It is recognised in greater circles that opposition political parties in both developing and developed countries have an insurmountable task to achieve in ensuring and enhancing democratic processes. They are the very institutions that are central in paving way for development in all spheres of life that is political, economic and socio-cultural. For Zimbabwe, it is apparent that, at most, opposition political parties have not been able to establish themselves or expand in terms of their operation, their quest for democracy in order to capture the hearts of the rural populace where the majority of the electorate resides. From this backdrop the paper seeks to examine the challenges and constraints militating against the operation of opposition political parties as well as analysing the centrality of opposition political parties in promoting development. The paper rounds off by making suggestions as to the future of opposition parties in rural Zimbabwe. It further submits that there is an array of causes into the ineffectiveness and inefficiency and subsequent failure of opposition political parties in Zimbabwe particularly in the new millennium where a vibrant opposition political party, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), has been in existence.
Key words: Political parties, democracy, Zimbabwe, opposition political parties, development, land issue.
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