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Molai never sponsored Kasukuwere

by Staff reporter
16 Oct 2023 at 19:41hrs | Views
Adam Molai, the tobacco tycoon and owner of Pacific Cigarette Company (PCC), has refuted allegations that he provided financial support for former Zanu-PF political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere's failed presidential campaign in the recent election. There have been rumors suggesting that the substantial tax bill faced by his company was a consequence of his alleged association with the former cabinet minister.

Kasukuwere's aspirations for the presidency were quashed by a court ruling, citing his non-residency in his constituency for at least 18 months, a violation of the Electoral Act.

During an online press briefing, Molai categorically denied these claims, stating, "I have never engaged in politics, and I have no interest in funding political campaigns. My principle is to remain apolitical and to support any government that governs Zimbabwe. While I have heard these rumors, I can confirm that they are unfounded."

Molai added, "Speculations arise when events occur, and I have consistently refrained from commenting on speculations. As PCC, we always focus on the facts at our disposal."

After his company declared insolvency and entered business rescue, insider sources suggested that the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) was utilized by President Emmerson Mnangagwa's administration to penalize Molai for his purported support of Kasukuwere's unsuccessful presidential bid in the recent general elections.

Molai clarified that Kasukuwere was not only a former business partner in his initial tobacco venture but also a distant relative. "I had known Saviour long before his entry into politics. We co-managed a tobacco company before Savanna Tobacco, and I worked alongside Saviour Kasukuwere and the late Solomon Tawengwa. This is when I first got to know Saviour Kasukuwere. I can confidently say that he is my business associate. We are all interconnected as Africans. One of Saviour's cousins is married to my cousin, so we have always had a familial connection. This is why we knew each other beyond just being business associates."

Regarding the tax bill, Molai denied any tax evasion by his company over a three-year period, emphasizing that they paid over US$3 million in taxes annually. "I find it implausible that any company in Zimbabwe could amass a tax debt exceeding US$20 million within three years. This is why we are disputing it," Molai explained. "Since we commenced operations, Zimra conducted annual audits, confirming our compliance. Up until 2017, there were only minor issues, which we addressed."

Molai also clarified that putting his business under the jurisdiction of a judicial manager was essential to prevent the tax burden from jeopardizing his business empire's survival. "We reached a point where we could no longer continue operations. Recognizing this, I opted to place the business under judicial management, which enabled the business to resume operations immediately. As we speak, the business is functioning normally," he informed the press.

Source - newshawks