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More Drama for Nestle in Zimbabwe

Nestle has suspended its operations in Zimbabwe. The company said it was forced to accept a delivery from a non-contracted milk supplier, and police harassed managers by bringing them in for questioning.

"Since under such circumstances normal operations and the safety of employees are no longer guaranteed, Nestle decided to temporarily shut down the facility," the company said in a statement.

Though not stated explicitly, the "non-contracted supplier" was most likely Gushungo Dairy Estate, which is owned by the president's wife, Grace Mugabe. Gushungo was confiscated from white farmers as part of President Robert Mugabe's internationally condemned land reform programs, and Nestle Zimbabwe recently dropped Gushungo as a supplier in response to international criticism.

The Zimbabwe government has tried to reassure the company and persuade it to resume operations, but Nestle Zimbabwe is still considering the situation. Zimbabwe Industry and Commerce Minister Welshman Ncube blamed the international media for its role in blowing the whole thing out of proportion to begin with.

Related Stories on BNET Food: Nestle Zimbabwe Conveniently Dumps Grace Mugabe Farm as Supplier Nestle Zimbabwe's Mugabe Ties Get Company In Trouble

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