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Zimbabwe Constitution Panel Accuses Mugabe's Party of Delaying Process

Zimbabwe's parliamentary committee writing the nation’s new constitution is expected to meet Wednesday to finalize some outstanding issues as divisions within President Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF threaten to delay the process.

Sources in the committee say Zanu PF has asked for more time to study a draft handed to the political parties in the unity government. President Mugabe's party is divided over the new constitution with hardliners pushing for the process to be ditched altogether.

Select committee co-chairman Douglas Mwonzora of the Morgan Tsvangirai MDC told VOA the meeting, originally scheduled for Tuesday, had been postponed due to two funerals.

Zanu PF co-chairman Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana was not available for comment but Mwonzora told VOA Studio 7 reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that Mr. Mugabe's party is unnecessarily delaying the constitution-making process by demanding more time to study the draft document.

Mwonzora says Zanu PF is using excuses to delay the process since it was well-represented in the select committee right from the beginning of the process.

Meanwhile, the MDC co-chairman adds, major outstanding issues such as devolution will have to wait for the return of management committee members who left Harare Tuesday for Brussels to resume dialogue talks with the European Union.