“We are a true business entity which has nothing to do with politics,” an official of Tanaka who refused with his name told Radio VOP after two days of trying to get a comment from the company through a series of e-mails and telephone calls. “We are not here to comment on any political statement and not going to attend to political connotations which some of the questions seem to be meaning. We do not as well analyse politics in any other countries we will be operating.”
The official, however, refused to divulge Tanaka’s shareholding structure to Radio VOP. Tanaka is being accused of trying to use the controversial indigenisation law to penetrate the already saturated Harare –Johannesburg route.
The state controlled weekly The Sunday Mail reported that Tanaka is being blocked by Intercape, owned by whites from entering the Zimbabwean market through plying the Johannesburg-Harare route which was advertised in the SA Government Gazette mid this year.
Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Walter Mzembi told Radio VOP: “Currently I am attending a debriefing meeting which ends late today but at the meantime I can confirm handling the case.”
Minister Mzembi last week was quoted by the Sunday Mail acknowledging his personal intervention in the case.
It is alleged that trouble started when Tanaka applied to South Africa’s Cross- Border Road Transport Agency (CBRTA) for a permit to ply the Johannesburg-Harare route which was advertised in the SA Government Gazette in June this year.
Tanaka is said to be arguing that Intercape wants to monopolise the luxury coaches’ segment on the Johannesburg-Harare route while at the same time it is offering semi-luxury coaches and service.