THE US$4.2million loan borrowed by the defunct Zambian Airways from Finance Bank has not been paid back and efforts by bank officials to pursue the matter have been frustrated on superior orders.
Bank sources have disclosed that attempts by officers to regularize the loan have been met with stone silence and the Bank of Zambia which has overall supervisory authority on financial institutions has failed to provide guidance.
This is in spite of the fact that Finance Bank in full and documented consultation with the Bank of Zambia hired prominent Lusaka lawyer Sunday Nkonde to pursue the recovery of the “non-performing asset” loan.
Documentation availed to the Daily Nation by bank sources showed that the Bank of Zambia was in agreement with Finance Bank’s plan to liquidate and recover the $4.2 million which was outstanding on its books.
The bank engaged the external counsel to ensure the recovery of the loan which was under the “mine Air Services” a forerunner to Zambian Airways owned by suspended Director of Prosecution (DPP) Mutembo Nchito, Fred M’membe Post newspaper proprietor and Nchima Nchito, a Lusaka lawyer.
According to records available the loan was fully guaranteed, meaning that the company owner were liable for the debt.
However, soon after President Michael Sata came into office a consent order was entered into withdrawing the matter from court, under terms and conditions that were not erlaborated in court.
Later suspended DPP Mutembo Nchito issued a nolle prosequi in favour of the Finance Bank board chairman Rajan Mahtani.
“We are aware that that on 28th November, 2012, High Court Judge Nigel Mutuna entered a consent judgment between Finance Bank Zambia Limited and Keiran Day, Mine Air Services T/A Zambian Airways, JNC Holdings, Post Newspaper, Mutembo Nchito, Nchima Nchito and Fred M’membe, but there are no details that were furnished to enable us follow, document and close the case in the manner that should have been appropriate.” he said.
The fact that in In March 2013, Nchito entered a nolle prosequi in a matter of Dr Mahtani, he said, was very different from the issue of the loan, “That money belonged to depositors and did not have to do with personalities. That is why appropriate measures should have been taken to recover the money.” e said.
“The Bank of Zambia Governor should be aware of this matter because its name had been implicated in the matter