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It is almost six months since the dramatic departure of Robert Mugabe from Zimbabwe’s presidency. As more than 100 political parties gear up for elections in July, citizens’ hopes for the future range from cautiously optimistic to fiercely sceptical. "We can’t speak of much actual progress, but we can speak of lots of encouraging promises," says John Robertson, a veteran economist based in the capital. He is confident Zanu-PF will remove impediments to investment but concedes that in spite of "assurances that everything is going to be different, we’re still waiting for the actual changes to legislation and regulations". The most significant of these changes is the granting of bankable and transferable 99-year leases to black and white commercial farmers — whose position remains precarious. The promised change to indigenisation legislation, which requires foreign owners to hand over 51% of their companies to black Zimbabweans, is also still pending; the amendment will limit these req...

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