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Zuma Heads to Zimbabwe to Push For More Political Reforms

South African President Jacob Zuma - regional mediator in Zimbabwe - is due in Harare Wednesday to push the unity government to embrace more democratic reforms and conlcude the new constitution effort ahead of general elections.

Mr. Zuma will dispatch his facilitation team Tuesday for advance meetings with Zanu PF and MDC negotiators, laying the ground for his meetings with President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Industry Minister Welshman Ncube.

The visit precedes a weekend Southern African Development Community summit in Maputo, Mozambique, where the South African leader will brief his regional peers on the latest political situation in Zimbabwe.

Mr. Zuma is expected to pressure the ruling partners to wrap up the new constitution process and take the draft to a national referendum, as well as implement key reforms ahead of elections next year.

Zuma spokesman and facilitation team member, Mac Maharaj told VOA his boss will tackle all outstanding issues, hoping especially, to break the deadlock on the new charter.

Negotiator Elton Mangoma of the Tsvangirai MDC formation says the meetings will revolve mainly around the fulfillment of the unity agreement, the ratification of the election roadmap and the new charter.

Policy and Research Coordinator Qhubani Moyo of the Ncube MDC urged Zuma to adopt a tough stance and push Mr. Mugabe and his party to adopt and implement agreed reforms.

Zanu PF has rejected the draft charter, which is long overdue for a referendum, calling for a renegotiation of several issues. But the MDC formations say the demands are unacceptable.