The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) was founded in 1999 in opposition to Mugabe’s ZANU PF. They have not had much luck in bringing an end to Mugabe’s rule. In 2005 MDC spilt into two factions following policy differences among senior leaders. The mainstream faction is led by Morgan Tsvangirai and the other by Arthur Mutambara. Both bring different skill sets to the table but have an overall goal of ending authoritarian rule. Tsvangirai is a former trade unionist whose positions have included being the Secretary-General of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions. Mutambara was the leader of student movements in the late 1980s and has lead a more academic career.
Since their split in 2005 talks have been held to try and reunite the two factions but were unsuccessful. Last year talks broke down and resulted in two figures who had defected with Mutambara, Shaky Matake and Silas Mangono returning to the main camp. There has also been disharmony within the women’s assembly which further weakens the party.
Events occurring within the party show a lot of disagreement and confusion amongst themselves. MDC is also notorious for boycotting or threatening to boycott elections which only goes to making the party irrelevant. One of the main purposes of a political party is to win elections. All of this may result in their supporters losing confidence in the party. If they themselves cannot form a united front there is no way they will succeed in their campaign against Mugabe. As it stands, Mugabe and ZANU PF are a force to be reckoned with and if they don’t get their act together they will be fighting a losing battle. Presidential, parliamentary and council elections are due to be held in March which does not give MDC a lot of time to sort out their differences.