SADC facilitator and South Africa President Jacob Zuma’s team was expected in Harare Tuesday night for talks with the GPA parties on the constitutional reform process as well as preparations for next year’s elections.
Zanu PF negotiator and Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa told state radio that the team, comprising Charles Nqakula, Mac Maharaji and Lindiwe Zulu, was keen to get an update on the draft constitution as well as the operations of the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC).
Zuma, mandated by the SADc regional grouping, is facilitating talks between Zanu PF and the MDC formations as the country looks to hold new elections in March next year.
But the writing of a new constitution, a key part of reforms the MDCs insist are required to ensure the ballot outcome is not contested, had looked stalled after the parties failed to agree on amendments to the COPAC draft produced in August.
However, GPA leaders President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara held talks on Monday and agreed to set up a cross-party committee that will break the present logjam on the new constitution.
The committee, to be made up of three cabinet ministers, one each from Zanu PF, MDC-T and the Welshman Ncube-led MDC, will devise a mechanism for incorporating submissions from the Second All-Stakeholders’ Conference on the new constitution held last month.
Meanwhile Chinamasa said Zuma’s team would be appraised on the latest developments regarding the draft constitution in meetings scheduled for Wednesday through to Thursday.
Chinamasa said Parliamentary and Constitutional Affairs, Advocate Eric Matinenga, will chair the committee set up by Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Ncube.
The committee has been directed to find agreement between the parties over divisions which were exposed in the report presented at the all stakeholders’ conference.