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Zimbabwe’s Constitution Effort Still in Deadlock, Principals' Intervention Sought

The parliamentary select committee spearheading Zimbabwe's constitution revision has reiterated its calls for unity government principals to intervene and push for resolution of contentious issues hampering the finalization of the new charter.

President Robert Mugabe urged the committee Wednesday to expedite the process to allow elections this year.

But co-chairman Douglas Mwonzora said they were waiting for the management committee, which comprises chief negotiators from the three political parties in the unity government, to break the deadlock on the outstanding issues, which include dual citizenship and devolution.

Spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka, for Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai told VOA that the principals have had to defer a meeting with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission because they have not received the draft constitution.

Tamborinyoka said the unavailability of the chief negotiators over the past few months has also contributed to the delay.

Early this week the president of the smaller formation of the MDC, Welshman Ncube, said the three principals had failed to break the constitutional logjam and called on South African President Jacob Zuma to intervene.

But Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara disagreed, saying Zimbabweans should not outsource the writing of the country’s new charter to outsiders.