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Zimbabwe's Elections Roadmap Divides Unity Govt Partners

President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who had come under fire for allegedly forming a parallel negotiating structure, are now climbing down and allowing tripartite talks to continue.

The two agreed last week that Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa of Mr. Mugabe's Zanu-PF and Constitutional Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga of Mr. Tsvangirai's MDC formation should formulate an election roadmap. Industry Minister Welshman Ncube's led MDC formation was sidelined.

The role of the negotiators from the three parties in the government of national unity already engaged in talks with South African president Jacob Zuma’s facilitation team for years was not made clear, causing serious confusion and friction.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is the gurantor of Zimbabwe's coalition government and Mr. Zuma is the body's mediator in Harare.

Mr. Zuma’s team is expected in Harare next week for talks on the roadmap and timelines.

Mr. Tsvangirai’s spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka told VOA that there is no parallel process on the roadmap as the two cabinet ministers will work together with the six member negotiating team already in place.
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