What is in a name? Well, it appears it is everything as fights in Zimbabwe’s opposition MDC party took another turn over the weekend.
A faction led by Dr Thokozani Khupe announced that its candidates in impending council and parliamentary by-elections will contest under the MDC Alliance banner.
Early this year, the Supreme Court declared Dr Khupe legitimate party leader, a development that left Advocate Nelson Chamisa leading a faction calling itself the MDC Alliance.
But now Dr Khupe insists that by virtue of being the legitimate leader of the MDC, her party has the right to field candidates under the MDC Alliance.
The alliance was formed by different political parties that contested the 2018 general election “as a united front”.
Charlton Hwende, Secretary General of the Chamisa faction, begged for patience.
“We must be patient. The party is aware of the challenges that we are facing. The party has a plan; it has a solution and it is consulting.”
On Saturday, Morgen Komichi, chairperson of the Khupe faction, announced and explained their decision to run under the MDC Alliance banner.
“MDC Alliance president as we speak today is madam Khupe,” said Komichi.
He added; “The MDC agreement is very clear and who is the head of the MDC Alliance? Ano replacer Va (whoever replaces) Tsvangirai is the head of the MDC Alliance.”
And as the two factions tussle for the name, constitutional law expert Advocate Agyver Sawunyama believes the courts will settle this one.
“They will certainly have to go back to the courts given the existence of the Supreme Court judgment which adds to the confusion.”