With 3 weeks to go before the presidential election, Robert Mugabe has signed legislation allowing the government of Zimbabwe to take over foreign- and white-owned businesses, the Financial Times reports. With his ex-finance minister mounting a strong challenge, the incumbent is returning to a tested strategy—his party used land confiscations from whites to help it win elections in 2000 and 2002.
Parliament approved the legislation, which mandates the sale of 51% of selected businesses to indigenous Zimbabweans, in September. "It's a catastrophe," a Zimbabwean economist told the Independent. Businesses are worried that the government will "cherry-pick" the businesses to be taken over, but they're also hoping the action is more rhetoric than reality.