Zimbabwe became independent in 1980, after 90 years of colonial rule and a protracted period of nationalist struggles for majority rule. Many analysts of conflict resolution hailed the success of the 1979 Lancaster House agreement that ended the conflict and ushered in the birth of an independent Zimbabwe as a miracle, the triumph of reason over folly. Pursuing a human development agenda, the new rulers witnessed record school enrolment rates, expanded access to health for the black majority, and a doubling of indigenous peasant agricultural productivity. From a pariah state, torn by racial conflict and saddled with an economy battered by decades of UN sanctions and trade embargos, overnight, Zimbabwe became “an international star,” the new kid on the block.