Delta Beverages, the third-largest company on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, has had little cheer over the festive season. In the run-up to the holidays, foreign currency shortages severely reduced the supply of concentrate for Coca-Cola, one of its most popular products. And just two days into the new year, the company, 40% owned by global brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev, made a bold announcement - it would charge for all its products in US dollars and would not accept payment in bond notes or by electronic transfer. It was an attempt by Delta to get its hands on the $7m or so it needs in foreign currency to keep operations running. Annually, the firm needs more than $100m. For several months, the beverage maker had been struggling to secure foreign currency from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to pay for the import of soft-drink concentrate. But the government swiftly blocked Delta's attempt to charge in US dollars. Company CEO Pearson Gowero went on state television with ...

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