The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is celebrating its anniversary for the first time in the absence of its charismatic founding leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, who died in February of this year and attempts are being made to reunite the opposition movement, which has experienced three schisms . a decade.
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The MDC led by Nelson Chamisa believes that the fight against Zanu PF has just begun to follow what he thought was the "theft of the 30 July elections".
While the party is celebrating its 19th birthday, the MDC hopes to reconnect with the founders, most of whom have left because of quarrels about leadership.
Of the first top six, only three are alive and two of them are reunited to "finish what we started" after 10 years of separation.
Welshman Ncube, the founding secretary general, is back in the fold after he has led his splinter-MDC for a decade and is now vice-chairman of the party alongside Elias Mudzuri and Morgen Komichi.
Ncube is of the opinion that it is justified to blow the victory trumpet despite six defeats of the presidential election and a reduced membership of the parliament.
"We have largely achieved the targets set in February 1999 at the work conference of the population," he said.
Ncube said that challenging & # 39; a military regime & # 39; never would be easy.
"I would say that we have largely achieved what we have set ourselves in. We wanted to challenge a one-party state that was relevant at the time," he said.
"We are committed to democratizing the country and ensuring that we hold the rulers accountable.
"We wanted to be an alternative and a viable alternative to the establishment, and as you know, it has never been easy to fight a military system."
Despite the suffering of at least three splits and losing the leaders of the founders top four, the party is the largest opposition movement since 1980.
"Everywhere in the world, where you also find the army that is involved in civil policy, change has never been easy," Ncube said.
"If you look at Egypt since the nineties, when the army took over, they changed the modus operandi, but they still remained in power, although they took different forms and forms.
"Even here in Zimbabwe, today we like it (Vice President Constantino) Chiwenga, (Minister of Agriculture) Perrance Shiri and your SB (Sibusiso) Moyo (Foreign Affairs).
"They are military people in civilian politics and this will cost more energy and collective mass to fight for what we want."
He claimed that Tsvangirai won at least two presidential elections, but the possibility of governing by the army was refused.
"We have to do what (Robert) Mugabe says, not allowing the gun to lead politics, and until we do that, the battle is far from over," Ncube said.
During the first Congress of the party in December 1999, the two trade union leaders, Tsvangirai and the late Gibson Sibanda, were elected to lead the MDC.
The late Isaac Matongo was elected as chairman while Ncube became the secretary-general. Fletcher Dulini-Ncube was the treasury general and the late Learnmore Jongwe was spokesman for the current president Nelson Chamisa who was in charge of the youth department.
"As young as we have been, harmless without weapons, faced with a tyrannical regime that uses rifles to stay in power, we have achieved a great deal," said Ncube.
The party believes in social democracy and democratic socialism. It takes many of its political ideas from Western democracy that calls for freedom of association, majority government, freedom of printing press, freedom of movement, among others.
Among the success stories, the MDC claims are checking the Parliament in 2008 and winning the presidential vote, but they denied the right to rule by the & # 39; army & # 39;
The founding secretary for countries and now vice-chairman, Tendai Biti, said that the highlights were winning the speaker of the parliament post in 2008 and delivering a "man-led constitution".
"I remember well in 2000 when we got 57 chairs out of the 120 seats available, it was a memorable occasion and we brought hope to our people." In 2002, President Tsvangirai won the presidential election, but he was given the right to rule, " Biti said.
"In 2008 we won, we won everything.
"I remember very well the day we voted in favor of Lovemore Moyo as Parliament's speaker.
"It was a truly memorable occasion, we really made a path that is strewn with land mines, but we have overcome it, the fascist regime is terrified, it has no idea how to deal with us."
Biti believes that the MDC has survived because of "prayers and wishes of the people who are the backbone of the movement".
"I can only describe the journey as a miracle and grace," he said.
In addition to winning the majority in parliament in 2008, the founder Tsvangirai was prime minister for five years when he shared power with Mugabe.
"We have given the hope of Zimbabwe, we have given them reason to smile as opposed to this system that knows nothing but plunder of resources," Biti said.
The party suffered three cracks, in 2005, 2014 and the last this year, when Tsvangirai's old deputy Thokozani Khupe broke away from the Chamisa-led party.
"Certainly the downfall of our icon Tsvangirai and other ancestors was a challenge for us as the party.
"Zanu PF's election theft of 2008 and the subsequent death of thousands of our supporters really gives us a reason to fight hard," Biti said.
"We can not just let go of their blood Zanu PF and his quasi-military system stole the victory of the people in 2008, innocent lives were murdered in cold blood for their power.
"Thousands were displaced and plundered millions of our wealth, and it is for this reason that we will fight to the bitter end."
At its peak, the party had 110 MPs against 100 for Zanu PF and controlled all urban local authorities.
The tide changed in 2013 when the MDC suffered its worst election defeat in history.
Many believe that the goodies associated with the power of the state have eroded the way in which Tsvangirai is a "leader of the people" while jumping from one scandal to another.
His ministers were accused of neglecting the masses because they enjoyed life, with vehicles of the highest level, safety supervisors, unlimited fuel and power.
"We did everything we could do for our people, Zanu PF stole the people's victory in 2013, just like in 2018," said Biti.
The party was forced to cancel the anniversary celebrations scheduled for Harare yesterday after police forbade public meetings due to the cholera outbreak that so far killed 28 people and affected more than 4,000 people.