Hi! Welcome back to History Monday. Our new series is the history of opposition parties in Zimbabwe. First up is my very own Movement for Democratic Change
The MDC, as an idea whose time was ripe, was endorsed on 26 February 1999 by over 700 men and women from all walks of life who converged at the women’s bureau in Hillside, Harare, for two days.
They set up various committees and sub committees to examine a whole gamut of Zimbabwean issues, only to resolve that the only way out was the need to challenge Zanu PF politically. During this convention key resolutions were adopted and the implementation of these have continued guide the MDC in quest to address a myriad of issues and imbalances created by Zanu PF.
The working people’s convention then gave birth to a political movement, the MDC, seven months later at Rufaro Stadium in Harare.
The MDC was then formed on the basis of carrying on the struggle of the people; the struggle for food and jobs; peace; dignity, decency and democracy; equal distribution of resources; and justice, transparency and equality of all Zimbabweans.Against this background, the MDC became a logical continuation and conclusion of the full realisation of the rights of the children, women and men of Zimbabwe and all those who live in it.
On 26 January 2000 the party had its inaugural congress at the Chitungwiza Aquatic Complex. Morgan Tsvangirai became President. A constitution for the party was adopted. Zanu PF immediately entrenched political violence as a political culture, leading to dozens of deaths and massive displacements of the poor in the rural areas. The situation remains unchanged to this day.
A general election was held on the 26 June and the MDC officially won 57 seats against Zanu PF’s 63. However violence intensified after June 2000. Zanu PF proceeded to steal the presidential election of March 2002 but the party remained steadfast in its endeavour to bring about change and a new Zimbabwe.
1. MDC (2016) ‘Our History’