International Journal of
Peace and Development Studies

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Peace and Dev. Stud
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6621
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJPDS
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 95

Article in Press

The inherent resort to violence in opposition politics: A synthesis of the post-2005 Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formations in Zimbabwe

Felix Makonye

  •  Received: 15 February 2020
  •  Accepted: 13 March 2020
This paper argues that the post-2005 Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formed in 1999 as an opposition party in Zimbabwe, has inherently adopted violence as a tool to unseat the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) led government. Furthermore, the use of violence has continued amongst its various formations in tussles for leadership positions, and to settle a plethora of other issues. The paper contends that the current Movement for Democratic Change Alliance (MDC-Alliance) leader, Nelson Chamisa, usurped power from the late Morgan Tsvangirai’s natural successor Thokozani Khupe through violence after unleashing the so-called MDC vanguard to beat up, ridicule and humiliate Khupe who they called ‘hure’ (prostitute) in public spaces. Similarly, when Professor Welshman Ncube, the current MDC-Alliance second vice-president, broke away from the mainstream MDC party together with the late, then MDC vice-president Gibson Sibanda in 2005 to form the MDC-N, there was party-sponsored violence against them from Tsvangirai who publicly labelled his former deputy as ‘dutye’ (idiot) when they failed to resolve their differences peacefully. When Tendai Biti, the current MDC-Alliance first vice-president and then MDC-T secretary general, and former MDC-T deputy treasurer, Elton Mangoma, were sacked in 2014, Tsvangirai referred to Biti as an opportunist and a rebel who was egoistical by nature and working secretly to remove him from power with the assistance of the former president of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe. Biti and Mangoma went on to form their own party called the MDC Renewal, which later split into Renewal Democrats (RD) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) after unprecedented violence between the two former allies; Mangoma was thoroughly bashed by Biti’s supporters because of their acrimonious and irreconcilable fallout on issues to do with alliances for the general plebiscite of July 2018.

Keywords: MDC, violence, elections, party, opposition, Zimbabwe.