The MDC-T led by Thokozani Khupe said it has adopted the MDC Alliance brand with immediate effect and will use the name when nominating candidates for by-elections on October 9.
This was revealed by the MDC-T acting chairman Morgen Komichi on Saturday. He was speaking at the Morgan Richard Tsvangirai House, formerly Harvest House to mark the 21st anniversary of the original MDC.
However, in a statement posted on Twitter, the MDC Alliance led by Nelson Chamisa insisted on its identity and vowed to settle the “battle” politically. The statement read:
We are the MDC Alliance. We contested the 2018 election as the MDC Alliance under the Presidency of Nelson Chamisa.
Our members were unlawfully recalled on account of being members of the MDC Alliance. This battle will be settled politically.
Political power lies in the people.
The development did not come as a surprise as George Charamba, who is the Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet (Presidential Communications), in July hinted that the Khupe-led party will take over the MDC Alliance name.
Charamba made the stunning revelations on July 20th this year during an exchange with MDC Alliance secretary for elections Jacob Mafume.
Mafume had mocked ZANU PF and its leaders for allegedly trying to create a coalition government with Khupe’s MDC-T.
But Charamba, in typically abrasive fashion, hit back at Mafume, telling him that Khupe has taken over the opposition party and very soon, Chamisa will lose even the name of the party. Charamba retorted:
Except you have no party while pretending to be in organized opposition!!! Khupe amhanya nechinhu!! (she is now in the driving seat). Very soon you will be interdicted from using MDC-Anything!!! Watch the space!!!
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:
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.