By Gerald Takwara
ZANU PF officials and supporters including Government officials went to greater lengths last night to find all the negative and faulty aspects of the yellow colour after opposition leader Nelson Chamisa adopted it as his new party’s colour theme.
In a bold move after a long period of indecision, Chamisa yesterday dumped the MDC Alliance party name and symbols saying his new party name is Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC).
The 44-year-old politician said he decided to drop the MDC Alliance tag and the red MDC colours and open palm symbol to distinguish itself from the MDC, whose name has been tainted by controversy and squabbles.
The announcement torched wild celebration among his support base which has been itching for an end to the draining fight with rival opposition MDC-T leader Douglas Mwonzora over party symbols.
Chamisa however insisted that he was not rebranding, saying: “We are not rebranding. If you know MDC as a brand, please dine with those you have given MDC Alliance. We are a new party, nothing to do with the past, nothing to do with yesterday, we are starting afresh.”
The CCC leader presented yellow as the new party’s colour, and the symbol will now be a partial fist with a raised forefinger as opposed to the open palm. The MDC uses an open palm.
The announcement almost immediately turned Twitter and Facebook into shades of yellow as party supporters and leaders expressed joy in their new identity distinct from the red associated with the MDC.
That triggered an avalanche of attacks on the colour yellow by Zanu PF supporters. Government spokesperson Nick Mangwana as well as Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, George Charamba, joined in the attacks.
Charamba, who uses the Twitter handle @jamwanda2, appeared even more frenzied in his dissing of the new party CCC’s choice of colour. He said all parties that had used yellow as their dominant colour in Zimbabwe lost elections.
He cited 2008 Presidential aspirant Simba Makoni’s Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn which won less than 10 percent of the vote. Charamba also mentioned CCC spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere, who used the same exact yellow template now adopted by Chamisa.
In 2018, Mahere ran as independent for the Mt Pleasant seat and came a distant third behind Samuel Bada (MDC Alliance) who won with 9 357 votes and Zanu PF’s Jason Passade who came second with 5 295. Mahere managed 4 388 out of the 19 795 votes.
Zanu PF deputy secretary for the Youth League and Politburo member Tendai Chirau said yellow was also among the colours Zanu PF calls its own, along with red, green and black. He posted a photo of him drabbed in all-yellow Zanu PF regalia.
Chirau went further and insinuated that CCC spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere had an undiluted influence in the rebranding of the party as the new CCC theme had total resemblance to Mahere’s template when she ran as an independent in the 2018 elections.
Even the font type and colour used on the CCC emblem matches the designs Mahere used before she joined the MDC Alliance in 2019 which Chamisa was leading.
However, is has also emerged that prominent tech-preneur Kuda Musasiwa, who was campaign manager for Mahere in the 2018 campaign for Mt Pleasant parliamentary seat, was recruited to do the rebranding for the CCC party.
Musasiwa himself confirmed the role he played, adding that Chamisa liked the designs he made.
Musasiwa would not answer to a question posed by this journalist asking why he did not create a distinct them and instead plagiarised his own previous work. Self-plagiarism is any attempt to take any of your own previously published text, papers, or research results and make it appear brand new.
The apparent self-plagiarism by Musasiwa – whether it was by omission or commission – might create problems in future, said opposition LEAD president Linda Masarira. She warned that this could lead to infighting in future as Mahere “has presidential ambitions”.
“The new kid on the block borrowed @advocatemahere “be the change” Mount Pleasant campaign template. Kumagumo kune nyaya (Expect trouble ahead). I know my sister has got Presidential ambitions kumberi uko kuchanakidza,” said Masarira.
Meanwhile, the opposition family continues enjoying the announcement of the new party identity, which observers say would work in Chamisa’s favour ahead of the March by-elections.
But Chamisa said yesterday the elections will help test the new party’s systems in preparation for the make or break 2023 general election.
“Yes, the by-elections will come, but like I said, it will be a curtain raiser. It is very important to participate and that is why we said we are participating. We will make sure we also see what is happening to test our systems, and we also expose those who are biased,” the CCC leader said.
“We will be checking on Zec. This time, we will not allow Zec to play and join the other team. If they do so, they will be setting this country in a motion that is irretrievable.
“I am not threatening, I am giving a promise. We will not repeat what we did. That is why after winning (in 2018), you abused us.”