The ZANU-PF party of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe says it will not accept any proposals for security sector reform advanced by the Movement for Democratic Change which has accused the police, the military and intelligence forces of interfering in electoral politics on behalf of Mr. Mugabe and the former ruling party.
Negotiators for ZANU-PF and the two MDC formations meeting in Cape Town, South Africa, last week asked President Jacob Zuma to schedule meetings with the unity government principals to take up the issue of security sector reform.
But the ZANU-PF politburo resolved this week not to consider reforms of the security apparatus. Party officials say such intervention by Mr. Zuma will not be tolerated.
Party officials said no foreign leader can dictate to Zimbabwe on national security.
But Nhlanhla Dube, spokesman for the MDC wing of Industry Minister Welshman Ncube, said the proposed reforms are essential for the country to advance to democracy.
"There is no way we are going to support an election road map that does not embrace security sector reforms. That is not acceptable," Dube said.
Commenting, political analyst Zenzo Nkomo said that without such reforms it will be difficult to put an end to Zimbabwe’s perennial political crisis.
Elsewhere, ZANU-PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa, a minister of state in President Mugabe's office, called on members of the party Friday to avoid factionalism and brace for elections later this year as ZANU-PF has demanded.
Addressing some 3,000 supporters at a rally at Mount Carmel Secondary School in Headlands, Manicaland province, Mutasa criticized factionalism within the party.
ZANU-PF political commissar Webster Shamu urged party members to gear up for elections saying there was no doubt they would be conducted this year.
Shamu said his party wanted elections because it was no longer happy with the coalition arrangement, agreed in 2008 following an inconclusive presidential vote.