Zimbabwe proposes budget aimed at reviving bleak economy

HARARE, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe's new government plans to reduce diplomatic missions and ban first-class travel for everyone but the president as it tries to revive a devastated economy after longtime leader Robert Mugabe resigned last month.

Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa on Thursday presented the first national budget proposal since President Emmerson Mnangagwa was sworn in after the military's intervention.

The once-prosperous southern African nation also plans to amend an indigenization law limiting foreign ownership of businesses to no more than 49 percent of shares.

Chinamasa says the policy will apply only to diamond and platinum mining, emphasizing Zimbabwe's desperation to re-engage foreign investors.

Mugabe said the law was meant to transfer economic control to local blacks, but instead it dried up investment in the resource-rich country.

The $5.1 billion budget needs Parliament's approval.

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