Kudakwashe Tagwirei’s Sakunda Holdings started by firing workers before dishing out US$5.3 million into sponsoring the country’s two biggest football clubs, Dynamos and Highlanders.
Last week, Tagwirei through his controversial company Sakunda, donated US$5.3 million to the two big clubs and handed out US$180 000 for buying houses for Dynamos legend Moses Chunga and his Highlanders counterpart Madinda Ndlovu.
He also donated cars to coaches and captains for both Dynamos and Highlanders before he awarded the late Dynamos star George Shaya’s family US$120 000 for the buying of a house.
But reliable sources pointed out that the fuel mogul recently fired many workers at Sakunda Holdings among them Chief Operating Officer Mberikwazvo Chitambu and Head of Special Projects Clement Mahiya on the pretext that sanctions were taking a toll on his business.
The source said “hundreds were retrenched, the company is only left with 16 workers. Among the retrenched is Chief Operating Officer Chitambu and Head of Special Projects Mahiya.”
Contacted for a comment, Tagwirei did not respond.
Tagwirei was placed under sanctions by the UK government among four other individuals who were accused of being involved in “serious corruption” in Equatorial Guinea, Venezuela and Iraq.
The international community accuses President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s top ally, Tagwirei of stealing public funds while being protected by top government officials.
Some corners also allege that Tagwirei made a fortune from providing the Government of Zimbabwe with some sanction-busting accounts.
He hosted a state of the art dinner at Meikles Hotel on Tuesday where he unveiled a multimillion dollar sponsorship deal for Highlanders and Dynamos. The US$5.3 million deal is expected to run for three seasons.
Observers noted that Tagwirei was trying to sanitise ‘proceeds of looting’ by controversially sponsoring the biggest football clubs. They also said that the businessman was already campaigning for his Zanu PF party ahead of the 2023 elections because the two clubs command a huge Zimbabwean following.
According to a recent Sentry report, Tagwirei presides over a sprawling network of more than 40 companies spanning the oil, mining, banking, logistics, transportation, and import/export, which have been linked to alleged corrupt activities and state capture. Nehanda Radio