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No Chinese shareholders in PCC

THERE are no Chinese shareholders in Pacific Cigarette Company (PCC), as it is beneficially owned by three Zimbabweans, founder and chairman Adam Molai has said.

This comes as the serial entrepreneur has stated that his association with the late President Robert Mugabe had actually cost him and dismissed a Maverick Citizen (Maverick) report alleging the firm was part of “cartels that have plundered the southern African country”.

“The ultimate beneficial shareholders in Pacific… are Gerrit de Jong, Christopher Sambaza and myself through our family trusts,” Molai said, adding there was never an attempt by the paper to contact him for comment.

“Pacific… has a manufacturing agreement with China Tobacco Shaanxi Industrial Corporation, a subsidiary of the Chinese National Tobacco Company… for the Chinese diaspora in Africa,” he said, adding the partnership was unique in that brands from the Asian giant were being produced by a local entity and under a license.

“These miscomprehensions between a client and a shareholder happen when journalists resort to innuendo and bar talk as sources of information,” Molai said.

On PCC’s alleged involvement in the smuggling of cigarettes to South Africa, the Johannesburg-based businessman said his company has neither condoned contraband trade nor been subjected to any investigations.

“(We are) proud of… democratising the Zimbabwean tobacco industry through contract farming… to over 85 000 families,” Molai said.

“I married… Mugabe’s niece in 1998 and that is my only crime (and) remember that in the ‘global business power circles’, being his nephew-in-law (of which I am very proud and will never deny for any benefit) is crippling for obvious reasons,” he said, adding misconceptions continued to be fuelled by publications such as the South African paper’s report.

“We have built and bought more businesses and grown our balance sheet since… (he) was removed from office…,” Molai, who has recently unveiled a US$2 million venture capital fund under his TRT Investments, said.

The global investor also said he was not being investigated in respect of Housing Corporation Zimbabwe’s off-take agreement with the National Social Security Authority (NSSA).

“It was ventilated in court that NSSA’s procurement policy provisions clearly differentiate between off-take agreements, which are investment decisions taken differently from the procurement of services in the ordinary course of organisational operations,” Molai said, adding the property outfit had even won a US$22 million-arbitration award.

“We have also been awarded a temporary injunction from the Supreme Court of Mauritius against NSSA assets. The Zimbabwe High Court has also found that a forensic audit report (on the entity) was biased, inaccurate… and incompetent,” he said, adding he “was happy to defend himself and Pacific in any court of law.”