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Um die Wirtschaft ist es noch schlechter bestellt als zu Mugabes Zeiten.

My translation for this sentence is this:

The economy is worse than Mugabe’s time

I don’t understand the meaning of bestellt here. I think it is not the predicate of the sentence, which is ist if I am right - and what meaning does it have in this sentence?

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    What would be your alternative back translation? As constructed the verb bestellt is needed, yes. – πάντα ῥεῖ Jan 1 at 22:36
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    Shouldn't something be added to the english phrase to make it correct? "... is worse than during M's time" compares the economy in two times, while the original phrase compares economy and time. (Please correct me if during is not the right word, I'm not sure right now...) – puck Jan 2 at 19:43
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Es ist um "etwas" schlecht bestellt

is an idiom that means that this "etwas" is in a poor shape/condition.
You can't leave out the bestellt.

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