Mugabe Prepares to Take Over Mines, Isolation Deepens

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is preparing to take over key businesses in mining, banking and manufacturing as his international isolation deepens, two members of the ruling party’s politburo said. The 84-year-old leader said two days ago that he may form an “Economic Revolutionary Council” to overcome sanctions, the officials said. Mugabe’s plans suggest he doesn’t intend to bow to calls to step down as the economy collapses and cholera spreads. Zimbabwe is in its 10th year of recession, with an annual inflation rate of more 230 million percent and an unemployment rate more than 80 percent. “We are seeing the endgame,” Marian Tupy, an Africa analyst at the Washington-based Cato Institute, said yesterday. “It’s an indication of how short of money Mugabe is.” The emergency measures would seek to curb inflation and lift productivity, which has slumped to less than 10 percent of manufacturing capacity, the officials said after the meeting in the northeastern town of Bindura. These may include nationalizing banks, mines and factories and could go as far as declaring a state of emergency, they said. Read more.