In the beginning, in September 1999, it was only Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and then Welshman grabbed the name in 2005, initially claiming his was the original MDC. For about 2 agonizing years there were two MDCs.
BY Farai Maguwu
Towards the 2008 general election ZEC assisted by renaming the two factions MDC-N and MDC T for the purpose of assisting voters to distinguish between the two. Amazingly, both factions welcomed the ZEC renaming without any complains and even started calling themselves accordingly. Then in May 2010, after revealing party secrets with regards to foreign funding and having thrown tantrums at party leader Tsvangirai, Sikhala left MDC T, claiming he wanted to go back to the founding values of the party, and formed MDC 99. He stayed in his political Siberia for 4 years, rejoining MDC-T in March 2014.
After breaking away from Tsvangirai in 2005 Ncube roped in Professor Arthur Mutambara to prop up his outfit. But Ncube could not believe his misfortune when he garnered significant seats which automatically made Mutambara, his appointee, a Principal and Deputy Prime Minister in the Inclusive Government whilst he became a mere Minister. Ncube tried to assert his authority over Mutambara – the battle of Professors- to no avail. Finally Ncube fired Mutambara who went on to form MDC M with the M standing for Mutambara whilst clinging to his DPM post right up to the end of the Inclusive govt.
Hon Tendai Biti, arguably Zimbabwe’s most pragmatic and fearless politician and Elton Mangoma left MDC-T in 2014 after a bloodbath at Harvest House which saw the two cheating death by a whisker. Sensing danger and anticipating violence following a heated national council meeting, Biti had reached a gentleman’s agreement with Tsvangirai where Morgan would escort him to his car. But after walking together for a while Tsvangirai deliberately retreated, leaving Biti at the mercy of the menacing youths. Facing imminent death by stoning, Biti had no option but to find shelter in Tsvangirai’s car which took him to Tsvangirai’s mansion’ from where a rescue team picked him. Mangoma wasn’t so lucky. They bashed him without mercy, leaving him with a fraction of what was once a shirt.
This fallout was triggered by the 2013 crushing defeat to ZANU PF which left the party in shambles and some leaders, led by mangoma, calling for leadership renewal. Bruised and battered Biti and Mangoma formed MDC Renewal that was launched at Mandel Training Centre, claiming Tsvangirai had departed from the founding values of the party. MDC Renewal later changed to PDP a year later.
In terms of support, Tsvangirai’s MDC-T remained the real deal. But following the death of the iconic Tsvangirai on Valentine’s day in 2018 Khupe grabbed the MDC-T title, forcing Chamisa to rename his outfit MDC-Alliance. On joining MDC Alliance in 2018, Ncube dissolved his MDC N. After the 2018 election, two more MDCs were registered with ZEC by virtually unknown persons. Only God knows the next MDC-name!