ment for Democratic Change – Tsvangirai (MDC-T), and Simba Makoni, an independent. The results of this election were withheld for two weeks, after which it was generally acknowledged that the MDC had achieved a majority of one seat in the lower house of parliament.
In late 2008, problems in Zimbabwe reached crisis proportions in the areas of living standards, public health (with a major cholera outbreak in December) and various basic affairs. Mugabe's mining of diamonds at Marange in Chiadzwa became the subject of international attention as the World Diamond Council called for a clampdown on smuggling and illegal miners were reported killed by the military.
In September 2008, a power-sharing agreement was reached between Tsvangirai and President Mugabe, permitting the former to hold the office of prime minister. Due to ministerial differences between their respective political parties, the agreement was not fully implemented until 13 February 2009.
In November 2010, the IMF described the Zimbabwean economy as "completing its second year of buoyant economic growth after a decade of economic decline", briefly citing "strengthening policies" and "favorable shocks" as main reasons for the economic growth. By December, however, Mugabe was threatening to completely expropriate remaining privately owned companies in Zimbabwe unless "western sanctions" were lifted, claiming, "Why should we continue having companies and organisations that are supported by Britain and America without hitting back? Time has come for us to [take] revenge. We can read the riot act and say this is 51 percent we are taking and if the sanctions persist we are taking over 100 percent."
Journalist Nicholas D. Kristof reported that life continues to be considerably worse for the majority of the nation than under the Rhodesian Front, despite minor improvements since 2009. Other studies, including a 2011 survey by Freedom House,