On Thursday night South African President Jacob Zuma briefed the SADC Troika on his latest mediation efforts in the Zimbabwe crisis, following his visit to Harare on Wednesday.
During the closed door session Zuma presented his findings which were likely dominated by the failure of the parties in the GPA to agree on the new constitution that was released by COPAC in July.
A source in Maputo told SW Radio Africa that no statement was released after the Troika meeting. Instead the Troika will forward Zuma's findings to the Heads of State meeting that started in the Mozambican capital on Friday.
However Zuma will not be part of the discussions as he cut short his stay in Maputo in order to return home and visit the platinum mine outside Johannesburg, the scene of the deadly shootout between police and mineworkers on Thursday.
Observers have expressed concern that without Zuma at the Summit, the question of Zimbabwe will take a back seat. There had been hopes that the dispute on the constitution would be the major talking point when Heads of State from the region met.
'This is a two-day event, so it's highly likely that a communiqué will be issued at the end of the Summit on Saturday or Sunday,' our source said. Parties to the GPA are represented by their principals; ZANU PF's Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube, representing the two MDC's.
Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, who was snubbed when the other principals met Zuma on Wednesday in Harare, is in Maputo for the summit. As it stands Mutambara does not represent any party in the GPA after he lost a court battle with Ncube to be leader of the MDC. Despite waiting 5 hours he was blocked from seeing Zuma in Harare.
Zuma's international relations advisor Lindiwe Zulu confirmed that Mutambara had not been invited to the Harare meeting because he was not a leader of any party.
It is hoped that even without Zuma SADC will take the latest constitutional hurdle in Zimbabwe seriously and nudge the GPA parties to reach consensus on the new draft. Although all negotiators agreed and signed off the document, ZANU PF is now stalling the process and saying they want amendments of some clauses that they consider contentious.