Zimbabwe: Chamisa 'forced to register MDC Alliance as a political party amid squabbles'

2018-06-16 15:07
Nelson Chamisa (File: AFP)

Nelson Chamisa (File: AFP)

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Zimbabwean opposition leader Nelson Chamisa, was this week reportedly forced to register the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance as a fully-fledged political party, pending a court outcome over the use of names and logos by a splinter group.

According to New Zimbabwe.com, Chamisa was forced into transforming the country's biggest coalition into a political party, as his fight with a splinter group led by Thokozani Khupe over use of MDC-T name and logo dragged on in court.

MDC-T has been paralysed by disagreements over who should have succeeded its long-serving former leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who died of cancer on February 14.

The party faced a major split after its embattled deputy president, Khupe, announced in March that she was leaving the party and would likely be joining forces with the country's former deputy president Joice Mujuru's Rainbow Coalition.

Khupe recently told her supporters in Bulawayo that she was breaking away from the Chamisa-led MDC-T.

She said that she intended on keeping the MDC-T name and logos, resulting in a legal battle with her rival, Chamisa. 

Douglas Mwonzora, secretary general of the Chamisa led faction had since confirmed the development, saying that the  MDC-Alliance was now a fully-fledged political party, reported New Zimbabwe.com.

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"Yes the MDC Alliance is now a political party and we did this to give direction to our supporters. It’s not about the name but the calibre of the candidate and we have someone who brings fresh ideas to the table.

“Some people have failed to understand him (Chamisa) because our horizon as a nation has been limited by the dictatorship,” Mwonzora was quoted as saying.

This came amid reports that a record breaking 23 presidential candidates were cleared on Thursday to run in the elections due on July 30.

The crunch polls will include incumbent Emmerson Mnangagwa, former vice president Joice Mujuru, Chamisa as well as Khupe.

It would the first election in Zimbabwe since veteran leader Robert Mugabe was ousted following a brief military takeover in November last year, after 37 years in power.

The July election will be a key test for Mnangagwa, nicknamed the 'Crocodile', who succeeded the long-serving autocrat Mugabe seven months ago, and remains untested at the ballot box.

He has pledged to hold free and fair elections as he seeks to mend international relations.

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