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Zuma's Team Arrives in Zimbabwe For Constitutional Talks

South African president Jacob Zuma has dispatched his facilitation team to Harare to press the three parties in the government of national unity to finalize discussions on drafting a new constitution.

Mr. Zuma is the Southern African Development Community (SADC) appointed facilitator in Harare. His team landed in the country Monday and held talks with the MDC formation led by Industry Minister Welshman Ncube.

The facilitators are expected to meet President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s representatives later in the week.

Mr. Zuma’s international relations advisor Lindiwe Zulu, also the spokesperson of the facilitation team, said they want to get an update on the state of the long-delayed constitution-making process.

But sources said the process risk being torpedoed by political bickering and fears of a violent confrontation at the forthcoming All-Stakeholders’ conference to table the draft constitution crafted by parliament.

President Mugabe, Mr. Tsvangirai and Professor Ncube are expected to address the conference and call for peace.

There are serious disagreements on documents to be used at the conference to be held this monthend.

There are reports suggesting that the Parliamentary Select Committee will submit to the conference the current draft and an interim national statistical report as well as five other documents with views from the national outreach program, the diaspora, institutions, and children and people living with disabilities.

The SADC troika has also postponed a crucial meeting on Harare to give Mr. Zuma time to engage with parties in Harare and present a report to them. Troika chairman Jakaya Kikwete had indicated that he wanted the meeting to take place on October 7 in Dar es Salaam.

Democracy and governance manager Joy Mabenge of the Institute for a Democratic Alternative Zimbabwe said SADC should not have postponed the troika.