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We’re Open For Business, President Said. Then Zimbabwe Shut

  • President Emmerson Mnangagwa bans banks from lending money
  • Local currency has plunged to a fraction of earlier value
Emmerson Mnangagwa
Emmerson MnangagwaPhotographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg
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Emmerson Mnangagwa has stymied Zimbabwe’s economy, five years after he declared the country “Open for business.”

Flanked by his finance minister and central bank governor, the president announced in a May 7 televised speech that banks had been banned from lending in a bid to stem the precipitous decline of the local currency. The order threatens to dissipate what little confidence there is in an economy that’s been in turmoil for more than two decades.