Principals meet but still no date for constitution conference

Morgan Tsvangirai, Robert Mugabe and Arthur Mutambara

By Tererai Karimakwenda
03 October 2012

The principals in the coalition government met on Tuesday to discuss several critical issues, including the 2nd All Stakeholders Conference that is due to be held by the end of October.

Robert Mugabe is reported to have agreed to ‘move’ on some key reforms that have been pending, and to set a date for the official opening of the next session of Parliament. Government business has been at a standstill due to Mugabe’s delay in closing the last session, which ended July 28.

According to the Daily News newspaper, the principals meeting included Mugabe himself, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and both the Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara and Professor Welshman Ncube.

The Minister for Parliamentary and Constitutional Affairs, Eric Matinenga, joined the principals for a briefing and discussions on the pending 2nd all-Stakeholders’ Conference. He told SW Radio Africa on Wednesday that no specific date or venue was agreed on, but Harare would host the event the third week of October.

“It was decided there were no funds to hold the Conference in Bulawayo or outside Harare. We were able to get a venue for around the 22nd of October. At the earliest it will be the 17th of October,” Matinenga explained.

The Minister also said that other political parties, which are not part of the GPA, will be allowed to participate in the Conference. And any organization recognized as an NGO will also be eligible.

Regarding funds for the Conference, which had reportedly been an issue, Matinenga said COPAC would be meeting with their development partners on Thursday. He added that he was “sure they will make significant contributions”.

According to the Daily News, the Prime Minister’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka said Mugabe had agreed to swear-in Morgen Komichi as deputy minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development. Komichi was picked to fill the spot by Tsvangirai, following the death of Tichaona Mudzingwa in April.

Mugabe has delayed the swearing-in, along with other government business that has been pending. Several Bills that were already passed by parliament are also waiting to be signed and gazetted by Mugabe.

As always, no information was released by the principals regarding their Tuesday meeting. The news blackout has been characteristic of the coalition government’s negotiations towards a roadmap for credible elections.

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