By Mlondolozi Ndlovu
Harare, June 28, 2016 – RENEWAL Democrats of Zimbabwe (RDZ) President Elton Mangoma has been ordered to change his party’s logo by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) as it resembled that on the national flag.
The fledgling opposition party, which was formed June last year, uses a black eagle with wings spread across the Zimbabwean map as its symbol.
ZEC has summoned the former MDC-T treasurer general to inform him the symbol clashed with that on the Zimbabwean national flag.
The Justice Rita Makarau chaired electoral body insists the eagle was a national symbol and could not be reproduced by any political party for its own identification purposes.
Mangoma has since been asked to provide a different logo to allow a party candidate to contest the Mazowe North by-election which is due mid next month.
The correspondence, also seen by Khuluma Afrika, was signed by ZEC chief election officer Constance Chigwamba.
“The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is requesting you to report to our head office polling and training department in connection with the symbol used by your candidate in the Mazowe North by-election to be held on July 23, 2016,” read the letter.
“In this regard, your office is to assist by adhering to the above request as a matter of urgency and no later than June 17, 2016 so that the process of ballot printing is not delayed.”
Mangoma, on his part, remained defiant, insisting he was not going to take the matter seriously. He vowed to approach the courts in attempts to block any arm-twisting by ZEC.
“RDZ contested 3 elections last year, all conducted by yourselves using the same logo. We have spent substantial resources promoting that same logo.
“We take this as electoral harassment by you on behalf of Zanu PF. If there is anything wrong, then please have the courts settle it,” Mangoma in his written response to ZEC.