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Movement for Democratic Change

Address: 6th Floor Harvest House, cnr Angwa St/N.Mandela
City: Harare
Country: Zimbabwe
Phone Number: +263 (0)4 781-138/9
General Information:

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is Zimbabwe's newest and strongest opposition political party. The MDC derives its strength from its natural evolution with its roots in the labour movement into a fully representative political party (see manifesto). The MDC was formed on September 11, 1999.

Although it has a firm foundation in the labour movement the MDC is backed by business, church and women's organisations as well as student leaders, human rights and civic groups, and representatives of the impoverished rural population. The leadership of the MDC is derived largely from two organisations.

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), which represents 90 percent of organised labour groups in Zimbabwe and the National Constitutional Assembly. The latter was an independent organisation established to initiate constitutional reform -a process which the Zimbabwe Government attempted to hijacked but whose efforts were in vain as their draft constitution was rejected by the people in a referendum held February 13-14, 2000.

Over the past three years general unrest and dissatisfaction over the deteriorating state of the economy and government corruption brought the ZCTU into direct conflict with the government, dominated by Zanu PF. The ZCTU, under the leadership of Secretary General, Morgan Tsvangirai (now President of MDC) and the union President, Gibson Sibanda (now vice-President of MDC), organised a series of national strikes by large sections of the labour force. These were an attempt to force the government of Zanu PF to take steps to halt the economic decline and instil discipline and accountability amongst the political elite.

The government failed to respond to the actions of the ZCTU and continued on its course of national destruction while enriching those in the higher ranks of the leadership. After consultations with people from all walks of life throughout Zimbabwe it was obvious that what was needed was an organisation to directly confront the Zanu PF Government in the political arena. Thus the idea of a people's movement, which ultimately led to the MDC as a party, was born. The MDC is currently gearing itself to take on the Zanu PF Government in this year's parliamentary elections which are expected to take place towards the end of April.

The challenge by the Movement for Democratic Change represents the single greatest threat to Zanu PF in their 20 year rule since independence in 1980. Zanu PF is a formidable opponent with access to the state treasury, all government resources (including national media) and its leaders are determined to hang onto to power regardless of the consequences to the economy or people of Zimbabwe. THE MDC is looking forward to the forthcoming elections and believe that by adhering to it's policy of democratic, non-violent campaigning and with the support of the people they will be chosen to form the next Government of Zimbabwe.

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