Fidelis Munyoro, Harare Bureau
Dr Thokozani Khupe’s MDC-T faction has cheered a recent High Court decision which ruled that an application by a rival group led by Mr Nelson Chamisa for it to stop using the party’s name, logo and symbols was not urgent.
The party says it will leverage on the judgment to stake its claim for a share of Government disbursements for parties that are represented in Parliament.
Mr Chamisa’s faction recently received $1,8 million disbursed by Treasury as part of its share under the Political Parties (Finance) Act.
In a statement yesterday, Dr Khupe’s political formation said the ruling meant their party enjoyed full rights to use the name, logos and symbols of the MDC-T.
“In light of the High Court judgment, our party has written to the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs as we lay claim to our portion of the Government disbursements to political parties, which had been improperly allocated to the Chamisa group,” said the party’s national spokeswoman, Ms Linda Masarira.
“We had advised this ministry of the possibility of the dilemma they have gotten themselves into in our letter of the 16th of April 2018. High Court Judge, Honourable Justice Francis Bere, made a pronouncement on three consecutive applications which had been thrown at us by our erstwhile colleagues from the runaway bandwagon led by Advocate Nelson Chamisa.”
Ms Masarira indicated Mr Chamisa’s faction had so far unsuccessfully tried to challenge the use of the MDC-T name, logos and symbols.
Further, an attempt to stop Dr Khupe’s extraordinary congress that was held on Saturday, she said, was dismissed for lack of merit.
She added that the rival faction had been reacting badly to the court judgments.
“They have not only officially bad-mouthed the Honourable Justice Francis Bere, but have labelled us with all sorts of unprintable words and created conspiracy theories plucked from thin air.”
Ms Masarira accused the Mr Chamisa-led faction of being sore losers.
After losing the case to interdict Dr Khupe from using the party’s symbols, Mr Chamisa’s national executive accused the court of meddling in politics.
“Theirs is a case of sour grapes which goes further to reveal that our erstwhile colleagues prefer mobocracy over legality and would not hesitate to pour scorn on any legal and constitutional settlement of disputes,” said Ms Masarira.
While Dr Khupe cheered the court ruling, Mr Chamisa scoffed at Justice Bere’s judgment.
In a statement on Wednesday, Mr Chamisa’s spokesman Mr Luke Tamborinyoka said Justice Bere’s ruling was politically-motivated.
“The High Court judgment by Justice Francis Bere may have allowed expelled members of the MDC-T to continue to abuse the party’s name, logo, trademark and symbols, but it does not in any way change the political reality on the ground,” said Mr Tamborinyoka.
He said Dr Khupe and her disciples remained expelled from the party.
Dr Khupe and Mr Chamisa are embroiled in a vicious power struggle sparked by the death of founding party leader Morgan Tsvangirai on February 14 this year.