MPs ordered back to Parly Thursday to discuss amendment 19.

Plans to form a unity government by the end of next week are back on track after negotiators from ZANU PF and the MDC reportedly agreed on the composition of the National Security Council.

The plans were derailed on Wednesday when Parliament postponed debate
on constitutional changes to create a Prime Minister post for Morgan
Tsvangirai. This apparently followed a fresh dispute that erupted on
Tuesday when ZANU PF negotiators failed to attend a consultation
meeting with the MDC to finalise outstanding issues.

The MDC
accused ZANU PF of backtracking on the unity deal when its negotiators
said they had no mandate from their leader to discuss issues on the
table, mainly the composition of the NSC and the allocation of posts
for provincial governors.

The NSC replaces the Joint Operations
Command (JOC), a highly influential and controversial body that is
chaired by Robert Mugabe and comprises the commanders of the Army,
Airforce, Police, Prison services and the Central Intelligence
Organisation. Many observers believe it is the military commanders who
were actually running the affairs of the country.

The MDC was
seeking to dilute the powers of JOC by seeking to establish the NSC
that includes senior members from the two MDC's. We could not establish
how far the ZANU PF negotiators agreed to meet demands from the MDC on
the composition of this new body.

MDC chief whip Innocent Gonese
told us it was very likely' that the Bill will be tabled in Parliament
if the negotiators resolve the issues by Wednesday.

As a matter of
fact, there was an announcement that all MP's and senators should come
to parliament tomorrow (Thursday). We anticipate there is some positive
development which might result in the Bill being tabled in the House
tomorrow, Gonese said.

The negotiators, meeting under the guidance
of the South African facilitation team are also expected to agree on
the modalities and formula for the distribution of governors. This will
pave the way for the introduction of Constitutional Amendment number 19
in Parliament, probably on Thursday. A source told us the only question
remaining on the allocation of governors was how many posts will each
party get.

Initially, Mugabe had appointed all the 10 governors
from ZANU PF in a clear violation of the Global Political Agreement.
But in a humiliating climb down, after repeatedly vowing not to go back
on the issue of governors, Mugabe agreed to share the posts following
pressure from SADC leaders.

Regional leaders who met last week
managed to persuade Mugabe and Tsvangirai to break their deadlock. In
so doing they called for a unity government to be in place by 13th
February.

SW Radio Africa

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