When in 2007 everyone believed that Finance Bank Chairman Rajan Mathani was very close to late President Levy Mwanawasa, he was actually busy financing the opposition Patriotic Front (PF) leader Michael Sata, who is now President of the Republic of Zambia.
According to a letter dated March 2, 2007 obtained by Zambia Reports, Sata thanked Mathani and assuring him of continued friendship.
As Sata writes to one of Zambia’s wealthiest men, “As a friend I will never hurt you directly or indirectly. My party in general and myself in particular need you more than you need us. (…) I can assure you that nobody can misuse my name and Party. But there are certain issues we can deal with outside the courts apart from the published ones.”
But at the exact same time that the Sata-Mahtani relationship was blossoming, Mwanawasa was led to believe he had the loyalty and unwavering support of his former client, for whom he had helped escape criminal prosecution on numerous occasions.
According to a number of sources, Mahtani’s double dealing continues to this day, as he’s been spotted hosting lavish banquets with both MMD and UPND figures, and is said to be behind a number of online smears against President Sata. One will not be surprised if he has not already started financing some opposition political parties.
From the document obtained, it is now clear why Mathani has become untouchable. Within days of his election as president, Sata corruptly restored ownership of Finance Bank to Mahtani before a Commission of Inquiry could even be established, and then also closed down a money laundering investigation into Mahtani on behalf of the Drug Enforcement Commission.
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