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Robert Mugabe’s fall in November last year was expected to be a blessing for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and to put it in a position to seize upon the former president’s demise. But the event has proved to be a double-edged sword for the alliance. Ahead of this year’s elections, the hand of the ruling Zanu-PF — once on the brink of implosion because of succession fights — has been strengthened. New president Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is also the party leader, is intent on pulling Zimbabwe out of the cave of isolation it has been holed up in for the past 20 years. Mnangagwa’s mission bodes ill for the opposition, particularly as the MDC has long relied on the wrecking of the economy by Zanu-PF to win over voters. A much bigger problem for the opposition, however, is that the international community — which it once captivated — is warming up to Mnangagwa. He made his international debut last month at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where he mixed ...

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