- Zimbabwe's opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has been sworn in today as the country's prime minister, almost five months after ruling ZANU-PF and opposition Movement for Democratic Change inked the power sharing agreement.
"I will well and truly serve Zimbabwe in the office of prime minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe, so help me God," Mr Tsvangirai said at the ceremony held in the country's capital Harare.
Two deputy prime ministers, Arthur Mutambara of a breakaway faction of the MDC and Thokozani Khupe of Mr Tsvangirai's party, were also sworn in during the ceremony.
The two men agreed to form a unity government after southern African leaders put intense pressure on them to implement a power-sharing deal they reached last September. But the talks on the composition of the government had stalled for months as they disagreed over how to divide the key cabinet ministries.
Mr Tsvangirai now faces the challenge of sharing control of the nation's police, reviving Zimbabwe's collapsed economy and rescuing an increasingly impoverished population with Mr Mugabe.
Even as the power-sharing talks were taking place, Mr Mugabe's government abducted dozens more opposition supporters, many of whom said they had been tortured by ruling party hooligans.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Mr Tsvangirai named Tendai Biti, the secretary general of his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), as his choice for finance minister after a Zimbabwean judge last week dropped treason charges against Mr Biti, over an alleged coup plot, citing lack of progress in the case against him.
In January, Mr Tsvangirai returned to Zimbabwe after an absence of more than two months for fresh talks with Mr Mugabe on sharing power.
The Zimbabwean power sharing deal comes into effect as more than half of Zimbabwe's population needs food aid, unemployment is estimated at about 94 percent and the economy is struggling to cope with hyper-inflation estimated well above 231 million percent.
The situation has also caused public hospitals to close with doctors and nurses unpaid, exacerbating a health crisis in a nation where cholera has hit nearly 70,000 people since August, killing about 3,400 of them.
Mr Tsvangirai claimed victory in elections last March, but was declared the loser in a run-off last June which he boycotted because of political violence.
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