FOLLOWING the Supreme Court ruling that the legal fight over use of MDC-T party symbols between Nelson Chamisa and Thokozani Khupe’s camps should be heard by the High Court as a matter of urgency, to determine which of the two factions is genuine, Chamisa’s camp has now filed an affidavit urging the court to rule in its favour.
Chamisa’s camp had initially approached the Supreme Court on appeal after being angered by then Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Francis Bere, who last month had ordered the two factions to have their impasse resolved through arbitration.
However, in compliance with the Supreme Court’s order by Judges of Appeal, Justices Paddington Garwe, Anne-Mary Gowora and Antonia Guvava, Chamisa’s camp filed a declaration on May 23, 2018 seeking a declaratur and an interdict against Khupe’s camp.
Through its lawyer Advocate Thabani Mpofu, Chamisa’s camp said Khupe and her colleagues, Obert Gutu and Abednico Bhebhe, were no longer entitled to the use of the name, symbol, logo and trademarks of the MDC, them having been expelled on March 23, 2018 and consequently forming their new political outfit.
“As a result of their expulsion, the first, second and third defendants (Khupe, Gutu and Bhebhe) lost the right to the use of the name, symbol, logo and trademark of the MDC,” Mpofu said.
“Despite losing the right to the use of the name, symbol, logo and trademark of the plaintiff (MDC), defendants have without lawful excuse continued to hold themselves out as belonging to the plaintiff and have abused its name, symbol, logo and trademark.”
Mpofu further said the holding by the trio of their purported congress and the decision taken thereat constituted, on their part, an act of secession from the MDC in that, the so called congress was called in direct defiance of the statutes of the party.
“Defendants appointed a whole new executive structure with its own officials who are different from those of the plaintiff. The so called gathering came up with a new logo which is a departure from the one provided for in the plaintiff’s statutes. The defendants have now provided headquarters for their political outfit which headquarters are different from those of the plaintiff,” he said.
Mpofu said Chamisa’s camp was seeking a declaration that the trio and all those acting through or in common purpose with them are not entitled to the use of the name, symbol, logo and trademarks of the MDC serve with the direct authorisation of its National Council.
“Wherefore plaintiff prays for; an order interdicting defendants and all those acting through or in common purpose with them from the use of the name, symbol, logo and trademarks of the plaintiff serve with the direct authorisation of its national council (and) an order for the delivery to the plaintiff by the defendants and all persons acting through them, of all documents, posters, advertising material or any other material in their possession or that of their privies bearing the mark(s) or so nearly resembling the trademark of the plaintiff,”
Khupe’s camp is represented by Lovemore Madhuku.
The wrangle between the two factions broke out following the death of the party’s founding leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, resulting in both Khupe and Chamisa claiming succession rights.