The meeting comes after a series of consultations and feedback rallies with its supporters around the country on the progress and the challenges facing the inclusive government.
According to MDC sources, the teams will be led by the party’s 12 national standing committee members who will carry out consultations in the party’s 12 provinces.
“Each standing committee member will have a team that he or she will lead and this is what the meeting (today) will deliberate on. The list of the people involved is still being worked on.
The teams are expected to start consultations on October 1,” said the source.
The standing committee comprises of the party’s president Morgan Tsvangirai, vice president Thokozani Khupe, national chairman Lovemore Moyo, secretary general Tendai Biti, deputy treasurer general Elton Mangoma, national spokesperson Nelson Chamisa, organising secretary Elias Mudzuri, national women chairperson Theresa Makone, deputy organising secretary Morgan Komichi, national youth chairperson Tamsanqa Mahlangu, treasurer Roy Bennett and deputy secretary general Tapiwa Mashakada.
They are also expected to discuss outstanding issues in the inclusive government.
The consultative meetings are in line with resolutions made two weeks ago in Bulawayo by the MDC National Council, which resolved that the party should engage its structures and the people of Zimbabwe within a specified period to ascertain the sustainability of the inclusive government as a vehicle for real change and democracy in Zimbabwe.
Tsvangirai last week said the party would abide by the resolution made by the national council and would engage the people on the way forward.
He pledged that the MDC would seriously consider the outcome of the people’s views in the consultations as they were the real owners of the Global Political Agreement.
Last weekend there were rallies across the country and 39 ward consultations in six provinces.
Some of the rallies were held at Nyamhunga Stadium in Kariba where Roy Bennett was the guest speaker, Gaza Business Centre in Buhera North where Chamisa gave a key note address and in Gokwe Gumunyu, which was addressed by Komichi.
Meanwhile, there seems to be confusion surrounding the use of the Kariba draft constitution in the constitution-making process with the main political parties issuing contradicting statements on what has been agreed on.
In a statement that appeared to suggest attempts to quicken constitutional reforms that have to date moved at a snail’s pace, constitutional affairs minister Advocate Eric Matinenga said President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara met last Thursday and agreed to drop the Kariba document because of the polarisation it had caused within the ruling coalition.
He said: “Due to the unfortunate polarisation brought about by reference to the Kariba draft, neither party to the inter-party agreement should seek to promote the draft at the expense of other constitutional material it being accepted that the draft will be open to study and scrutiny just like any other constitutional material available.”
Tsvangirai repeated Matinenga’s claim at an MDC caucus meeting on Monday.
However, interviews with senior Zanu PF officials revealed that they have not ceded to pressure from the MDC-T to use the draft as any other reference documents, like the National Constitutional Assembly draft and the rejected 2000 draft constitution.
One top official said: “There is nothing like that. As far as Zanu PF is concerned the Kariba draft is going to be the basis for the constitution-making process.”
On the day of the said meeting of the principals, Mugabe told the Women’s League conference at the City Sports Centre that: “We go by the Kariba draft constitution that was signed by our people. There are signatures of all the three parties on every page of the Kariba draft we want.
“No one is disallowed from participating – but from our side we expect the three to use the Kariba draft,” he said.
Zanu PF MPs intend to block any draft constitution that is not based on the Kariba document.
The issue of whether to use the Kariba draft as the reference document for constitutional reforms is fast emerging as the biggest threat to Zimbabwe’s unity government that is in its seventh month in office.
Civic organisations and the MDC have criticised the Kariba draft constitution, saying it leaves largely untouched the wide-sweeping powers that Mugabe continues to enjoy even after the formation of a power-sharing government.
Matinenga said the principals also agreed to grant autonomy to a special parliamentary committee to lead the constitution reforms. The draft constitution will be put before the electorate in a referendum expected towards the end of next year and if approved by Zimbabweans will then be brought before parliament for enactment.
Once a new constitution is in place, the power-sharing government is expected to call fresh parliamentary, presidential and local government elections.
Wongai Zhangazha/Faith Zaba