Robert Mugabe bowed out of the political stage this week after close to four decades at the helm of what was once Africa's premier food producer. Behind him, the once knighted 93-year-old leaves a broken economy. But even as pressure was being brought to bear on him through a military siege and street demonstrations calling for his resignation, Mugabe put up one last stand in a typical posture of defiance until he took his last political breath. Mugabe's final resistance rattled the markets and wiped $6-billion (about R84-billion) off the market capitalisation of the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange. The local bourse has so far fallen by 20%, from about $15-billion to $9-billion, ending months of a bull run. Over the years, the markets in Africa's 19th-biggest economy have had a love-hate relationship with Mugabe: shaken down by his disastrous economic policies at one turn and at another warming to his short-lived promises of a return to economic order.With operations in a high-risk and unpr...

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