Schweppes Zimbabwe Limited has stopped producing Mazoe Orange Crush after Coca-Cola Company cut off critical ingredients in making the product over a $10 million debt, according to South Africa’s Business Times newspaper.
According to the newspaper, Schweppes Zimbabwe, which manufactures and distributes Mazoe Orange Crush under licence from Coca-Cola, has not been manufacturing the product in the past three weeks.
The newspaper quoted Charles Msipa, Schweppes managing director, saying “there is an amount due and need to be paid so that the release of the concentrate can be done.”
He told Business Times that “it’s a forex issue which is causing frustration. Part of the resolution is that we are working with local banks and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe because that amount due, though it is less than US$10m, is legacy debt accrued over three years. So, this is part of the blocked funds.”
Central bank governor John Mangudya was not available for comment as he was not responding to calls on his mobile phone.
Schweppes recently introduced a tomato business in Norton, west of the capital, Harare. It exports some of its products to Zambia, Namibia, Botswana, South Africa and Mozambique.