I would like to raise a complaint regarding Farm 688/K/1 of Lusaka West along Mungwi Road which belonged to Mr. Giacomini Alberto, an Italian investor who established Giacomini Comm. Alberto SpA Zambia Branch in 1991. The said company was the one of the first companies that begun dealing with quarries of dimension stones such as Marble and granite in our country. The main branch was already incorporated in Italy since 1982. As soon as he reached Zambia, he also engaged his nephew Mr. Cazzetta whom he trusted as his own son (since he never had children) as a Site Manager in Zambia, then later as the General Manager.
I’m writing to you reason being that I had the privilege to know Mr. Giacomini and his nephew Mr Michele Cazzetta through Mr. Anderson Mazoka and I had a very good business relationship with both of them. I was one those who dealt with their legal and documentation matters though I’m now on pension.
The two immediately begun to work as a team. The former supplied the company with the financial resources and visited Zambia only once every 3 to 6 months due to his commitments in Italy and other countries around the world while the nephew became the main locomotive who played a vital role by pulling the wagons of the major operations which helped in the Company’s take off. He had the formidable competence in organizing and managing his duties adequately. He acquired for all the needed documents starting from the prospecting permits to Mining licences etc. and he also carried out the prospecting phase across Zambia and in some countries of Southern Africa in search of the best quality of dimension stones which really interested the uncle. He opened the quarries in Chief Mukumbi’s area near Solwezi in North Western Province, land of our very own “Blue King” granite and Lusaka West where Rosa West Marble was extracted with the help of the Geological and Mining studies which were carried out by the Senior Mining Consultant Mr. Marco Cosi. There’s also been the collaboration of some valid Zambia Geologists and Italian Quarry Masters like Mr.Domenico Napoli. He respected the Zambian law as well as those who were under his supervision . This, in return, gained him honour and respect. He had good leadership qualities!
Mr. Giacomini purchased an agricultural land from Mr. M. R. Mumbi’s family in a transaction conducted in 1993 and the provisional Certificate of Title was issued by the Ministry of Lands. They followed the normal procedure as they awaited for the actual deed.
Mr. Cazzetta’s contract terminated at the end of 1995 but their family ties still remained intact, notwithstanding their differences of opinions. He was still young and he was immediately offered a job he couldn’t refuse in Tanzania and his uncle assured him that all what he was doing in Zambia would one day be his and he said it was right for him to have experiences elsewhere. He said he would call him back in case he needed him.
With Cazzetta gone, nothing was the same! The company was vulnerable, Mr. Giacomini had no eyes to see, no ears to hear and mouth to talk on his behalf while he was away. He was only surrounded by vultures who were ready to manipulate him and feed on their prey. Machineries broke down and the production reduced close to zero. From 1996 to 1999, he kept on changing General Managers and Site Managers, though highly qualified, but none of them worked as the nephew. Even we outsiders noticed the difference and the scarce organization and managing quality which was taking place.
He incorporate a local company called GTM Stones Limited in 1999 with his Italian Quarry employees Mr. Remo Tognaletta and Mr.Vittorio Morandi in which he held 80% of shares while the other two had 10% each.Thereafter, he thought of a strategy which would help him reduce unnecessary expenses on his Italian worker’s salaries. He finally built the processing factory in Lusaka as his nephew had once suggested him during one of their heated debates instead of the long and expensive procedure of transporting blocks of raw materials to Italy where the manufacturing process was taking place and then brought back to Zambia as finished products in form of tiles, kitchen tops, tombstones etc. Moreover, goods like tiles risked being damaged during transportation which sometimes led to heavy losses. It also meant selling their goods at very high prices and many people would not afford.
However, it was already too late reason being that, after the 1994 SADC Mining forum which Mr. Giacomini and the nephew also took part, the granite and Marble market grew rapidly and the competition became very stiff among big companies in the whole of Southern Africa. To make matters worse, he had partners who lacked good management skills. Most of all, it was also too late for him to let the nephew go back on his side due to his sudden health problem. He died in 2001.
As soon as I heard about his sudden death, I thought Mr. Cazzetta would come back and reclaim for his uncle’s property and assets due to the fact that most of us have always known that he was his next of keen but he never showed up. I only came to know that he was working for another company and his wife had given birth just about the same period the uncle died. Therefore, they could not travel that soon.
