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By Chris Mfula LUSAKA (Reuters) - Zambian President Michael Sata fired Minister of Justice Wynter Kabimba on Thursday, his spokesman said, removing a potential rival at a time when questions are being asked about the health of the leader of Africa's second-largest copper producer. Sata, 77, has not been seen in public since June 19 when state television showed him meeting visiting Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao. Kabimba, who was also the secretary general of Sata's ruling Patriotic Front party, was replaced by Defence Minister Edgar Lungu, Sata's spokesman George Chellah said in a statement, without giving a reason. He was a potential threat and very powerful figure," said Macdonald Chipenzi, an analyst with Zambia's Foundation for Democratic Process, an pro-democracy NGO.