Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has embarked on a regional diplomatic offensive ahead of a crucial Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit in Mozambique next week.
Mr. Tsvangirai, who missed Tuesday's cabinet session, flew to Maputo to meet incoming SADC chairman President Armando Guebuza.
He will then travel to Tanzania to meet incoming SADC troika chairman, President Jakaya Kikwete.
The SADC meeting will be held on 17 and 18 August in Maputo and will discuss the organization’s regional integration and progress made so far in social, cultural, political and economic sectors.
Other issues include the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the political crisis in Madagascar as well as progress made so far by the power sharing government in Zimbabwe.
Sources said the SADC heads of state and government will praise the European Union's decision to lift targeted sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe and his inner circle, which are said to be hampering economic development.
The Maputo gathering will culminate with the handing over of the SADC chairmanship to Mozambique.
International Crisis Group Southern Africa senior analyst Trevor Maisiri told VOA Studio 7 regional leaders are key to the country’s politics.
Meanwhile, President Mugabe's Zanu-PF party has said it will not dispatch anyone ahead of the summit.
The party’s position on the constitution is likely to dominate the SADC meeting with reports saying the hardliners in the former ruling party are pushing it to reject the nation's draft constitution.
But party spokesman Rugare Gumbo told VOA it is still premature to say the party will sink the draft.