The political parties negotiating a roadmap towards elections have reportedly said President Jacob Zuma's next visit to Harare as chief mediator should wait until a final draft of the new constitution is given to the principal leaders.
ZANU PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo reportedly said: "It will be useless for him to come now when parties in the inclusive government have not yet agreed." He also said the delay would not have any effect on the holding of general elections.
On Wednesday it was reported the management committee of COPAC, working on a final draft of Zimbabwe's new charter, had reached agreement on the remaining contentious issues. The management committee consists of the same party representatives who are negotiators to the GPA.
With pressure groups like the Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) holding street protests calling for release of the charter, it appears Zimbabweans are getting impatient with what WOZA described as the "bickering" and negotiating by the political parties.
Eddie Cross, the MDC-T Secretary for Research and Policy, said: "Zuma's mediation is not necessary as long as ZANU PF is willing to play ball. The mediator wants the parties to do as much as possible by ourselves before his intervention."
Cross said there had been a "dramatic turn of events" this week and agreement had been reached on the problematic issues faced by COPAC. He credited SADC leaders for the development, saying their resolve at the last summit in Luanda was responsible.
Cross said ZANU PF does not inspire any confidence when it comes to doing what they agree to, and pointed to the continued violence and arrests of MDC-T officials. "But we now have a more sophisticated system of dealing with them. We publicise incidents immediately, document them, press charges and inform the region and the world. Things have changed," Cross said.
Regional leaders resolved last year to send a team to Zimbabwe to assist the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC) in moving forward
towards an election, after it was decided progress had been too slow. That team finally arrived in Zimbabwe just last month, but there has been no word since.
Rugare Gumbo said ZANU PF's Politburo and Central Committee will meet Thursday and Friday to come up with "a definitive position" regarding the elections. Gumbo accused other parties in the coalition of trying to delay the next election.