The unprecedented rioting that has shaken Zimbabwe over the past week is a manifestation of the utter hopelessness that has taken hold of the nation. People no longer believe their government is capable of solving the enormous economic challenges that face them. They see instead an arrogant kleptocracy amassing and flaunting wealth in the face of the grinding poverty most citizens have endured for more than two decades. The euphoria over the deposing of long-time dictator Robert Mugabe in November 2017 soon evaporated and has now been replaced by anger, particularly on the part of the millions of unemployed youths. When Emmerson Mnangagwa was sworn in as president after the 2017 smart coup, he announced he would be a “listening president”. His actions since then have shown without a doubt that this was a sham. In a serious case of misjudgment, he announced a 150% increase in the price of petrol from $1.24 to $3.31 per litre on the eve of his departure for Asia and Europe on January ...

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