Finance Bank Chairman Rajan Mahtani is allegedly spending a quarter million US dollars to help the ruling Patriotic Front win several upcoming parliamentary by-elections, a source close to State House tells Zambia Reports.
According to the source, Mahtani’s cash will be used as part of a PF rigging exercise in Vubwi, Kasengwa, Zambezi West, and Solwezi Central, and is intended to curry favour with the new party leadership, who are considering initiating an investigation against the banker for having supported the former Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba’s attempt to seize control of the party.
Mahtani has provided Deputy Minister of Commerce Miles Sampa with $100,000 to spend on bribing villagers and chiefs in Vubwi and Kasenegwa, the source says. Mahtani has also given Sampa a Nissan Navara vehicle, registration number ALT 4892, which is registered and driven by an employee of Mahtani’s company Professional Insurance Corporation of Zambia (PICZ).
The remaining $150,00 will be distributed among the other by-election districts in Zambezi and Solwezi through Finance Bank staff members through the branch offices, and will be used in the same way that PF bought votes in Mangango, where a margin of less than 1,000 votes was enough to win the seat, the source says.
“Mahtani is trying to distance himself from the cartel. He is playing another double game, where he wants to be in favour of the government, while at the same time secretly financing opposition political parties just to be on the safe side in case there is a change of government,” the source says.
“Ever since the OP agents raided George Chellah’s home, Mahtani is now aware that OP will know that he has been paying Chellah to run the website Zambian Intelligence News, which has aggressively attacked both Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda as well as former Minister of Defence Geofrey Bwalya Mwamba,” the source said.
The dramatic events in Zambia following President Michael Sata’s firing of Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba has been followed by a crackdown on members of the so-called “cartel,” which had attempted an unlawful seizure of power while President Sata was visiting Israel. The source says it is not yet certain whether Mahtani’s recent political donations will be enough to get him out of trouble with the new PF leadership, which could pose problems for his upcoming intention to list Finance Bank shares on the Lusaka Stock Exchange.
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