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ZEC refuses to stop Tshabangu ‘abuse’ of Chamisa face as logo

ZEC boss Utoile Silaigwana says Chamisa barking up wrong tree

By Caleb Chikwawawa

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) says it will not be arm-twisted by Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) to trash poll nomination papers filed using Nelson Chamisa’s facial image by Sengezo Tshabangu’s candidates insisting it cannot be dragged into internal squabbles by political parties.

The opposition is riled by Tshabangu’s continued use of Chamisa’s image in its correspondence and when filing nomination papers for his candidates in ongoing by-elections.

CCC insists the logo is internal property and cannot be abused by any party to “mislead the electorate”.

Chamisa, through his lawyers, wrote recently to ZEC telling it not to entertain correspondence by the self-styled CCC interim secretary general from using Chamisa’s face as his logo.

Speaking to Zimstar News Wednesday, ZEC Chief Elections Officer, Utoile Silaigwana said CCC “knows where to go” and should spare the poll authority the discomfort of taking sides.  

“If CCC has internal issues, they know where to go, they don’t come to us and give us directives,” Silaigwana said.

“Otherwise every other party will tell ZEC what to do and it will do so.”

Silaigwana said if ZEC allowed itself to be stampeded into factional wars among political parties, it would have failed in its duties to remain independent.

“Can you imagine a situation where ZEC acts after it is told what to do by every political party, it means ZEC will be taking sides.

“ZEC is independent, does not take sides. The perception that ZEC should solve internal issues of a political party should stop.”

In a letter of demand to ZEC recently, CCC lawyers said their client, Chamisa has rights over his image and can pass on the rights in favour of individuals of his choice.

The lawyers said Chamisa gave permission to CCC candidates whose nomination papers were signed for by approved party signatories to contest the August 23 harmonised elections.

They insist ZEC should only be guided by that precedence and should, henceforth, stop any other party or individual from “misappropriation of the image of our client’s face for purposes of misrepresenting and misleading the electorate. We advise that this is illegal”.

Tshabangu has insisted in past comments that by using his face as a party logo, Chamisa surrendered those rights to the party and could not turn around and start claiming absolute rights over it.

The controversial politician, a virtually unknown quantity until his bombshell recalls on CCC candidates from October this year, insists he is acting in the spirit of democracy within the troubled opposition and accuses Chamisa of centralising power around himself. TWITTER: @zimstar_news

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