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MDC, Zanu PF to Meet Over Draft Constitution Deadlock

The committee of three cabinet ministers tasked to resolve areas of disagreement in the Second All-Stakeholders’ Conference report will meet in Harare Wednesday with hopes they can break the deadlock stalling the constitution-making process.

Ministers Patrick Chinamasa of Zanu PF, Tendai Biti of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formation of Prime Minister Tsvangirai and Priscilla Misihairambwi-Mushonga of the Ncube MDC were expected to finalize the outstanding issues so the process can be moved forward.

Constitution and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga said there were high hopes the committee can help move the constitution-making process forward.

The MDC wing of Industry Minister Welshman Ncube had indicated it would boycott the committee but party spokesman Nhlanhla Nube told VOA his party’s national standing committee met in Harare Tuesday to discuss the issue.

Dube said while his party now agrees to participate in the three-party talks on the new constitution, they will not agree to renegotiate any contentious areas.

Parties in the unity government have been fighting over the control of the constitution-making process with President Robert Mugabe’s party insisting that the party principals have to take over the exercise.

But both formations of the MDC have rejected such moves saying parliament should complete the exercise which is behind schedule.

Zimbabwe is expected to hold general elections next year to end the shaky unity government formed in 2009.