HARARE – MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa has suggested that his party was moving towards changing its name after a rival faction started angling to claim its name.
Douglas Mwonzora and his MDC-T faction have claimed ownership of the MDC Alliance name and are planning to use it in the 2023 general elections, a move likely to trigger confusion among voters.
The MDC-T has recalled several MPs and councillors belonging to MDC Alliance and used armed police and soldiers to take over the party’s Morgan Richard Tsvangirai headquarters from its rivals following a controversial Supreme Court ruling that dislodged Chamisa as party leader in March last year.
Asked about the possibility of changing the party name ahead of the 2023 polls, Chamisa said the MDC Alliance was building “a citizen movement” that will “be distinct” from “Zanu-PF-funded parties.”
“We are in the process of building a citizen movement, a people’s movement, a citizen alliance across the board,” Chamisa said.
“We want an omnibus, a broad church that accommodates everyone, a broad organisation that accommodates everyone so that we are able to deliver change.”
Chamisa was speaking in Bulawayo, a day after his address on the party’s 22nd anniversary in the city was disrupted by police who claimed it was unsanctioned.
“Some are saying it is a new name, no, it’s a new direction. Some are asking; are you going to give us a different name yes; it is a different force altogether that galvanises all the people of Zimbabwe.
“A lot is happening, there will be no confusion for the people when the time to vote comes.”
Some party officials have been advocating for the adoption of MDC Chamisa as the new party name, while others insisted on using MDC Alliance.
However, others feel the Chamisa Chete Chete would be easy to popularise, at the same time, avoiding party members confusing it with any other name.