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Zimbabwe vice presidents sworn in

Zimbabwe's president Robert Mugabe has sworn in two new vice presidents.

Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa was appointed as the senior of the two during a televised ceremony.

They replace Joice Mujuru, who was fired earlier this week after she was booted out of the ruling Zanu-PF party. Mugabe accused Ms Mujuru and her allies, who were also fired, of plotting his assassination.

Mr Mnangagwa kneeled before 90-year-old Mugabe and his wife Grace in a show of gratitude when his appointment was announced on Wednesday.

A lawyer by profession, Mr Mnangagwa will retain his position as head of the justice ministry.

The second vice president, Phelekezela Mphoko, was previously a diplomat.

Gabriel Shumba, a human rights advocate and political analyst, said Mr Mnangagwa is "the man Mugabe can trust, not just with securing his family's business but with maintaining a hardline stance as well".

He and Mugabe became close allies when the two were arrested together during the struggle against white rule in the 1970s. Mugabe has been in power since independence in 1980.

The two men fell out for a while when the president accused Mr Mnangagwa of plotting a coup and demoted him to a junior cabinet post in 2004.

Mr Mnangagwa's allies in the Zanu-PF party were also ousted in a purge similar to that suffered recently by Ms Mujuru and her supporters.

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