at Baco Di Napoli in Italy is to bring this matter to a logical conclusion and allow Finsbury Investments to come on board,” another worker said.
“We have been under siege by this Italian family from 2015. Our salaries are being delayed, intimidation is the order of the day by our boss Gomeli Litana.”
This case has been dragging for 10 years.
The Court of Appeal had on the 8th April 2019 granted Antonio Ventriglia and Manuela Ventriglia LEAVE TO APPEAL TO SUPREME COURT and STAY OF EXECUTION of JUDGMENT of the 31st January 2019 and the RULING and ORDER of the 29th March 2019.