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February 11, 2009
Zimbabwe’s Mugabe shares power with longtime opponent

Today, President Robert Mugabe swore in longtime opponent Morgan Tsvangirai as prime minister. While campaigning in 2007, Tsvangirai was beaten and jailed by security forces. He received the most votes in last fall’s presidential election — an outcome ignored by Mugabe.

The two men are supposed to share power in a new unity government that is facing the world’s highest inflation rate, hunger and a cholera epidemic that has killed 3,400 people.

Briggs Bomba grew up in Zimbabwe and is now with Africa Action, an organization that focuses on shaping U.S. political and economic policies that affect African nations. He joins Martin Savidge to discuss the likelihood that Mugabe will actually share power, possible solutions to the cholera epidemic and the role of other African countries in improving conditions in Zimbabwe.

PBS Wide Angle interviews Mahmood Mamdani, a Ugandan-born professor of government at Columbia University and an expert on African Studies. Mamdani explains why he believes that the new power-sharing agreement is the best way forward. He also reflects on Mugabe’s three-decade rule, failed land reforms and the subsequent collapse of Zimbabwe’s agricultural system.

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