Wednesday, June 12, 2013

(NEWZIMBABWE, SAPA) No dates for Zimbabwe summit: South Africa
07/06/2013 00:00:00

A NEW date has not been set for a regional summit to assess Zimbabwe's readiness for general elections, South Africa's International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said on Friday.

Regional mediators are consulting to set a date for the summit, after one scheduled for Sunday was abruptly called off on Thursday, she told reporters in Pretoria.

"The date for such an extra-ordinary summit always gets decided upon by the availability and programmes of heads of state, creating space for this meeting. It’s not an ordinary, scheduled meeting."

President Jacob Zuma - who has led SADC's efforts to facilitate negotiations between President Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF party and the MDC formations was expected to present his latest report to the meeting.

Media reports on Friday suggested that Sunday’s meeting was called off because President Robert Mugabe informed SADC he would not be available for the summit.

The summit was expected to discuss a range of issues, including the cash-strapped n government's efforts to raise a US$132m election budget.

Last Friday the Constitutional Court ruled that Mugabe should organise elections no later than July 31.

The polls aim to end an uneasy SADC-brokered unity government between Mugabe and his rival, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, which was formed in 2009 after deadly disputed elections.

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