Lessons from Zimbabwe: how to kill a country.

Turning a breadbasket into a basket case in ten easy steps—the Robert Mugabe way by SAMANTHA POWER | The Atlantic, DEC 1, 2003


“Some of Mugabe’s advisers apparently knew better than to upend property rights. In early 2000, Mugabe was handed a confidential memo from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, the country’s central bank. The memo predicted that going forward with farmland seizures would result in a pullout of foreign investment, defaults on farm bank loans, and a massive decline in agricultural production. The memo would prove to be staggeringly prescient. Unfortunately, Mugabe ignored it. Between 2000 and 2003, his government went ahead and authorized the seizure of nearly all the 4,500 commercial farms. The official goal was to divide the farms into hundreds of thousands of small plots for traditional black farmers. In practice, most plots ended up in the hands of Mugabe’s political supporters and government officials, whose knowledge of farming was meager.” – https://www.cato.org/publications/economic-development-bulletin/how-loss-property-rights-caused-zimbabwes-collapse

[The Cato Institute is a public policy research organization — a think tank — dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets and peace. Its scholars and analysts conduct independent, nonpartisan research on a wide range of policy issues.]

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