Fight over name ‘Mbare Chimurenga Choir’

Farai Kuvirimirwa Court Reporter
Splinter groups of the popular Mbare Chimurenga Choir have taken each other to the civil court with each claiming ownership of the name.
The original Mbare Chimurenga Choir is represented by Elizabeth Bwanya, who claims to be the founder and cited Pamela Tswanhu, Constance

Chimombe, Nomagugu Dube and others of Carter House Kitchen in Mbare as respondents.

Bwanya wanted the other members to be barred from using the name, but magistrate Mr Milton Serima dismissed the application after she failed to appear in court.

According to the papers filed by Bwanya, Mbare Chimurenga Choir is a registered musical group which promotes the revolutionary spirit.

She said after the success of the first album, “Nyatsoteerera”, differences emerged with Bwanya being accused of misappropriation of funds.
She states that Tswanhu and others moved away and formed a group which they named “Mbare Choir”.

Bwanya claims they continued to use the name of the band at the 2012 Heroes plush Gala in Gutu, at the 2012 Zanu-PF Conference in Gweru and at the Glendale Gala.

She also claims that they allegedly tried to disconnect power when the group was about to go on stage to perform.

“They released an album titled ‘Tatenderana Povho’ using the same name which is confusing sponsors and fans.

“They should be interdicted from performing, recording, advertising or identifying themselves using the name,” the papers read.

In an opposing affidavit Tswanhu said Bwanya had no locus standi to represent Mbare Chimurenga Choir.

“The choir is made up of Zanu-PF members from Mbare Constituency.

“If their application is granted it would prejudice Zanu-PF during campaigns in the forthcoming harmonised  elections,”  the  affidavit read.

She also argued that Bwanya was an ordinary member in the group who has split the choir and went with more than 15 members.

She said Bwanya had no intellectual rights over the name.

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