THE MDC Alliance led by Nelson Chamisa has dismissed calls by some of their allied in the opposition to change their name after it emerged yesterday that the rival camp led by Thokozani Khupe intends to contest future elections as the MDC Alliance instead of MDC-T.
Khupe’s national chairperson Morgen Komichi hinted yesterday at his party’s 21st anniversary event that they were set to use the umbrella term MDC Alliance for future by-elections, some of which are set to be held on the 9th of October.
But in a communique released after an MDC Alliance NEC meeting Saturday, the party’s spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said they will meter be pressured into dropping the MDC Alliance name, despite the fact that they have yet to register it with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) as a party.
“The party restates that it is the MDC Alliance party. It contested the 2018 election as the MDC Alliance,” reads the communique in part.
“As the alternative, it has MPs in Parliament and councillors in local authorities. It has been victimized as the MDC Alliance and will win as the MDC Alliance. It will remain the MDC Alliance.”
United Kingdom-based Zimbabwean academic, Alex Magaisa, who has been urging the MDC Alliance to drop the “toxic” MDC brand and adopt a new name, said the developments were not surprising, as he had warned on that multiple times.
“What has just happened should not shock anyone who has been following the MDC saga. It was foreseeable and it was written. The most important question is the response, which should be ready.
“There has never been a better time to demonstrate that people do not vote for party names,” said Magaisa, a constitutional lawyer and academic.
UK-based lawyer Brighton Mutebuka believes Chamisa does not have not the funds and the time for a name change, with the 2023 elections coming up.
“Changing a name requires huge funding and Chamisa lost the political parties funding to Khupe. Any new name will have to be explained to the electorate and that needs a mass media campaign as well as countrywide rallies. The time and funds for that are both not available,” said Mutebuka.
Pro-opposition activist Piers Pigou accused Chamisa of being always reactive instead of being proactive.
“Next step of what constitutes a major hijacking of the main opposition, MDC Alliance by a small group of ‘leaders’ who claim to represent huge numbers of Zimbabweans that never voted for them. Chamisa & his crew are behind the curve in reactive mode. Time for a major rebranding?” Pigou queried.
However, another pro-opposition activist, Freeman Chari, does not agree with name change.
“I don’t agree with rebranding. The purpose is clear. To suffocate and annihilate. Whatever Chamisa does they will still come after him. They will come after even his wife and kids. Focus on the game.
“As long as the military is ruling elections are useless. Focus on pressure!” Chari said.
Meanwhile, another pro-Chamisa activist, Pedzisayi Ruhanya, has described Khupe, Douglas Mwonzora and Morgen Komichi as “foolish puppets” of Zanu-PF. – Zimbabwe Voice