Robert Mugabe’s nephew-in-law Adam Molai who is the co-founder and chairperson of Pacific Cigarettes Company claims his personal relationship with the late Pan Africanist caused stunted growth of his business empire.
Molai who is married to Mugabe’s nephew, Sandra said “there is a general desire to paint any African success by aligning it with some politician.” He added:
If anything, the personal relation (with Mugabe), has been an albatross around my neck because it has culminated in this bigotry that has been a hindrance to all our business exploits.
Molai made the remarks in a YouTube video posted on February 18 while responding to a report published by South Africa’s Maverick Citizen, titled Zimbabwe Cartel Power Dynamics Report which implicated him as one of the kingpins in a multi-million dollar cigarette smuggling cartel.
The report dedicates two pages to scrutinising Molai’s company and how his personal relationship with Mugabe augmented his seemingly immune participation in the alleged illicit cigarette trade. Reads the part report:
The main cigarette smuggling cartels consist of 1) political bosses who allow cartels to operate with impunity, 2) transport companies that deliver cigarettes, and 3) distribution networks in South Africa.
Molai, however, scoffed at the allegations saying the report lacked logic. He said:
This is a tired and discredited allegation that Pacific Cigarettes are the most smuggled cigarettes into South Africa. It’s a patently false allegation. Maverick relies on some obscure article where an individual was arrested carrying 150 Pacific boxes. Putting this into perspective, South Africa consumes between 270 000 to 300 000 boxes of cigarettes per annum. So how 150 boxes can be used to extrapolate and support such a ludicrous claim baffles me.
Zim Morning Post observes that contrary to Molai’s claims that his personal relationship with Mugabe was a “hindrance to all our business exploits,” it is during the late Mugabe’s reign that the company dominated the market.
During that time, Molai entered into an agreement with China Tobacco Shaanxi Industrial Corporation (CTSIC), to manufacture cigarettes for the Chinese diaspora in Africa.