Police defy court order

Copperbelt police have shunned and refused to allow the Sheriff of Zambia and his bailiffs to enforce a Lusaka High Court writ to allow Antonio Ventriglia and Manuela Ventriglia, who were deported by the Minister of home Affairs Edgar Lungu take possession and defend the property of Zambezi Portland Cement.

The Lusaka High Court on Friday issued a writ of possession allowing the two to take possession and protect the Company while court proceedings were still going on, but Police would not allow the service of the writ.(see the order at page 5)

Police have been guarding the premises ever since Andrew Kamanga appointed by Finance Bank Chairman Rajan Mathani illegally took over administration of the company.

And NAREP president Elias Chipimo said disobeying the court order would amount to contempt of court, and would suggest impropriety in the deportation of the Ventriglios.

“At no time in our history do I recall a time when the police were ever engaged to protect a private entity against the carrying out of a lawful order issued by our courts. This would amount to contempt of the court order and would suggest that the deportation orders issued earlier against the Ventriglios were motivated by interests at senior government levels.

The Minister of Home Affairs must issue a statement clarifying whether he had personally sanctioned the use of the police to prevent the execution of a court order and if not, what he intends to do about this development.

“It would be very regrettable if the stories proved true that armed police are guarding the premises of Portland Cement in order to prevent court-appointed bailiffs with a valid court order of execution, from conducting their work.” He said.

When contacted for a comment Copperbelt Police Commissioner, Mary Tembo cut the phone upon the Daily Nation reporter identifying himself and the purpose for the query.

  Later police spokesperson Elizabeth Kanjela refused to comment on the police action stating that at her rank Ms. Tembo was capable of answering the query and that she herself did not have any information on the matter.

Efforts to get a comment from the Minister of Home Affairs also failed as he kept switching off the off.

Last Month Lusaka High Court Judge Flavia Chishimba rejected an application by  Dr. Rajan Mathani of Finsbury Investment to appoint a receiver in order to protect his interest as a guarantor of the loan that ZPC obtained from the PTA Bank.

Justice Chishimba said that granting the application would be endorsing and legitimizing a disputed position.

She dismissed the application stating that the owners of the company had already put administration measures in place to ensure that the Company continued to operate.

The rejection followed an earlier rejection by Judge Lisimba who declared as null and void the appointment of Andrew Kamanga as acting CEO.

He declared the appointment by a “board” chaired by Dr. Rajan Mathani as null and void.

 

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