Zimbabwe's main opposition party remains committed to negotiations with the government despite an intensified crackdown in which many of its members have been arrested or detained, it said on Friday. The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) says more than 600 opposition supporters have been abducted and tortured by government agents since February.
Zimbabwe's state power utility sought to allay fears on Thursday of wide power cuts, saying households would not automatically see daily power cuts but would not be guaranteed supplies during the winter cropping season. Zesa Holdings said the cuts would be subject to demand from wheat farmers who need electricity to irrigate their crops.
Zimbabwe's government announced 20-hour daily electricity cuts for households across the country on Wednesday as supplies are shifted to irrigate the winter wheat crop amid persistent food shortages. The country has already been experiencing power cuts due to the declining capacity of its aging power plants.
Zimbabwe's state data agency on Wednesday postponed ''indefinitely'' the release of March inflation figures, which were expected to show prices in the shattered economy spiralling to another record high. Soaring inflation has become a hallmark of the economic crisis in Zimbabwe, once one of Africa's most prosperous and stable nations.
Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was in intensive care with a broken skull on Wednesday following what he says was a brutal police attack while in custody, his spokesperson said. ''He has just had a brain scan because his skull is cracked,'' said spokesperson William Bango.
At least 34 people died in Zimbabwe's capital Harare on Tuesday when a commuter bus crashed into a cargo train at a rail crossing, police said. Several other people were injured in the accident, which left bloodied and disfigured bodies strewn around a large swamp.
Zimbabwe police on Wednesday imposed a three-month ban on political rallies and protests to calm rising tensions in Harare's volatile townships, a move the opposition likened to ''a state of emergency''. The ban followed weekend clashes between the police and opposition Movement for Democratic Change supporters in Highfield township.
Doctors at Zimbabwe's state hospitals have gone on strike for better pay to combat galloping inflation, marooning sick patients in packed waiting rooms in the latest sign of the country's economic meltdown. Economic analysts warned that workers in other sectors could also boycott work as they grapple with a deep recession, which critics blame on President Robert Mugabe's policies.