Legal experts Monday said it would be unconstitutional for the ruling ZANU PF party to bar the newly-formed Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) led by Nelson Chamisa from using the yellow colour on its regalia and symbols.
Chamisa recently dumped the MDC Alliance name, saying it had become toxic and unveiled a new political outfit, CCC, which uses yellow, departing from the MDC’s red colour.
Addressing a political rally in Chitungwiza at the weekend, ruling ZANU PF officials threatened to bar Chamisa from using the colour yellow as its party symbol, saying it was their colour that signified mineral wealth.
Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum director Musa Kika yesterday told NewsDay that it was silly for ZANU PF to claim ownership of any colour. He said:
No one has a patent, trademark, copyright or any form of intellectual property right over a colour. No one can bar a competitor from using a particular colour.
Trademark infringement is looked at holistically — name, symbol, design and colour. Under our laws, and under the laws of common sense, the alleged expression of interest to bar the use of a colour has no basis.
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Another legal expert Freddy Masarirevu said ZANU PF’s remarks were a mere political gimmick or political bantering. He added:
It will be an unfruitful challenge, trust me. Other than it being political bantering, I would not think that ZANU PF itself would sink low to that extent… ZANU PF cannot claim ownership of any colour
He said ZANU PF was in panic mode, hence such pronouncements and the matter is not even for the courts to determine as colours are generic.
His remarks were echoed by CCC vice-president Tendai Biti who said “it would be irrational for anyone to claim ownership of any colour, the same as suggesting that bananas abandon the colour yellow for red.”