On November 22 2017 a flight from Joburg landed at Charles Prince, a small airport just outside the Zimbabwean capital, Harare. It carried Emmerson Mnangagwa, returning triumphant to Zimbabwe after being axed as President Robert Mugabe’s deputy just more than two weeks earlier.

With Mugabe having resigned the previous day — under duress after the military took control of the country on November 14 — Mnangagwa was set to take the reins...

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