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Zimbabwe Leaders Fail to Meet, Discuss Draft Constitution

The much anticipated unity government principals meeting to discuss Zimbabwe’s draft constitution failed to take place Tuesday after President Robert Mugabe requested for more time to consult his strongmen – Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, Transport Minister Nicholas Goche and Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa.

Industry Minister Welshman Ncube, leader of one formation of the Movement for Democratic Change, told Studio 7 he was informed by the president’s office that Mr. Mugabe will not make it to the meeting as he was holding critical discussions with the three top Zanu PF officials.

Ncube said no other reason was given for postponing the meeting, held once a week by the principals of the coalition government.

Mr. Mugabe used to hold the meeting with Mr. Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara before the latter was dumped by the Southern African Development Community as one of the principals.

The parties are currently locked in a dispute over a draft constitution, drafted and signed recently by the parliamentary constitution committee.

Zanu PF no longer wants to be part of the agreed document arguing that some of its contents do not reflect the views of the people gathered in the outreach phase of the constitution-making process.

Ncube said President Mugabe and Prime Minister Tsvangirai met Monday for about two hours and agreed to postpone the meeting to Tuesday in order to accommodate him.

Political analyst Pedzisayi Ruhanya of Westminster University in London said Zanu PF may be realizing that Zimbabweans are supposed to make a final decision on the draft constitution.
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Meanwhile, Harare High Court judge Justice Antonia Guvava on Tuesday heard the case in which Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s estranged lover, Locardia Karimatsenga, is seeking an interdict to block Mr. Tsvangirai’s Saturday wedding to Elizabeth Macheka.

After hearing arguments from both sides, Justice Guvava said she will make his ruling Wednesday.

Lorcadia claims that she married the prime minister last November though this has been disputed by Mr. Tsvangirai.

Legal experts say Locardia’s court application has no legal basis.