In March 2008, Robert Mugabe, then Zimbabwe's president, signed the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act into law. The law gave a 51% controlling stake in foreign-owned companies to black Zimbabweans. Last week, 10 years later almost to the day, his successor, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, repealed the law and removed, among other things, the major impediment that foreigners must cede their controlling stake in companies to locals. It is a significant break from the hard line taken under Mugabe, which had been cited as a major reason that investment flows into Zimbabwe had dried up. The push by Mugabe to control foreign-owned companies accompanied another disastrous economic policy he had embarked on in 2000 - the takeover of white-owned commercial farms. As a result of the violent farm seizures, agricultural production plummeted. Zimbabwe's breadbasket status in the Southern African Development Community was spectacularly reversed and the country became a net importer of gra...

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