Press Corporation Limited (PCL) has started closing down some supermarkets under the group arguing it cannot be borrowing money to pay for the subsidiary’s taxes.
The development has left over 1,500 jobs at Metro and PTC supermarket shops as the group of companies has so far closed 16 shops.
Over 300 people have been fired due to the closures that were coming from the introduction of turnover tax brought by the zero-deficit budget.
PCL chief Mathews Chikaonda said punitive taxes introduced in the last budget have forced the company to close down some shops as a survival strategy.
He said last week only, PCL had closed down five PTC shops and those no longer operational were located in Area 23, Lumbadzi, Chitawira, Kawale, Likuni, Chirimba, Likhubula, Ekwendeni, Bwandilo Kwiksave, Kwiksave 47 Chigoneka, Bvumbwe, Dowa, Embangweni, Nkhotakota, Nsanje, Bangula, Nselema, Lizulu, Santhe and Mvera.
“If we continue with the current economic environment, more companies will close down. If there are closures, do not get surprised.
“We have done our interventions. If I have to borrow money in order to pay taxes, why would I be in business? More investors are also going to other countries,” said Chikaonda.
The closure of PTC shops is coming at a time when the country is on the brink of losing two international retailers, Shoprite and Game who still have empty shelves in their main shops.