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President Zuma's Visit to Zimbabwe Delayed By Political Bickering

A scheduled visit by South African President Jacob Zuma to Harare looks set to be delayed even further after the committee overseeing the writing of Zimbabwe's new charter claimed that it had made significant progress in negotiations but still failed to complete the constitutional draft.

The Management Committee, which guides the Parliamentary Constitution Select Committee, or COPAC - leading the effort - made the statement after a retreat this week in Nyanga, Manicaland.

Mr. Zuma, mediating the Zimbabwean crisis on behalf of the Southern African Development Community, was recently tasked by a regional summit to urgently visit Harare and meet with the principals to resolve sticking points between President Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF party and two Movement for Democratic Change formations.

Sources say the Management Committee agreed on devolution and citizenship, which will be implemented through an Act of parliament. But there is still no agreement on security sector reform and the powers of the attorney general.

Zanu PF is still resisting changes to the two key portfolios. The sources add that the Management Committee failed to finalize the draft as it had promised the nation and Pretoria.

It adjourned to next week Monday saying some of its members had commitments elsewhere.

Mr. Zuma’s team is expected in Harare next week accompanied by two officials seconded to the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee by SADC.

The facilitation team's meetings are meant to prepare the agenda for Zuma’s visit, where he is expected to meet the three principals in the government of national unity.

Zanu PF Parliamentary Select Committee co-chairman Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana refused to comment on the constitutional developments referring all questions to Constitutional Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga.

Matinenga told VOA that the management committee has made significant progress.