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S. Africa's Zuma Pushes For New Zimbabwe Constitution and Elections Road Map

President Zuma wants the parliamentary select committee in charge of revising Zimbabwe's constitution to get on with the task to clear the way for a new round of presidential and general elections

South African President Jacob Zuma, mediator in Zimbabwe on behalf of the Southern African Development Community, has re-launched discussions with negotiators for the unity government in Harare to draw a road map to elections later this year.

Envoys dispatched by Mr. Zuma arrived Monday in Harare and opened discussions with the three chairmen of the parliamentary commmittee in charge of constitutional revision to press them to complete their task, a pre-requisite to holding new elections.

The Zuma envoys also met with negotiators of the Movement for Democratic Change formation led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai - Finance Minister Tendai Biti, also secretary general of the Tsvangirai MDC, and Energy Minister Elton Mangoma.

Co-Chairman Edward Mukhosi of the MDC formation led by Industry Minister Welshman Ncube told VOA reporter Blessing Zulu that Pretoria wants the parliamentary committee to draft the new constitution at top speed to clear the way for elections.

Paul Mangwana, co-chairman of the parliamentary committee for the ZANU-PF party of President Robert Mugabe, told VOA that committee chiefs told the South Africans that the constitutional process was being held up by an insufficiency of funds.

Ncube said his party's negotiators will meet the Zuma team on Tuesday.

Political analyst Charles Mangongera warned that President Zuma faces an uphill battle, noting that since its annual conference in December, ZANU-PF has adopted a hardline stance as to holding early elections and has not been willing to negotiate.