Workers at a brick moulding factory in the capital, who said they had observed the strike on Tuesday, said they turned up on Wednesday after realising many businesses had remained open on the first day.

   

"We stayed away because we thought that is the right thing to do to express our grievances, but we are here today because we realise it's not going to make much of a difference if only a few of us are going to heed this strike," one worker said.

 

Propaganda blitz

 

Claiming that the strike has flopped, Zimbabwe state media pressed on with a propaganda blitz on Wednesday, suggesting that workers had defied the unions because they did not support their "Western and imperialistic agenda".

   

Zimbabwe state radio kept repeating a statement by Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, the information minister, that the West had failed in its efforts to sponsor the ZCTU and opposition parties to topple Mugabe's government.