From a crusading hero feted on the streets of Harare just over six months ago, Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa is now becoming known as a man of excuses. His early promises to improve people’s lives have not materialised. Boastful announcements about $11bn in investment pledges have been questioned by the trade unions and others, while striking nurses, who have worked in deplorable conditions for years, were fired for standing up to the government. Cash-strapped businesses are still shedding jobs as the debilitating liquidity crisis and acute foreign currency shortages from the era of former president Robert Mugabe continue. Meanwhile, election campaigning has gone into full gear for a poll expected to be held before August 21 — less than three months away. Huge banners of Mnangagwa have appeared around Harare, punting him as Zimbabwe’s next leader. He took a short break from extensive international travel to release the ruling party’s election manifesto at the weekend, prom...

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