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Zambezi Portland Cement shareholding wrangle in new twistBy Martin Musunka on 19 Feb 2019
The shareholding wrangle in the Zambezi Portland Cement (ZPC) saga has taken a different twist with the rejection of Phesto Musonda as interim joint chief executive officer by the Antonio Ventriglia management.
Finsbury Investments Limited announced the appointment of Musonda as interim joint interim chief executive officer following the judgement passed by the Court of Appeal in which it was ordered to pay K580 million, plus interest, representing the value of the shares.
But ZPC executive director and chief executive officer Gomeli Litana said in an interview from Johannesburg, South Africa, Thursday, that Finsbury had not complied with the condition set out by the court and should refrain from any acts of interfering in the operations of the cement company.
He objected to the appointment of Musonda and further stressed that the money, which Finsbury Investments Limited was supposed to pay, was K580 million plus interest and not K580,000 as interpreted by Finsbury through its latest statement.
Litana also said that ZPC’s current shareholders – Antonio Ventriglia and Manuela Sebastiani – had still not received the K580 million, plus interest and, therefore, Finsbury Investments Limited would not be considered as shareholders in the company.
He said it was ultra-vires for Finsbury Investments Limited to appoint Musonda as interim joint chief executive officer when they had not complied with the judgement passed by the Court of Appeal on January 31, 2019.
Litana cautioned against any acts of interfering in the operations of the cement company as nobody was above the law.
In a statement issued by Finsbury Investments Limited, Musonda had been appointed as interim joint chief executive officer to work with Litana, the current chief executive officer.
“Pursuant to the judgement of the Court of Appeal of Zambia delivered on 31st January, 2019, Finsbury Investments Limited (Finsbury) was confirmed as a 58 per cent majority shareholder of Zambezi Portland Cement (ZPC). In light of the said judgement, on the 6th February, 2019, Finsbury paid into the High Court of Zambia ZMW580,000 (ZMK580,000,000) plus interest from 15th July, 2009 in favour of Antonio Ventriglia and Manuela Sebastiani, which represents the value of the shares, which were transferred to Finsbury in December, 2006, and January, 2007,” read the statement issued by Finsbury Investments Limited.
Finsbury further stated that in order to immediately safeguard the interests of the employees and other stakeholders, Finsbury as a majority shareholder of ZPC, had appointed Phesto Ndololo Musonda as interim joint chief executive officer, with immediate effect to work with Litana.
The decision had been made, pending a ZPC directors’ meeting scheduled for February 25, 2019, and a shareholders’ meeting set for March 4, 2019.
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