In March 2002, Zimbabwe was suspended from the Commonwealth of Nations. That month Mugabe was reelected president for another six years in a blatantly rigged election whose results were enforced by the president"s militia. In 2003, inflation hit 300%, the country faced severe food shortages, and the farming system had been destroyed. In 2004, the IMF estimated that the country had grown one-third poorer in the last five years.
Parliamentary elections in March 2005 were judged by international monitors to be egregiously flawed. In April, Zimbabwe was reelected to the UN Commission on Human Rights, outraging numerous countries and human rights groups. In mid-2005, Zimbabwe demolished its urban slums and shantytowns, leaving 700,000 people homeless in an operation called “Drive Out Trash.” In 2006, the government launched “Operation Roundup,” which drove 10,000 homeless people out of the capital.
Since 2000, Zimbabwe has experienced precipitous hyperinflation and economic ruin. By the end of 2008, inflation skyrocketed to a mind-boggling 231,000,000%, up from 7,000% in 2007, unemployment reached 80%, and the Zimbabwean dollar was basically worthless. According to the World Health Organization, Zimbabwe has the world"s lowest life expectancy.