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Mugabe, Tsvangirai Agree to Publicly Table Draft Constitution

After failing to meet for the past two weeks to discuss the contentious issue of the country’s draft constitution, President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Wednesday finally discussed the charter, agreeing the only way forward is to take the document to a second all-stakeholders’ conference as a team to avoid chaos.

Industry Minister Welshman Ncube, one of the leaders of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), failed to attend due to family commitments.

Zanu PF and the two MDC formations in the inclusive government have been disagreeing over the past month on the draft charter with the former ruling party coming up with a raft of amendments it wants considered before the holding of a referendum.

Mr. Tsvangirai’s spokesman, Luke Tamborinyoka, told VOA the two leaders agreed to take the draft constitution to the conference and noted that a date has to be set for the crucial indaba without any further delays.

Meanwhile, the parliamentary constitutional committee (COPAC) is expected to meet Thursday to come up with a date for the stakeholders’ conference after Zanu PF finally agreed to attend.

A stakeholders’ sub-committee met in Harare Tuesday to discuss conference logistics.

Zanu PF is demanding that two documents - the draft constitution and a national report with all the people’s views gathered during the outreach phase - be tabled at the conference.

But COPAC co-chairman Douglas Mwonzora of Mr. Tsvangirai’s MDC formation told VOA only the parliamentary draft will be tabled at the all-stakeholders conference.

In Masvingo, a Zanu PF senator has decided to go against her party, endorsing the constitutional draft produced by COPAC.

Maina Mandava ruffled feathers in her party Wednesday by urging local residents to support the charter saying women have much to gain in terms of their rights compared to the Lancaster House constitution crafted before Zimbabwe attained independence from British rule.