Tsvangirai Sworn In as Zimbabwe PM

Amid skepticism, former opposition leader joins Mugabe
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2009 5:57 AM CST
Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change, has been sworn in as prime minister, joining his archrival Robert Mugabe in government.   (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
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(Newser) – Morgan Tsvangirai, whose Movement for Democratic Change has fought Robert Mugabe for years, joined forces with his rival today as the new prime minister of Zimbabwe, reports the Times of London. Tsvangirai's decision to bring his party into the government has dismayed many pro-democracy leaders, and international leaders have grown skeptical of any power-sharing agreement. Only recently Mugabe insisted at a rally that "Zimbabwe is mine."

The swearing in of Tsvangirai as prime minister, a newly created position, marks the end of a year of turmoil. He won the first round of the March 2008 presidential election, leading to nationwide political violence that left hundreds of his supporters dead. Tsvangirai, a former trade unionist, now must help lead a nation wracked by 94% unemployment, surreal multimillion-percent inflation, and epidemics of both cholera and HIV.