Principals meet over Copac deadlock

HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe will today seek to get the Constitution making process back on track as they re-open negotiations to break the Copac impasse.

Tsvangirai and Mugabe also met around 3pm yesterday afternoon to discuss the festering Copac deadlock at a principals meeting that ran for about two hours in Harare yesterday.

But Welshman Ncube, leader of the smaller MDC by legislative representation, was not invited to the meeting despite regional bloc Sadc’s directive that he be recognised as a principal and invited to key meetings to discuss the Constitution.

In the first of a series of actions designed to kick-start the flagging Copac-led constitution making process, the Prime Minister told Mugabe that he refuses to reopen negotiations on the draft Constitution.
“The Prime Minister presented his position paper,” Tsvangirai's spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka told the Daily News last night.

“The Principals are meeting again tomorrow (today) after Cabinet."

George Charamba, Mugabe's spokesperson, was unreachable last night on his mobile.

But Ncube told the Daily News: “No I wasn't invited. I have no idea, I was not invited. If it was a meeting on the constitution, I was not invited," he said.

Zanu PF has made wide changes to the Copac draft, but the two MDC teams have rejected the changes and declared a deadlock.

They have referred the matter to president Jacob Zuma as the Sadc facilitator and president Jakaya Kikwete as chairperson of the troika organ on defence, politics and security of regional grouping Sadc.

The ongoing meetings were supposed to open on August 27 at the Principals meeting but Mugabe was away at the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Tehran.

Last week on Monday, Tsvangirai was also away in the US for the 2012 Democratic National Convention in North Carolina.

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