Sources from within the Zambian Police at Ndola Headquarters have tipped Zambia Reports that a well respected lawyer Zacharias Muya was placed under arrest today under the orders of Finance Bank Chairman Rajan Mahtani. The arrest, the source says, relates to Mahtani’s ongoing effort to threaten and intimidate the original owners of Zambezi Portland Cement (ZPC).
Mr. Muya, a senior counsel who has overseen numerous claims regarding ZPC before the High Court, was arrested by local police accusing him of “theft” along with Antonio Ventriglia and Daniele Ventriglia, allegedly having used “legal fees” to take money out of the company.
“The arrest of Mr Muya is without grounds, but the police are being forced to act as rented mercenaries for Mr Mahtani in a effort to pressure the ZPC founding owners who are trying to get their property back,” the source alleges. “This is the classic modus operandi of Mahtani: he uses corrupt influence over political figures and police to accuse others of crimes that they themselves commit.”
Legal counsel acting on behalf of Antonio Ventriglia & Manuela Sebastiani have waged an intensive, politically charged legal battle against Mahtani, arguing that he never paid for the shares he claims, and that he illegally appointed new management and accrued new debts while the company was in receivership.
The source told Zambia Reports that Mr. Michael Sata, the President of Zambia, should with immediate effect ensure that Mr. Mahtani is brought to book.
“Sata should also make sure that Mr Muya is immediately released and cleared of the false allegations. He must stop Mahtani from using the police as a private militia,” the source said.
As the cement plant has been stripped of its high level management while proceeds from all sales are sucked out of the company to Mahtani’s accounts, safety standards have drastically worsened. Earlier this week, a 27-year-old worker was crushed to death in an accident at the plant.
A series of leaked documents recently featured in the media show a vast range of criminal behaviour by Mr Mahtani with regard to ZPC, including forgery, unlawful deportations, and several instances of using the police, including a dramatic armed raid on the $160 million cement plant in order to force out the managers and arrange a sham board meeting to take over the assets.