Principals to meet

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Professor Arthur Mutambara are expected to meet next Friday for the first time in more than six weeks since negotiators concluded talks.

Tsvangirai told the Zimbabwe Independent yesterday that the three political principals would be meeting on May 28 to deliberate on the negotiators’ report before the South Africans can resume their mediation process.
“We are meeting on Friday, the 28th of May,” said Tsvangirai without elaborating.
The three principals have been criticised for delaying the implementation of issues agreed upon.
Negotiators and President Jacob Zuma’s facilitators are not happy with the pace at which the principals are moving.
The negotiators have been talking since November 5 last year and when they ended negotiations on April 3 they expected the principals to expeditiously implement the latest issues agreed upon.
Negotiators in the talks include Patrick Chinamasa and Nicholas Goche for Zanu PF, Tendai Biti and Elton Mangoma for the MDC-T, and Welshman Ncube and Priscillah Misihairabwi-Mushonga for the MDC-M, while the South African facilitators include Charles Nqakula, Mac Maharaj and Lindiwe Zulu.
One negotiator said two weeks ago that the process would significantly move forward if the principals acted fast on implementation, leaving a few issues to be dealt with.
The negotiators have agreed on a number of issues and they have written a document on the implementation matrix, which was submitted as part of the report given to the principals early last month.
The negotiators have agreed on the formula to share governors and what only remains is who gets five appointees or four plus a ministerial position between Zanu PF and MDC-T. The principals need to decide on that and agree on when to swear them in.
They have also agreed on the issue of sanctions and the principals must agree on a work plan to remove the sanctions.
The negotiators have agreed on media issues, including public-media reforms, hate speech and bias in the media, external radio stations and land issues, including the land audit and tenure systems.
There is also an agreement on cabinet and council of ministers, national economic council, amendments to the Electoral Act, the role of NGOs, freedom of assembly and association, and external interference.
The other issues that they need to deal with are national heroes, review and re-allocation of ministerial mandates, the chairing of cabinet and the position of the permanent secretary of Media, Information and Publicity doubling up as the presidential spokesperson.

Faith Zaba

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