At home I have a 100-billion Zimbabwean dollar note pinned to the fridge. Rather like the insanely hyperinflated mark during the Weimar Republic, this pastel blue banknote would never have bought much, even when printed nearly a decade ago. But on a trip to Harare earlier in 2017, those billions wouldn’t have been acceptable currency at all. President Robert Mugabe had landed moments before us at Harare airport, which was renamed after him last week. As we were driven into town, there was little traffic on the road: mostly fume-belching cattle trucks packed with youths waving the Zimbabwean flag. "They’ve been to welcome the president back after his medical treatment in Singapore," remarked our taxi driver drily. "Those trucks drive around and pick up unemployed young men and women. They don’t have a lot of choice." When we reached the city centre, it was dark. Few street lights worked. On the pavement, the mass of street stalls selling fruit and vegetables were packing up and hundr...

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