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Mugabe Making Last Ditch Efforts to Revive Constitutional Talks

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe will Monday call for the first time Professor Welshman Ncube of the Movement for Democratic Change and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai for a crucial meeting in a last ditch attempt to persuade them to re-open discussions on the draft constitution.

Mr. Ncube and Tsvangirai, leader of the other MDC formation, have already declared a deadlock and are pushing for the intervention of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

But Mugabe is still insisting on trying to find an internal solution. SADC leaders have expressed frustration with the delays as they are pushing for a referendum in October and elections mid next year.

SADC Troika chairman Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete has indicated that the regional body is expected to tackle the Zimbabwe question next month in Dar es Salaam.

In a wide-ranging interview with VOA, Mr. Tsvangirai said he was still to formally meet Mr. Mugabe and discuss the president’s reasons for rejecting the draft constitution.

He accused Zanu PF of "holding the country to ransom” by refusing to endorse the final draft constitution that was signed recently by the three political parties in the coalition government.

Tsvangirai's party has come under pressure to articulate its own position or options on a way forward in the event that the parties fail to come up with a lasting solution to the constitution crisis.

The prime minister insists that the parties will soon agree some provisions of the constituton.

Mr. Tsvangirai said SADC, the guarantors of Zimbabwe’s Global Political Agreement, will not allow a stalemate but will find a way of resolving the deadlock over the draft charter.
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Professor Ncube confirmed to VOA that a meeting with Mugabe is in the works.
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University of Zimbabwe law lecturer and leader of the International Socialist Organization Munyaradzi Gwisai said the MDC formations must resist Zanu-PF’s attempt to unilaterally alter Zimbabwe’s draft constitution.
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