Zimbabwe's finance minister sees election boost to 'collapsed' economy

“We find ourselves completely overwhelmed by the business delegations which have been visiting us. Some of them have already materialised into concrete and substantial investments, some will mature as we go along.”

Under Mugabe’s reign, Zimbabwe had turned into a pariah state shunned by many international investors and lenders.

Mnangagwa has consistently said that reviving the economy is his priority.

“We don’t want aid, we don’t want donations,” said Chinamasa, who was Mugabe’s finance minister for four years.

“What we want is access to capital — if we can get that overnight, you will see miracles being performed.

“As we re-engage, that is… our expectation, to have access to capital. If we have that, this country will lift up.”

Tainted elections 

Among the major challenges that Zimbabwe face is a public-sector wage bill that drains most of the budget, endemic corruption and large arrears to international lenders.

Mnangagwa was one of Mugabe’s closest allies during years of tainted elections when ZANU-PF was accused of violence, intimidation and fraud — but the new president has vowed to hold a clean vote.

“I do think that this election is going to surpass all standards in terms of freeness, transparency, violence-free,” said Chinamasa.

On Wednesday, the military — which ushered Mnangagwa to power when it turned against Mugabe last year — pledged to stay neutral in the vote.

The leader of the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Nelson Chamisa said the party would not participate in the elections if they were unfair.

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