By Tichaona Sibanda
19 December 2011
The MDC led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is seriously considering changing its open palm party symbol, a highly placed party source said.
The symbol is also used by the MDC formation led by Welshman Ncube and MDC-99 headed by its President Job Sikhala. During deliberations at Saturday’s national council meeting, a proposal was tabled calling on the party to change its well known brand.
A source told SW Radio Africa on Monday that the proposal was accepted and there was a resolution tasking the national executive to explore ways of coming up with another symbol.
The source said: ‘Party officials felt that we have to seriously consider the pros and cons of changing the symbol because other parties like Ncube’s have been benefiting during voting times because of the confusion.’
Our correspondent Simon Muchemwa said a survey carried out soon after the 2008 election showed that a high number of voters could not distinguish the difference between Tsvangirai and Ncube’s parties.
‘The emblems on the ballot for MDC-T and MDC-N in the 2008 poll were the same. Many voters could not distinguish between the two and in the end both parties lost out. But then again questions should be asked if the party still has time to change it symbol and market it to the people before the next election, now highly anticipated to be in 2012,’ Muchemwa said.
The MDC-T reiterated that elections in Zimbabwe will only take place when there is a new constitution and reforms allowing for free and fair elections.
Muchemwa added that growing calls from ZANU PF to have elections in March next year will not be sanctioned by SADC, who are currently mediating in the Zimbabwe crisis.
‘ZANU PF is shooting itself in the foot thinking they will have elections before a new constitution is adopted. They should be thankful to both the MDC formations and SADC that they are still in power because of the Global Political Agreement,’ Muchemwa said.
Our correspondent said attempts to censure co-Home Affairs Minister Theresa Makone for her role over Tsvangirai’s relationship to Locadia Karimatsenga Tembo were shot down by the party leader.
Tsvangirai told party officials that anything to do with his life was his problem, and he would solve his own problems.