The Nelson Chamisa-led MDC has filed High Court papers demanding an order barring a rival camp led by Thokozani Khupe to stop using the party’s name and symbol.
This follows a Supreme Court ruling directing that the matter be heard urgently.
Chamisa’s camp had initially approached the Supreme Court on appeal challenging then Bulawayo High Court judge Francis Bere’s ruling which had given Khupe the leeway to continue using the party’s name and symbol.
However, Supreme Court judges Paddington Garwe, Antoinette Guvava and Anne-Marie Gowora, referred the matter back to the High Court decreeing that the matter be heard on an urgent basis.
The High Court is also expected to determine whether or not there are two MDC parties and if not, whether Khupe and her colleagues are entitled to use the party’s name, symbol, logo and trademarks.
In compliance with this directive, Chamisa’s camp filed a declaratur on May 23, seeking an interdict against Khupe’s camp.
Chamisa and Khupe have been embroiled in a bitter wrangle to control the party following the death of the founding president Morgan Tsvangirai in February this year.
Through its lawyer advocate Thabani Mpofu, Chamisa’s camp said Khupe and her colleagues, Obert Gutu and Abednico Bhebhe, who are all cited as respondents, were no longer entitled to the use of the name, symbol, logo and trademarks of the largest opposition party in the country.
They claimed the trio was expelled from the party on March 23.
“As a result of their expulsion, the first, second and third defendants (Khupe, Gutu and Bhebhe) lost the right to the use of the name, symbol, logo and trademark of the MDC.
“Despite losing the right to the use of the name, symbol, logo and trademark of the plaintiff (MDC), defendants have without lawful excuse continued to hold themselves out as belonging to the plaintiff and have abused its name, symbol, logo and trademark,” the court heard.
According to Mpofu, a congress held by the Khupe camp was of no effect to the original party.
The court further heard: “Defendants appointed a whole new executive structure with its own officials who are different from those of the plaintiff. The so-called gathering came up with a new logo which is a departure from the one provided for in the plaintiff’s statutes. The defendants have now provided headquarters for their political outfit which headquarters are different from those of the plaintiff.
“Wherefore plaintiff prays for; an order interdicting defendants and all those acting through or in common purpose with them from the use of the name, symbol, logo and trademarks of the plaintiff serve with the direct authorisation of its National Council (and) an order for the delivery to the plaintiff by the defendants and all persons acting through them, of all documents, posters, advertising material or any other material in their possession or that of their privies bearing the mark(s) or so nearly resembling the trademark of the plaintiff.”