The Times of London is reporting this evening that Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has reached a power-sharing deal with a breakaway faction of the MDC led by Arthur Mutambara. Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the MDC, has reportedly walked out of the negotiations, claiming Mugabe is unwilling to concede enough control to allow for a viable power-sharing arrangement.
As the negotiations are ongoing, and leaked reports of deals and no-deals have proven pretty unreliable in recent days, it is unclear what this means for the country. If true, it appears Mugabe has deftly split the opposition, and likely consolidated his power in the process.
Zimbabwe was once the economic gem of Africa. The official inflation rate now stands at 2.2 million percent. Private financial institutions estimate a rate closer to 12.5 million percent (based on May data). John Robertson, a respected Zimbabwean economist, believes inflation may have reached 50 million percent by the end of July. That is hyperinflation, and devastating to the Zimbabwean people.
Much has been written on the political situation, and the human tragedy unfolding over the past decade is well-known. For a unique account of the country's descent into hell, I recommend reading When a Crocodile Eats the Sun, a tragic memoir by Peter Godwin (NYT review here).