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Mugabe, Tsvangirai: Zimbabwe to Rush Drafting New Constitution

Zimbabwe's top political leaders met in Harare Monday in their weekly principals’ meeting and tasked Constitution and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga to work closely with the Constitution Parliamentary Select Committee (COPAC) to ensure the process towards the Second All-Stakeholders’ Conference is speeded up.

President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai also agreed to closely monitor progress being made by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission in preparing for general elections likely to be held next year.

The two noted that there is need to discuss the nation's voters roll which is in a shambles as it features names of deceased and non-existent people.

Matinenga is expected sometime this week to brief the leaders on the constitution-making process which has been mired in controversy with the ruling parties fighting over key contents of the draft constitution.

The COPAC draft charter was agreed by the three parties in the unity government though President Mugabe's Zanu PF party made a u-turn and criticized some of its contents including a provision that limits the power of the president.

The parties have now agreed to hold a stakeholders indaba late October which will be closely followed by a referendum.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission was quoted last weekend as saying the country does not have the necessary conditions for holding a free and fair election.

Industry Minister and leader of the other Movement for Democratic Change formation, Professor Welshman Ncube, did not attend Monday’s meeting as he was said to be in the country's second largest city, Bulawayo.

Tsvangirai spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka said the two leaders also discussed the swearing-in of Morgan Komichi as deputy transport minister, a position left vacant following the recent death of Tichaona Mudzingwa.
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