GPA negotiators meet

Negotiators to the Global Political Agreement were scheduled to meet in Harare last night to put time frames to the election roadmap which will be crucial in deciding when the country holds elections.

The meeting is in line with recommendations of the Sadc summit held in Sandton, South Africa, on June 12, which tasked partners in the inclusive government to come up with time frames before the next Sadc summit in Angola in August. The meeting came at a time when virtually all the parties had engaged in in-house consultations to come up with positions.

“The process involves getting in touch with key personnel in bodies such as Copac to find out, for example, when they project that the constitution-making exercise would be completed.

This will then assist us in coming up with a position as a party,” said a senior government official.

“But, of course, you will find that the negotiators themselves may also get in touch with bodies such as ZEC (Zimbabwe Electoral Commission) so that they come up with realistic time frames. At the end of the day however, the time frames will have to be negotiated, and there will be need for a consensus, in the same manner the roadmap itself was crafted.”

The negotiators have agreed on most important things on the election roadmap although there are still some sticking points, especially to do with security sector reforms.

Zanu PF has resisted reforms to the security sector which the MDC parties accuse of being partisan and solely serving the interests of Zanu PF. MDC-T chief negotiator Tendai Biti on Wednesday told a residents’ meeting in Kuwadzana that his party would continue to push for the reforms arguing that the police, army, intelligence and prison services were acting as an appendage of Zanu PF.

The negotiators have agreed to have elections after the completion of the constitution-making exercise, and the implementation of agreed electoral and media reforms, among other issues.

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