ZEC officers follow proceedings during rehearsals at the nomination court in Bulawayo yesterday (Picture by Fortunate Muzarabani)

ZEC officers follow proceedings during rehearsals at the nomination court in Bulawayo yesterday (Picture by Fortunate Muzarabani)

Pamela Shumba / Auxilia Katongomara, Chronicle Reporters
THE MDC-T faction led by Mr Nelson Chamisa will field its candidates in the forthcoming elections under the MDC Alliance name while the rival faction led by Dr Thokozani Khupe will stick with MDC-T.

The two factions are locked in a court battle over the use of the party’s name following an acrimonious fall out over the succession of the late founding MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai.

Deputy President of the Dr Khupe led faction, Mr Obert Gutu said they were going under the name MDC-T but will adopt new party symbols.

“We are fielding our candidates under the name MDC-T under Dr Khupe and I’m sure you have already seen our election symbol. It’s got an open palm and face of a young child in between raising the right hand,” said Mr Gutu.

He said their new symbol had already been accepted by Zec.

“Legally, we are perfectly in good standing in terms of the election symbol, there is a variation. We are absolutely on the right side of the law. There is nothing to stop us from doing that and indeed Zec has since accepted our party symbol,” said Mr Gutu.

PDP leader Mr Tendai Biti, whose party is a member of the coalition, said as a grouping of seven parties they would be using the name MDC Alliance for this election.

“The MDC Alliance is an organisation consisting of seven different political parties and as such we are contesting the elections as an alliance,” said Mr Biti.

The MDC-T factions are fighting over the use of the name and party symbols and last month, the Supreme Court referred the matter to the High Court on an urgent basis but it is yet to be set down.

Meanwhile, all is set for the nomination court, which sits today, with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) ready to receive nomination papers from aspiring candidates from 10AM to 4PM.

Zec officials yesterday said they had received all the equipment that is necessary for the efficient and effective running of the nomination courts.

Elections officer for Bulawayo province Mr Innocent Ncube said aspiring National Assembly candidates will submit their papers at Tredgold while those aspiring to contest in the local authority will submit their papers at the Bulawayo City Council chambers.

“We’re ready for the nomination court and we still encourage aspiring candidates to lodge their nomination papers on time to avoid the last minute rush.

“Aspiring candidates for the local authority will go to the City Hall while the National Assembly candidates will go to Court 5 at Tredgold,” said Mr Ncube.

Matabeleland North provincial elections officer Mr Mark Ndlovu said National Assembly candidates from the province will submit their papers at West Commonage Court in Bulawayo while nine courts have been set up for the local authority candidates.

“We’re ready for the nomination court with everything in place. We have set the West Commonage Courts in Bulawayo for National Assembly aspiring candidates.

“For the local authority aspiring candidates we have nine courts, which include three in Hwange District and one in each of the remaining six districts,” said Mr Ndlovu.

Zanu-PF national spokesperson Cde Simon Khaya Moyo said the ruling party was ready for the nomination court.

“All candidates endorsed by the Politburo are prepared to do what is expected of them and we’re happy that all is in place for Zec to receive nomination papers from all candidates. I’m certain the process will be smooth,” said Cde Khaya Moyo.—@pamelashumba1, @AuxiliaK