Zimbabwe's newly sworn-in administration under President Emmerson Mnangagwa has begun the process of dismantling the key economic instruments used to politically prop up the rule of former president Robert Mugabe, and which brought Africa's 19th-largest economy to the brink of ruin. All eyes are on Mnangagwa for the economic direction he will pursue over the next eight months - the time he will hold office before elections next year. The country desperately needs to attract foreign investment and fresh capital inflows, but is faced with its most biting economic meltdown since the "dollarisation" of the economy in February 2009, which has been characterised by severe cash shortages, company closures, growing unemployment, rising food prices and debt of $7-billion (R95-billion) owed to western lenders. The expectation of ordinary members of the public and of private-sector players is that Mnangagwa will be able to stave off an economic collapse and implement deep economic reforms, whi...

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