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African Independence

It isn't all that it's cracked up to be.

12:00 AM, Apr 27, 2007 • By ERNEST W. LEFEVER
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Vowing to forge a one-party Marxist-Leninist state, in 2001 Mugabe finally became a virtual dictator. Citing nonexistent threats of neocolonialism, he rammed his Land Redistribution Act through a reluctant parliament, promising millions of acres of white-owned farms to poor blacks. Within a year, his party thugs had seized 2,900 out of 4,500 prosperous white-operated farms, killing at least ten white farmers and a hundred black workers. Among the recipients of the richest farms were his wife, two sisters, and his ambassador to Washington.

In the first century AD, Pliny the Elder wrote, "There is always something new out of Africa." Indeed there is, but it is not always good.

Ernest Lefever, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, is author of Spear and Scepter: Army, Police, and Politics in Tropical Africa (1970).