HARARE, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe is abandoning market-based economic policies and returning to a socialist-style economy, President Robert Mugabe announced Monday. Businesses opposed to the move should "pack up and go," he said.
Mugabe said a price freeze on basic foods imposed Friday will be strictly enforced, and the government will seize firms that shut down, withhold their goods or engage in illegal profiteering.
"Let no one on this front expect mercy. . . . The state will take over any businesses that are closed," Mugabe said.
Zimbabwe dropped its socialist economic policies a decade after it gained independence in 1980 and embraced Western-style economic reforms.
The economy has become crippled by inflation, unemployment and a shortage of hard currency. Analysts say the crisis worsened when ruling-party militants began occupying white-owned commercial farms, which generate much of the currency in the agriculture-based economy.