Zimbabwe's opposition vowed on Wednesday to resist any plan by President Robert Mugabe's party to delay a 2008 presidential poll, saying the Southern African country would be doomed by two more years under his rule. The ruling Zanu-PF said on Sunday it was considering shifting the presidential election so it can be held simultaneously with parliamentary polls in 2010.
President Robert Mugabe's government said on Tuesday it was ready to talk with Zimbabwean unions over their social grievances, but renewed its vow to stop nationwide street protests planned for Wednesday. The opposition-allied Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions has called for the demonstrations to protest poor wages and workers' lack of access to antiretroviral drugs.
Zimbabwe trade unions are scaling down their threats for major anti-government protests this week, a move analysts say acknowledges that fears of a brutal state response may keep many people at home. President Robert Mugabe has warned his forces will not hesitate to shoot opponents who take to the streets.
Zimbabwe's book fair, once Africa's proudest annual literary celebration, now has only one tale to tell -- the decline of a country brought to its knees by political and economic woes. The cultural life of the Southern African country -- books, music, film and theatre -- is being strangled by a severe economic crisis many critics blame on President Robert Mugabe's government.