Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Mwonzora speaks on $200 000 MDC name lawsuit

By Gift Kugara

HARARE – MDC-T Spokesman Douglas Mwonzora has acknowledged a High Court case filed by David Muzhuzha, against the MDC-T demanding $200,000 as payment for the use of the name “Movement for Democratic Change”.

David Muzhuzha
David Muzhuzha

Muzhuzha claims he crafted the name MDC in 1999 when the party was formed and was not duly rewarded for coining the name.

In papers filed by his legal representatives Joseph Mandizha of Mandizha and Company, he claims that he crafted the name while he was in the information department of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions then led by trade unionists, Gibson Sibanda and Morgan Tsvangirai.

He cited MDC Party, Mr. Toendepi Shonhe and Mr. Douglas Mwonzora as respondents.

In a telephone interview from Harare on Thursday, Mr. Mwonzora dismissed the lawsuit as baseless. He singled out the late Learnmore Jongwe and Belgium based journalist and human Rights activist Grace Kwinjeh as the brains behind the MDC brand.

Asked whether Grace Kwinjeh was honoured in any form by his party for the role she played in naming the movement, Mr. Mwonzora said Kwinjeh never received any financial award, but a trophy was received on her behalf.

Kwinjeh acknowledged the recognition by the MDC-T party on its 12th anniversary celebrations held at Gwanzura Stadium in 2011. Mwonzora went on to reveal that the naming of the MDC was part of a three movement convention namely, National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), ZINASU and the ZCTU.

Mr Muzhuzha, the author of a book “A Travesty of Democracy”, published in 2010, has been a fiery critic of MDC leader and founding President Morgan Tsvangirai. There are reports that he is also a beneficiary of the controversial Zanu-PF land reform, in which he acquired two farms.

“Our view is that this is part of the legal harassment of the MDC-T”, said Mr Mwonzora.