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New dawn for economy after dark days in Zimbabwe?

Thursday, November 16, 2017 - 02:03

Investment firms say their phones have been ringing with client inquiries about the chances of a turnaround in Zimbabwe from decades of decline and bouts of financial chaos under Robert Mugabe. But, as David Pollard reports, they face some key obstacles.

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The headlines give hope. The man many see as a tyrant: ousted. After a bloodless coup, a new dawn may beckon .... (SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER VICE PRESIDENT, JOICE MUJURU SAYING: "We are in need of transitional arrangements that should attend to key issues of economic recovery and electoral reform processes." The talk is brave, given the challenges. With a new leadership may come new deals with foreign investors and creditors. Though for now dire poverty is the local reality, and hyperinflation that's driven many into Bitcoin and other assets. And as for its currency, there's the 'zollar' - an electronic dollar used in bank accounts amid a scarcity of the real thing. Which became legal tender in 2009. SOUNDBITE (English) BILL BLAIN, CAPITAL MARKETS STRATEGIST, MINT PARTNERS, SAYING: "That has not really solved many of the issues that the Zimbabwean economy still faces. Top of that list of course is corruption." Stocks though are booming. Zimbabwe's industrial index up by 264 per cent this year. MSCI's country index 420 per cent. But don't, warn analysts, be deceived ... Shares are rocketing as, again, local investors look for an alternative to uncertainty. SOUNDBITE (English) BILL BLAIN, CAPITAL MARKETS STRATEGIST, MINT PARTNERS, SAYING: "It's very difficult to see that a military coup .... is really going to change the economy in any meaningful way ... And how do you get what was once the breadbasket of Africa functioning again?" That question hard to answer as the politics of a nation hang in the balance too. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DUMISANI NKOMO, SPOKESPERSON FOR CRISIS IN ZIMBABWE COALITION (CIZC), SAYING: "If things go terribly wrong, it could lead to a suspension of civil liberties, it could lead to a suspension of the constitution. We hope not." This video shows the house of Zimbabwe's former Information Minister, Jonathan Moyo ... Glass shattered, walls punctured by bullets in an army raid ... Zimbabwe's coupl bloodless for now ....

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New dawn for economy after dark days in Zimbabwe?

Thursday, November 16, 2017 - 02:03