The two factions of the Movement for Democratic Change-Tsvangirai, one led by Nelson Chamisa and the other by Thokozani Khupe, will have to fight it out for the name as the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has refused to be drawn into the battle.
While the Chamisa faction says Khupe has no right to use the MDC-T name it now appears she has the right to use the name as far as the electoral body is concerned.
A letter by ZEC chair Priscillah Chigumba, that is now doing the rounds on the social media, says Khupe has written to the Commission indicating that she will be contesting and participating in local, parliamentary and presidential elections under the MDC-T name.
“It is not the intention of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to wade into internal party politics but to bring to your attention issues that could have a bearing on future processes relating to the harmonised 2018 elections such as the nomination of candidates and the use of party symbols among others,” she wrote.
Khupe was expelled from the MDC-T led by Chamisa together with Abednigo Bhebhe and Obert Gutu, but they argue that their expulsion is null and void because they belong to the genuine MDC-T and do not recognise Chamisa because he was appointed leader unconstitutionally.
Gutu welcomed the decision by the ZEC for “flatly refusing to be dragged into internal party politics”.
Part of the letter written by Justice Chigumba to the MDC and addressed to the party headquarters at Harvest House, reads,
Your letter dated the 5th of March 2018 regarding the above subject matter (Party Leadership) refers.
We bring to your attention that we are also in receipt of a letter from Honourable Dr Thokozani Khupe indicating that the Movement for Democratic Change under her leadership will be contesting and participating in local, parliamentary and presidential elections as they may occur.
We attach hereto a copy of the letter received from Honourable Dr Thokozani Khupe for your consideration. It is not the intention of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to wade into internal party politics but to bring to your attention issues that could have a bearing on future processes relating to the 2018 Harmonised Elections such as the nomination of candidates and use of party symbols among them.