Zimbabwe MPs postpone debate

zimbabwe_parliament.jpgHarare - Zimbabwe's rival parties on Wednesday postponed a parliamentary debate on constitutional amendments which would pave the way for the formation of a unity government, party officials said.


Both the ruling Zanu-PF and opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) said the debate had been postponed to allow negotiators more time
to discuss outstanding issues.

Zanu-PF chief whip Joram Gumbo told AFP "there are some sticky issues
which are being raised by other members of the house" and that the
negotiators had been summoned to talks by South African mediators.

"The negotiators were summoned by the convener in South Africa to finalise the outstanding issues on the talks," he added.

"The negotiators are supposed to be coming back on Saturday. Although
the parliament is supposed to re-convene on February 17, it can be
recalled for any urgent business."

"Since the negotiators are somewhere finalising issues related to the
constitutional amendment… the motion on the amendments will not be
moved today pending the finalisation of those issues which we feel have
to be addressed," said MDC chief whip Innocent Gonese.

He said he hoped the discussions would be completed before the February
11 swearing-in of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai as prime minister.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) last month set a
February 5 deadline for parliament to pass the necessary constitutional
amendments to allow implementation of the power-sharing deal signed
last September.

On Tuesday, the MDC accused Zanu-PF of backtracking from the SADC
mandate after the ruling party’s negotiators failed to turn up for a


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