Mahtani Sued Over Unpaid Pensions to Finance Bank Workers
According to a bundle of documents obtained by Zambia Reports, a former Finance Bank employee Weluzani Banda together with 162 other former employees have sued Mahtani for failure to pay them pension under the Finance Bank non-contributory pension scheme.
According to documents filed in the Lusaka High Court, Mahtani had introduced a non-contributory pension scheme for workers in 1993 and put in an initial deposit of K73 million then. In 1998, the deposits accumulated to K1,201,479,611.44, but Mahtani without informing his workers, had allegedly decided to discontinue the pension scheme and instead used the money to guarantee two other companies after borrowing from Leasing Finance Company Limited, which he also owns.
Since the lawsuit was triggered, Mahtani has been caught in an awkward public position, as he changed his plea from initially denying that there ever was any pension scheme, and then later switching his story to say that the workers were too late to claim benefits.
When the case began, Mahtani through his Lawyers Mulenga Mundashi and Company claimed ignorance about any pensions.
However, documents filed in by the plaintiff in court reveal that even Finance Bank’s first Managing Director, a Mr. Wadood, acknowledged the pension scheme’s existence in a memo to then Finance Bank Board Chairperson Tom Mtine (see attached documents). To make matters worse for Mahtani, Finance Bank external auditors PriceWaterhouseCoopers in a 1994 Annual Report (on page 11) also highlighted the existence of the non-contributory pension scheme.
Upon discovering that the ex-Finance Bank employees had proof that the pension scheme existed, Mathani through his other lawyers Simeza Sangwa and Associates changed plea in the High Court to a plea that the ex-employees have filed the suit too late, therefore praying to the High court to scrap the plaintiff’s claims.
Zambia Reports has obtained a bundle of these documents in the possible event that they disappear in the High Court and will be following up on the status of this case in the coming weeks with further eyewitness reports and details.
Stay tuned for more revelations and leaks very soon.
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