Zimbabwe First (ZimFirst) party leader Maxwell Zeb Shumba has threatened to take legal action against Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) president Joice Mujuru, accusing her of “stealing” his party’s name and manifesto.
BY Jairos Saunyama
In a letter dated September 18, Shumba gave Mujuru 10 working days to respond, failure of which he would take the matter to the courts.
Shumba, a former adviser to MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai, alleged Mujuru had been ignoring his calls to resolve the issue amicably leaving him with no option, but to take the legal route.
“We registered our party name in May 2015 using Zimbabwe First, People First and Country First long before you registered yours. My communications with Didymus Mutasa from March 2015 will attest to that and in addition all documentation in the registrar offices will prove our assertion. Our manifesto and all our documents bear the names Country First, People First and Zimbabwe First,” he wrote.
“Despite our good faith efforts to get you to stay away from our name, we are shocked with your continued non chalance with regard to
this matter. Continued use of our name is intellectual property theft which carries legal ramifications as well as lawsuits in the civil courts. The continued use of our name by your party has led to some great losses for which we are prepared to seek remedy through legal recourse.”
In the letter, the United States-based politician gave ZimPF 10 days to stop using the People First tag.
But ZimPF spokesperson Jealousy Mawarire said his party had not yet received the letter, adding Shumba was free to take the legal route.
“There is no letter like that. There is a great difference between ZimFirst and Zimbabwe People First. Why is he threatening to report the matter?” Mawarire queried.
“He (Shumba) should just approach the courts. It’s like someone calling his company CADS Building Society, will CABS fume over that? He is seeking relevance. He is free to take the legal route.”
Shumba told Radio France International at the weekend that Mujuru was still behaving like a Zanu PF politician who is used to grab everything.
“Joice is used to getting what she wants by using political power. That’s the Zanu PF we are trying to fight. It’s also an indication that she has not changed. So when they launched their party in March 2016, it was like we never existed,” he said.