THE fight to wrest the Nelson Chamisa-led MDC Alliance party name and symbols by the MDC-T with the intention to use them in the forthcoming elections will be determined by which faction will file its nomination papers first under the MDC Alliance banner, a Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) official has said.
This comes in the wake of reports that the MDC-T led by Douglas Mwonzora is plotting to use the MDC Alliance name in by-elections and 2023 elections in a bid to confuse voters.
Zec director of elections and training Japhet Murenje yesterday told journalists at an elections workshop in Chinhoyi that the commission would only allow the MDC faction that will file its nomination papers first to use the MDC Alliance name as the issue could only be solved through a first-come-first-serve basis.
“If I have already received a symbol — say a maize cob, from one political party as a presiding officer then I will not accept the same symbol from another candidate from a different party,” Murenje said.
Murenje said Zec was not really worried about the names of the parties, adding that they pay more attention to party symbols.
“A party’s name might have same abbreviations which mean totally different things, and so we look at the symbols and we then say since we have already received a symbol similar to this one, we can’t take yours,” he said.
Zec chief elections officer Utoile Silaigwana said the issue of the MDC Alliance name had not been brought to the attention of the electoral commission.
“We know that there is a situation like that, but those people have never come to us, we have never had elections,” Silaigwana said.
He said the matter between Chamisa and Mwonzora had been settled by the courts and, therefore, should not be thrown at Zec.
“You know that the situation between those political parties was solved in the courts. I am not a lawyer but if I read generally, I understand that the court said the other one is no longer a president of a political party, but when you write we read that he is still the president, which is contrary to what the law says,” Silaigwana said.