Mahtani’s case fails to take off

The case in which a former Finance Bank employee Weluzani Banda has sued his ex- employersfor terminal benefits from the non-contributory pension scheme, again failed to take off yesterday  in the Lusaka High Court after the lawyers defending Mahtani asked for an adjournment to study some issues related to the matter.

The case which came before Justice Bobo Banda was adjourned to April 23 and 29 next year after an application by the bank’s lawyers Simeza Sangwa&Associates for an adjournment was allowed.

Mr Banda in his statement of claim wants the court to declare that the non-contributory pension scheme which the bank claims never existed was actually there in 1993.

Mr Banda says in 1993 the bank introduced a non-contributory pensions and terminal benefit scheme for its employees and that K73 million was initially provided which was subsequently transferred to a company called Leasing Finance in 1994.In 1998 the balance stood at K1.2 billion.

He says that however without any explanation or warning, the bank decided to cancel the pensionsscheme, claiming that it never existed. The bank in 1999 introduced a staff contributory scheme.

He says that the chairman of the bank Rajan Mahtani purported to guarantee a loan to some two companies and used the pension money as collateral.

He further says  that him, like most employees of the bank, past and present worked for the bank from 1993 to 1999 and are entitled to pensions payment from the non-contributory pensions scheme,

In 2oo7 the bank denied that the non-contributory pension scheme never existed in its portfolios, the denial which Mr Banda claims is an injurious act of deceit.

Mr Banda who started the action about four yearsago through his lawyers Lisimba & Co also wants the court to declare that he was entitled to benefits from the same scheme. He is also claiming costs and any other relief that the court may decide.