THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has barred secessionist Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) from using its elephant symbol in the upcoming harmonised elections.
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
MRP president Mqondisi Moyo confirmed the development yesterday, adding that they had grudgingly adopted a new symbol, a shield, to avoid the inconvenience of being blocked from contesting the polls slated for July 30.
Zec commissioner, Qhubani Moyo said it was illegal for any political party to use animal symbols.
“An elephant is a prohibited symbol. It’s the law, you cannot register for elections using an elephant as a party symbol,” he said.
Mqondisi said the shield was a temporary symbol.
“On behalf of the national executive committee of MRP, I announce to the media, the electorate and the general public that the party has recently unveiled a new logo for this year’s elections. The iconic and original MRP logo that bears an elephant will not be used as an election symbol at the insistence of Zec,” he said.
“Zec disqualified our logo, allegedly on the dictates of the Electoral Act that prohibits the use of an elephant as a party election symbol. We have changed our symbol under protest though because Zec has failed to give us the exact statutory instrument that criminalises the use of an elephant as a party symbol.”
Mqondisi, however, said the party will not dump its elephant symbol, saying “in the spirit of urgency, we have removed the elephant and replaced it with a shield. We will continue to use the elephant as our party symbol save for election purposes.”
The MRP said it would only field parliamentary and local government candidates in the southern parts of the country.