Mugabe in no-show at Copac meeting

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe yesterday reportedly stood up his coalition partners and later re-scheduled a crucial meeting to get the constitution-making process back on track.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube, leader of the smaller MDC by legislative representation, waited for Mugabe for more than an hour at a meeting scheduled after Cabinet to discuss the deadlock over amendments Zanu PF wants made to the draft constitution authored and co-signed by an inter-party parliamentary committee.

Tsvangirai on Monday presented his position paper to Mugabe that he will not countenance opening negotiations bent on restoring sweeping presidential powers to the Copac draft constitution.

Mugabe’s no-show yesterday angered his coalition partner Tsvangirai who seemed miffed that his 88-year-old foe seems unconcerned with the delay to the constitution-making process that is expected to pave way for fresh polls.

“The people who want an early election, seem not to want an early constitution,” Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka told the Daily News last night.

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

Ncube said: “We were told there will be a meeting, we were put on standby but later they said the meeting will be done tomorrow, perhaps after the politburo. We were told to remain on standby, that we will be advised.”

The meetings mark a breakthrough for Ncube, who has for the first time been officially recognised by both Mugabe and Tsvangirai as a coalition government Principal.

The Principals will have to look into the deadlock with urgency, as the southern African country is apparently rumbling amidst the Copac political stalemate with rumours of an impending election under the old constitutional order. - Gift Phiri


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