Finance Bank demands US$1million from Nyasa Times: Mahtani claims defamation

Finance Bank through its chairman Dr. Rajan Mahtani has demanded One Million United States Dollars (US$1,000,000.00) from Nyasa Times as damages in a defamation claim for a column is published recently.

Mahtani. Chairman of Finance Bank

Mahtani. Chairman of Finance Bank

Mahtani and Finance Bank of Zambia have hired Malawian law firm Mvalo and Company, seeking the damages  over an article authored by Lowani Mtonga, saying it “ falsely” stated that in the way of their business that Finance Bank opened ghost accounts and that it is a dishonest bank which engaged in criminal activities .

The lawyers also said the article stated  that Finance Bank Chairman, Dr. Rajan Mahtani, is also in trouble in Zambia over malpractices and corruption allegations and that in Malawi he must have also palm – oiled people who make decisions to allow Finance Bank to reopen.

“The article goes further to urge Malawians not to open accounts with Finance Bank, to keep far from it, implying that their money would not be safe with the bank as it would be stolen.”

The article complained about was published on 19th February 2015, titled “Is govt serious to allow Finance Bank to re – open in Malawi?”

But author Lowani Mtonga, former national director Media Institute for Southern Africa (Misa) Malawi chapter, argued that Finance Bank owner is trying to use law to silence critical media, saying whatever is on the internet is public information.

The Reserve Bank of Malawi report is clear about the corrupt activities of Finance Bank and why the Bank was closed it down in the country, Nyasa Times columnist further argued.  He said that Finance Bank owner was in trouble in Zambia is also public information and hyperlinks in his article were provided to show the evidence.

He continued that “as a patriotic Malawian, I have my views about the bank. And my view is that Malawians should shun this bank. Whether people agree with my opinion or not is not important. But I have made my opinion. Why should Malawians support a bank that did so much damage to our economy by externalizing forex illegally?

“Secondly, there is nothing wrong to suggest that money might have exchanged hands. In fact, there is strong suspicion that money exchanged hands. The Mail and Guardian actually wrote that story.

“It is the duty of media to question certain decisions made by policy makers. That Finance Bank was involved in corrupt activities is a well-known fact.”

Mtonga stated that to close a bank is a very serious issue. In many countries, they would not allow that a bank that has been closed down to resume operations.

“And the citizens have the right to raise eyebrows, more especially media reports are circulating that there is some fishy going on. Journalists and members of society have the right to voice their opinion on any issue that is of public interest. While Finance Bank is a private institution, it is serving the public. Therefore the public has the right to know how it conducts its business. This includes carrying out background checks. Media as watchdog of society have right question practices.

“Given the fact Finance Bank was involves in corrupt activities before, people have the right to voice their concern opinion even to suggest to boycott its service. For example, in South Africa some NGOs including COSATU have been calling on the business community to boycott buying products from Israel as a sign of protest of her behaviour. There is nothing [wrong] with that.

He added: “When we say Malawians should boycott the bank we are not implying that their money is not safe. But it a sign of displeasure at the way the bank behaved itself that led to its closure. It is our right to express this view. If it were in other countries those involved in transferring forex illegally were going to be charged and jailed.”

He also pointed out that information indicating Finance Bank was involved in corrupt activities is contained in the Reserve Bank report.

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Zamu zamu
Guest

Mahtani looks like Mr Bean.Are they related?Tell him to open his bank in Lahore.We have so many banks in Malawi at the moment.Ndikangoikako pin kumeneko.

luvolwethu mpeta
Guest

diphiphi wellwishers hehedeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ZOWOPSA
Guest
I said it a long time ago. That this internet Troll site with no face and no name will be shut down or sued. for racism, hate speech and promoting tribalism. Even in the west where Freedome of speech originated there is responsibilty. And this one thinks it can post scandalous news, defamation news and even pornographic pictures without being censored. I dont condone Corrupiton by goverment or any other foreingers to take advantage of malawians. no. But A responsible journalist doesnt give warinings he just gives information . I think its a long time coming to CLOSE THIS SORRY… Read more »
KING SOLOMONS PALACE
Guest

LETS CHECK INTERNET ABOUT FINANCE BANK .THE BANK MAY HAVE A BAD RECORD.IF SO ,THE LAW SUIT IS A WASTE OF OUR TIME WE READERS HAV MORE IMPORTANT THINGS TO READ.

tikhala
Guest

Ndifunseko, kodi a mutharika mukudziwapo chani za kusowa kwa ma albino?

ben
Guest

RBM have been palm oiled so they are alllowing exporters to keep 100% of export proceeds this is a serious threat to the Kwacha, depreciating ife ti afa njala as things will again be unaffordable. Crooked exporters will take advantage please investigate

Havez al Sahalaaw
Guest

A ACB mwanva kuti ku Raiply kwavuta. Pitaniko msanga Malawi asanaonongeke. Nanunso a MRA muli phwii Raiply ikuba Tax. Mufunilanji umboni wina.

Afa Peter Mukaika APM
Guest
Afa Peter Mukaika APM

Some people stupid people are saying its about time nyasatimes is sued going further that it needed to investigate before publishing the article. You know how DPP operates by the time nyasatimes have finished investigating, Finance Bank would have opened and alot of people would have arleady been duped. This bank is were a person would cash a government cheque on a counter in Zambia let alone if it once again operated here in Malawi. Wake up Mathanyula bootylickers

M'doko
Guest

Kodi ma office awo alikuti tingowamatchapo asatitore amenewa tibele kangati ndipo mhiiiiii…….h!

Chibanja tv
Guest

Yes, freedom of speech has boundaries now that Nyasatimes is famous for all sorts of defemation, I am not surprised!. Now is busy promoting Allan Ntata with his stupid postings on the face book against the government. Lets wait and see how the courts will determine this!

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