Having wrestled physical possession of Zambezi Portland Cement (ZPC) from the majority shareholders (Finsbury Investments Limited) who are legally entitled to run the multimillion dollar Ndola based cement plant, the Ventriglias (Italian Mafias) are finding it too onerous to effectively and professionally run the plant.
Yesterday (Monday), the Ventriglias (Italian Mafias) held a meeting with employees in which they initiated discussions with a view to intimidate the employees and undermine the Rule of Law in Zambia. In their deliberations, the Ventriglias mooted a twofold unorthodox proposition: That a number of the employees will have to be retrenched; or that they should take a pay cut if they are to continue being in employment.
This proposition startled the employees, barely 3 months after a Collective Agreement was concluded with Management under Finsbury that saw employees receive a 10% pay rise across the board, among other incentives. An employee spoken who sought anonymity expressed displeasure at the intimidation being perpetrated by the Ventriglias. “This Country has Labour Laws. You cannot wake up and just decide to change conditions of service or retrench people. This is not a ‘ka ntemba’,” the visibly irate employee told the Watchdog.
The Ventriglias are known to be culprits of disrespecting Zambian Laws. During their management of the cement plant between 2010 and 2012, they were accused of violating employees’ rights and generally mistreating them.
In 2012, the Ventriglias were deported by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia Edgar C. Lungu who at the time served as Minister of Home Affairs. Prior to their deportation, the Ventriglias allegedly embezzled over US$40million from the cement plant which money was sent to offshore accounts and was used to corrupt various individuals and Government officials to illegally retain the cement plant to the exclusion of Finsbury. Among the beneficiaries was Lusaka Lawyer Sakwiba Sikota S.C. who obtained free cement from ZPC which he applied towards construction of his dream house along Kabompo Close in Kalundu.
On 22nd May 2015, Finsbury Investments Ltd presented a Petition to the High Court for Zambia on account that it is JUST and EQUITABLE that ZPC be wound up due to shareholders’ disputes which have been running for over 8 years now. The Petition will be heard on 30th July 2015 before Hon. Madam Justice F.M. Chishimba. Among the people that will be heard will be the minority shareholders who are the Ventriglias.