Zimbabwe’s rival parties missed Monday’s deadline to conclude power-sharing talks.
The talks are now likely stretch several days beyond the two-week deadline agreed by the three parties.
Talks resumed at a secret location in South Africa on Sunday after a nearly week-long break to allow negotiators to return home for consultations with their principals.
Last week, Morgan Tsvangirai signalled the talks would extend beyond Monday, saying last week the timeframe was “not inflexible”.
Zanu-PF information and publicity sub-committee member Christopher Mutsvangwa said the extension was evidence that the talks were on track.
“That shows progress and the three parties have a lot of work to do. There must be accommodation and sincerity in the spirit enunciated by the principals at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding,” said Mutsvangwa.
He says the extension is aimed at overcoming all the issues on the agenda. “It is quite encouraging that Zimbabweans are coming together under the auspices of a brotherly country and neighbour, South Africa. The omen is very good.”
Spokesman for the MDC Edwin Mushoriwa said the extension was inevitable in light of last week’s recess. “It is our hope that in a few days to come, the negotiators would have reached some decision of some sort. The extension is an indication of progress,” said Mushoriwa.
It has also emerged that the parties have agreed to expand their negotiating teams.
Zanu-PF is represented by Patrick Chinamasa and Nicholas Goche. The pair have since been joined by national chairman John Nkomo; Minister of Defence Sydney Sekeramayi and the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Stan Mudenge..
Secretary-general Tendai Biti and deputy national treasurer Elton Mangoma are representing MDC-T. The additional members are the party’s national chairman Lovemore Moyo and women’s assembly chairperson Theresa Makone.
Professor Welshman Ncube — the MDC secretary-general — and his deputy Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga have since been joined by Moses Mzila-Ndlovu and Miriam Mushayi.