Today is the 27th anniversary of Zimbabwe's independence. In 1980, rebels led by Robert Mugabe succeeded in taking control of their country, which had been ruled by a white minority regime since the 1960's. It was a time of hope and a celebration of freedom.
Today, 27 years later, Zimbabwe's people have little to celebrate. The situation there is complicated and tragic.
The worst part is that it was entirely avoidable. There's no question that land reform was needed in a country in which a tiny minority of whites owned almost all of the good agricultural land. There's also no question that the way in which President Mugabe seized land and redistributed it to his cronies and supporters was just about the worst possible way to deal with the land issue. As a result of these policies and the rampant mismanagement of the farmland that ensued, in a land that has always been able to feed itself (and many other neighboring countries), people are starving to death. Inflation has led to high prices and low employment. The political opposition is regularly harassed. Life in Zimbabwe is so bad that many Zimbabweans try again and again to flee to South Africa.
No one deserves to live this way. Today is the International Day of Prayer for Zimbabwe. Please take a moment today to think of and pray for those who suffer in Zimbabwe, for the country's leaders to act with wisdom and humility, and for the international community to do what it can to end this needless suffering.