Then it came to my surprise recently when I learnt that Giacomini Comm. Alberto SpA Zambia Branch sold the piece of land 688/K/1 of Lusaka West in 2013. This gave me a flash of doubts and I begun to wonder who would have sold Mr. Giacomini’s land because as far I know this man had died 12 years previously! Just for curiousity, I wanted to see if the land was sold by his nephew or one of his family members. So I took a deep research with the help of my lawyer just to discover that the person who transacted on behalf of the said Company was Mr. Tognaletta, one of the directors of GTM stones Limited. He sold the land to Hussein Abdullatif Safieddine.
According to some information we gathered, it was revealed that when Mr. Giacomini died, GTM stones could not go further with the business and Mr Morandi left Zambia.
It is evident that after being assured that no one would show up as legal claimants of the property Mr. Remo Tognaletta never thought twice of grabbing the occasion. Some ex workers of GTM stones also disclosed that Giacomini Comm. Alberto SpA’s assets were sold in unexplained circumstances to the new said company and there has been a lot of manoeuvres that were carried out by Mr. Tognaletta and were used to cover up what exactly he was doing in his ruling term as a smoking gun so that those in Italy could be blinded by the mischief that was taking place by letting them think that whatever was there belonged to GTM Stones so there could be no reaction coming from any of them. He must have also connived with some officials at the Ministry of Lands or someone else to grab the land and resale it without following the procedure.
• The issue that really has to be queried here is, how Mr. Remo Tognaletta came into possession of the Certificate of Title of Giacomini Comm. Alberto SpA Zambia Branch and how he took his personal initiative in which he purported and presented himself to be the Director of the same company and transacted on their behalf and yet at no time he has ever been the Director nor has ever carried out the General Manager’s role of the said company. According to PACRA, Mr. Giacomini Alberto stood out as the only director and shareholder of this Company. Therefore, he would have been the only person who could have given him the authority to act as a Director on his behalf but in 2013 he was already resting peacefully in his grave since 2001. Then why did Mr Tognaletta act as the owner and not one of Mr. Giacomini’s blood family members like his nephew Michele Cazzetta that we already knew as his family and his next of keen?
• What Mr. Tognaletta did not take into consideration and never observed attentively is that the land legally belonged to Giacomini Comm. Alberto SpA Zambia Branch and not GTM Stones Limited. He was the director of the latter company and not Giacomini Comm. Alberto SpA Zambia Branch. Though “Giacomini” is the common denominator of both companies, fact remains clear that they were incorporated in two distinct jurisdictions.
• Mr. Hussein Abdulatiff Safieddine , the owner of ZALCO and METALCO, with due respect, would have also not taken his personal capacity as the purported purchaser mentioned in a Deed dated 15th March 2013 reason being that the Deed by which the land was sold seemed unclear and this should not have been entertained and registered by the Ministry of Lands.
• Furthermore, Limeco Resources Limited which now holds the Certificate of Title, purchased the same property from Mr. Hussein Abdullatif Safieddine who is their director and shareholder. The latter signed the Deed selling the property to his company in 2014.
• Another serious observation that needs to be taken into consideration is the Commissioner of lands by virtue of the fact that they entertained and lodged documents which could have been examined carefully. The paramount documents that had to be lodged at Lands when transacting were forms 2 and 5 which indicate the list of directors from the Companies registry office. Secondly, the deed that purported to sale the land to Mr. Hussein above did not have the Company Seal which should have proved that the Company gave Mr. Tognaletta the authority to sale the land. Further to this, the Company secretary did not witness the deed which again is paramount to such a transaction.
The commissioner of lands could have also raised eyebrows upon seeing the absurd give away selling price which appears on both deeds after knowing extension of the land measured. The above transaction should not have been tolerated due to questionable irregularities which should have been queried, hence good title did not pass and should not have passed.
II stand witness and feel that Mr. Cazzetta as the blood nephew, had all the rights to be the legal claimant of his uncle’s property since he’s been the main key person who represented him most during those glorious years in which the company was operational and not Mr Tognaletta! This is the reason why I have written this long letter so that you can help me by letting him and the whole family know exactly what is happening in Zambia. I’m positively sure that there’s an explanation behind all this matter.
As I also try to trace and contact Mr. Cazzetta and family, it’s with heartfelt emphasis that I appeal to you, to the Authorities and all the investigative agents to kindly give us an in-depth clarity so that we can know whether the transaction above is genuine or not. In case there’s something wrong with it, I believe that the engine of justice will be switched on and very strong legal actions will be taken against whichever culprit colluded with Mr. Tognaletta to defraud Giacomini Comm. Alberto SPA by concluding an illegal sale of their land.
I also pray that the idea of decentralizing your work will greatly help to curb those people involved in illegal land activities which are taking place all over our country due to collusion or inertia.
I thank you in advance for your kind cooperation
Mr C P Chanda