HARARE Dec 23 Swiss food company Nestle's
NESN.VX Zimbabwe unit has suspended operations, two months
after pulling out of a deal to buy milk from a farm owned by
President Robert Mugabe's family, state media reported on
"Nestle Zimbabwe has temporarily decided to shut down its
factory," the state-controlled Herald newspaper quoted a company
Nestle Zimbabwe was not available to comment.
In October, Nestle stopped purchasing milk from the Mugabe
family's Gishungo dairy farm after international media criticism
of the deal entered into in February.
At the time, Nestle said its business with Gushungo Dairy
Estate accounted for 10-15 percent of its local milk supply.
Nestle said it had a long-term commitment to Zimbabwe.
Mugabe's seizure of white-owned commercial farms to resettle
landless blacks has been blamed for ruining the southern African
country's once prosperous economy.
The veteran leader, in power since independence from Britain
in 1980, denies the charges, saying the economic crisis was
caused by Western countries opposed to his land reforms.
In February, Mugabe formed a power-sharing government with
bitter rival Morgan Tsvangirai, now prime minister, following
disputed elections in 2008.
(Reporting by Nelson Banya; Editing by Dan Lalor)