Polls: MDC-T goes to court

The MDC-T has dragged four of its expelled members to the High Court pleading with the courts to bar them from using its logos and campaign materials ahead of the forthcoming elections.

Report by Nqaba Matshazi

Kidwell Mujuru, Felix Magalela Sibanda, Samuel Sandla Khumalo and Prince Dube were expelled from the party after they submitted their papers to stand as independent candidates following their losses in primary elections.

In his founding affidavit, MDC-T provincial chairman Gorden Moyo, who is representing the party, wants the respondents to stop using the party president Morgan Tsvangirai’s picture in their campaigns.

“The face of Morgan Richard Tsvangirai is part of our symbol and is used the by our party to galvanise support for our party,” the affidavit reads. “Respondents have produced and are distributing flyers that bear the face of the MDC president, when they are not members of such party . . . Such conduct seeks to make the electorate believe that respondents are in some way connected with our party or its president.”

The applicants in the matter are the MDC-T, Reggie Moyo, who won the right to represent Luveve constituency and Anele Ndebele, who will represent the party in Magwegwe. The other applicants are Themba Nyathi and Dingilizwe Tshuma, who will represent MDC-T in Mpopoma/Pelandaba and Emakhandeni/Entumabane constituencies, respectively. In the application, the MDC-T says the face of Tsvangirai is one of their campaign assets and it had been “stolen from our party without our authority”.

The MDC-T said Tsvangirai’s face could be regarded as artistic work and was protected by copyright law and the respondents had not received permission to use the picture in their campaigns.

“There is no alternative remedy available to us save for an interdict interdicting respondents from further prejudicing our party’s interests by using the face of our party president while in fact, competing with our party on the ground,” the affidavit reads. In the urgent chamber application, the MDC-T is represented by Kucaca Phulu of Phulu and Ncube Legal Practitioners. Moyo, in an interview, said they had sought the intervention of the courts, as they had a responsibility to “protect our brand”.

“We cannot just allow someone to ride on our brand yet they have ceased to be part of us,” he added.

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