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Tsvangirai Sworn In as Zimbabwe's Prime Minister


Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change has been sworn in as Zimbabwe's prime minister.

In a moment some would classify as pure irony, Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was sworn in by his arch-rival President Robert Mugabe.

"Now therefore, I Robert Gabriel Mugabe, president of the Republic of Zimbabwe do hereby call upon you Morgan Richard Tsvangirai to take the oaths, as prescribed by law," Mr. Mugabe said.

Raising his hand, and speaking clearly, Mr. Tsvangirai took the three oaths as required by law. But what many Zimbabweans were anxious to hear, were the words that propelled him into high office.

"I, Morgan Richard Tsvangirai do swear that I will well and truly serve Zimbabwe in the office of prime minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe," Mr. Tsvangirai said. "So help me God."

Prime Minister Tsvangirai's oath was followed by those of the two deputy prime ministers - Arthur Mutambara, leader of the minority MDC faction and Thokozani Khupe, from Mr. Tsvangirai's party.

Among several African leaders and dignitaries there to witness the event was former South African president Thabo Mbeki who spent many long hours and weathered much criticism from across the globe trying to find a solution to Zimbabwe's political crisis.

Earlier in the day, the state-run Herald newspaper, ran a front page story on Mr. Tsvangirai's nominees for candidates, and included photographs of all - the first time the MDC has received such coverage in the Herald.

On Friday, the rest of the cabinet will be sworn in, and then the new unity government will be in place and ready to get to work. The size of the task that awaits them is enormous and the complexities of it run very deep. Inflation is in the hundreds of millions, more than 70,000 people are infected with cholera, and the health and education systems are all but collapsed.

Zimbabweans at home, and in the diaspora, will be watching anxiously, desperately hoping this new government will be able to start their country on the road to recovery.

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