No milk for Murerwa’s tea


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Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa had tea and coffee with 14 chief executive officers without milk because his office could not find any milk.

The executives, who included Dairibord’s chief executive officer Anthony Mandiwanza, had come to see Murerwa to plead for an end to the government’s convoluted macro-economic policies.

Mandiwanza is said to have told Murerwa that the reason why the minister could not find milk was that it cost his company Z$120 a litre to buy milk from farmers, there were overheard costs of Z$200 a litre but the minister wanted Dairibord to sell the milk to consumers at a controlled price of Z$80 a litre.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 03HARARE448, Econ 101 for Mugabe’s Finance Minister

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

03HARARE448

2003-03-03 14:30

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS HARARE 000448

 

SIPDIS

 

SENSITIVE

 

STATE FOR AF/S

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JFRAZER

USDOC FOR 2037 DIEMOND

PASS USTR ROSA WHITAKER

TREASURY FOR ED BARBER AND C WILKINSON

STATE PASS USAID FOR MARJORIE COPSON

 

E. O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: ECON EINV ETRD ZI

SUBJECT: Econ 101 for Mugabe’s Finance Minister

 

1. (SBU) We have learned of an exchange between Finance

Minister Herbert Murerwa and Dairiboard CEO Anthony

Mandiwanza. 14 CEOs had recently called on Murerwa to

plead for an end to the GOZ’s convoluted macroeconomic

policies. The Finance Minister began the session by

apologizing that his office was unable to purchase milk

for the tea and coffee on the table. Dairiboard’s

Mandiwanza, who also heads the Confederation of

Industries, seized the moment and suggested that milkless

beverages should be the meeting’s first topic. He

explained that firms he represents pay farmers

Z$120/liter for milk. On average, each liter carries an

additional Z$200 of overhead by the time it reaches the

retail market. “That’s why, Mr. Minister,” he concluded,

“your staff can’t get a liter of milk at the controlled

price of Z$80.”

 

2. (U) Comment: It’s not rocket science.

 

Sullivan

 

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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