Harare/Johannesburg — When Emmerson Mnangagwa took over the leadership of Zimbabwe from Robert Mugabe in November 2017, he promised to revive the moribund economy and adopted a mantra he’s repeated regularly ever since: “Zimbabwe is open for business”. Mnangagwa, always wearing a scarf in the colours of the Zimbabwean flag, quickly set about traversing the globe to woo investment needed to revive the heavily indebted economy. By March, he’d been on at least 30 foreign visits, including trips to the US, Russia, China, the Middle East and the World Economic Forum in Davos. Together with the enthusiastic support of state media, Mnangagwa and his officials have announced more than $27bn of planned investment ranging from new platinum mines to steel mills and hydropower dams. Eighteen months into his tenure, he has little to show for it. The economy is in its most dire state since 2008, when inflation surged to an estimated 500-billion percent. Medicines, fuel and foreign currency are in...

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